Watertravel & Waterside Destinations Swans fly by chalk cliffs as a ferry steams toward Sweden.

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Chalk Cliffs of Rügen

A trio of chalk-white swans fly by the chalk cliffs in the early morning.

The bright white chalk cliffs stand in stark contrast to the deep blue Baltic Sea in the background. The chalk was formed during the Cretaceous Period, 144 to 65 million years ago. Better known for its dinosaurs, the name of the period derives from the countless micro-organisms whose shells settled on the sea floor (Creta being the Latin word for chalk).

The cliffs shown here are near Sassnitz, the wooded land on the top being Nationalpark Jasmund. There are other cliffs, such as pictured below, which are not quite as white but nonetheless composed of chalk. It isn’t the most stable geology, slides are not uncommon, and lives have been lost when people have hiked too near the edge. It’s a sight worth seeing, but due caution is strongly advised.

Some of the chalk cliffs are not as bright white as others.
Copyright © Don Douglas