The Baltic Island
Just off Germany’s
Baltic coast lies
the Hong Kong-sized island of Ruegen.
It was traded around
centuries, variously conquered by Slavs, Scandinavians and Prussians
(who ended up owning it). Boasting more days of
sunshine than anywhere
else in Germany (admittedly not very stiff competition), it also has a
variety of historical, geological and
features which make it a popular destination for Germans and other
English-speaking world, however, Ruegen is
still relatively little known. With spacious and elegant sea-facing
classic hotels costing half what they would in similar properties on
France’s Atlantic coast, the island offers a five-star
holiday on a three-star budget.
Much of its charm was
default. In the communist period, during which West Germany grew into a
of prosperity and advanced engineering, the East kept much of its
tractor-drawn, thatch-roofed, old European character thanks to an
that gave little incentive to make progress.
of Germany, which was begun in 1990, has changed the picture
dramatically. In addition to government financing, private western
money has been flowing into real estate investments in the former DDR.
One area where this is most evident and most welcome is in the
once-elegant spas on Germany’s beautiful Baltic coast. They
are elegant once again.