Report about our lighthouse excursion to Cuxhaven Easter 2002
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On this journey we want to visit from Cuxhaven mainly the lighthouses (downriver) on the left bank of the River Elbe, the right bank is the destination of a future excursion.
1st lighthouse day
We travel via Bremerhaven, because on our first visit in 2001 the weather was not on our
side. First stop at the Deutschen Schifffahrtsmuseum (German Shipping Museum),
where the old Front Light Sandstedt is now standing, as
well as the lantern of the former Lightship "Fehmarnbelt".
The Front Light Bremerhaven we find unchanged in
the middle of the big building site Zoo. Close by the Rear Light Bremerhaven
lies a freightliner, from the reeling of which, Jens suspects you could get a good photograph
position. It is eight AM on Good Friday, the captain is surely still asleep, so
get on board and quickly push the trigger. Short stop at the "Bimmelturm",
now the towers new to us are waiting.
Onwards we go to the North, out of Bremerhaven and left in the direction Wremen. Not to turn into the Container terminal (somewhere around here stands the old Lighthouse Brinkamahof, which we will visit on the last day at the new base), but drive into the town Weddewarden. From here the Rear Light Imsum cannot be missed. The Cross Light Imsum is just a few hundred metres away. It stands close to a wave breaker in the marsh (or rather in the water), which is passable at low water. And the Front Light Imsum is in reasonable walking distance, also in the marsh. When you arrive here a viewing of the Ochsenturm (Ox Tower) behind the dyke is a worthwhile enterprise, especially since it is open to the public and used to serve as a day mark for seafarers. Both of the Leading Lights Hofe are visible from here, but at that distance we prefer to use the car and drive on in a northerly direction until Wremertief. There are better positions here for photographs of the towers, which already stand in the water. Further in the outer Weser the two Leading Lights Solthörn are also visible from here, even though the distance hardly allow reasonable photographs.
Now off to Cuxhaven-Duhnen, where we move into our quarters 80 meters from Lighthouse of the Lifesaver-Station. An excursion (on foot) to the Ball Beacon in Cuxhaven-Döse round off this first day.
2nd lighthouse day
We begin our tour up the River Elbe at the "Alten Liebe" in Cuxhaven and of
course do not leave out the Lightship "Elbe 1" or
Osteriff Beacon, which has been erected at the entrance of WSA Cuxhaven.
Now we take the exit road towards Hamburg, which leads us past the Rear Light
Altenbruch (we miss the Front Light Baumrönne on the way). The next turning left goes in the direction of
Elbdeich and directly to "Dicke Berta". From here the
Front Light Altenbruch (which also serves as Front
Light Wehldorf) is easily reached on foot. The Rear Light Wehldorf,
which is already visible from here, is reached after a few kilometre drive. Onwards along the
road by the dyke to Otterndorf. Across three sluices we reach the Rear Light
We continue along the same road. After about
150 meters we stop in front of the radar tower which is visible
from far and wide. This is the best place to reach the Elbe embankment pretty
well exactly between the Front Light Otterndorf/Belum
which is in the Elbe waters to our left and the Rear Light Belum
on the right. From here we continue on the B 73 towards Hamburg and back to Neuhaus. There we turn into a
side road towards Natureum at the Oste-Stauwerk (Oste Dam). We cross the Oste
over the dam and carry on eastwards. The whole outer dam on our left is
governed by relatively strict conservation laws. Still there are at least two
access roads (Hörne, Balje) where there are No-Entry-Signs, but further into
them you get to signposts, which show which paths can be driven on in summer
and which in winter. The towers of Balje are at the direct extension to the
entry at Hörne, but we still walk the last bit. Rear Light Balje
and the old tower Balje are close enough to touch
and the Front Light Balje stands in the River Elbe
and is only to be photographed using the telephoto lens.
On the way back at the motorway-roundabout we turn towards "Zu den Häfen" (to the harbours) and without problems reach Front Light Baumrönne which we missed on the way here.
3rd lighthouse day
In Cuxhaven at the Ferry terminal we arranged to meet Malte from
Together we want to start the project "Neuwerk". The visibility is mediocre,
but we are optimistic, which does not help us up to our arrival at
Neuwerk. But now everything gets better. We drive past the North Beacon,
walk once round the whole island, pass the elderly East Beacon
(Warning about dilapidated building) and climb at last
together up the Lighthouse Neuwerk.
Since we arrived the visibility has markedly improved and on the way back we make
straight for the lighthouse "Großer Vogelsand".
Back in Cuxhaven we have the final enjoyment to get as close as possible to the Pier Light Steubenhöft. We don't quite make it, because at this exact moment the England-Ferry, which has it's terminal here, is leaving.
4th lighthouse day
Off we go from Cuxhaven via the B 73/B 495 to just after Glückstadt. In the little village of Dornbusch a road to Krautsand should turn off – out of luck – no sign post is to be found, we are nearly at Drochtersen. So back again, take pot luck into a side road, at the next dyke finally a sign post – the road to Krautsand is found. We drive until we finally see the two directional lights Krautsand in front of us. First we drive to Front Light Krautsand. The area looks well cared for and seems to be a favourite excursion destination. The Rear Light Krautsand we reach by following the signs to the camping ground. Onwards we go to the next stretch of leading lights. We follow the road from Krautsand to Drochtersen, but turn off some time into a path near the dyke until we cannot go any further. We stand by a sluice and see Front Light Ruthensand behind. On we go on foot, the low light is not far from the sluice, to the Rear Light Ruthensand we march a further kilometre along the dyke. Back we go to the Main Road towards Stade. Just before Stade is a sign post to the fast ferry to Hamburg. Here we turn off, left and right are industrial estates. Arriving at the River Elbe, we stand close to Front Light Stadersand, but are separated from it by a fence. Back further we also see the Rear Light Stadersand immediately in front of the half-sphere of the power station – hence the fence. From here useful photographs of the Front Light Bützflethersand can be taken, with the telephoto lens also of the Rear Light Bützflethersand further out. These two lights also stand in a fenced off industrial area, which prohibits a closer approach. So all towers pictured and onwards. We leave the ring road of Stade and turned off towards the River Elbe to Twielenfleth. Here the closeness to Hamburg becomes noticeable, more and more people appear. The new Lighthouse Twielenfleth cannot be missed, the little old tower stands immediately next to it behind the dyke. We follow the road on towards Lühe. Grünendeich is on the way. Here we turn off into the town, the Rear Light Grünendeich itself shows us the way to Lühe. Onwards to Lühe. The other lights we find like they are threaded in string along the road leading along the dyke. The Front Light Lühe stands directly by the bridge, also there is the terminal for the Fast Ferry, the old Lighthouse is approx. 150 meters north within the dyke. Because just now there is a village fete, biker meeting or something like that going on, we hurry on. A few hundred meters up stream is the Front Light Mielstack directly by the road. It surprisingly similar to the old tower in Lühe. Onwards to the town limit. In the middle of an orchard we find the Rear Light Somfletherwisch, the plan for the day is therefore fulfilled and we go back to Cuxhaven.
5th lighthouse day
Really this is going-home-day. But we had missed the Lighthouse Brinkamahof on the way here, only Malte gave us the tip as to where to look for it. The weather is great so we have another stop in Bremerhaven. We do not have satisfactory pictures of the Mole-Towers, so we shoot these again and also the shared Front Light Geestemündung/Fischereihafen. Then along the dyke road, we want to reach the Lighthouse Brinkmanhof. We drive and drive, but no sign of the Marina, where it now stands. When we are at the exit to one of the retail areas, we know we are too far. So back again, at a little sailing marina we ask again, yes just after the airport is the entrance to the marina. This time we find it and get to the marina. Now, end of March, there is still heavenly peace and we can take pictures of the old Lighthouse Brinkamahof from all sides. Bye-bye North Sea, River Weser and River Elbe, we have to be homeward bound!