Day 7-1. Rest and bike fix day in Tönning.Almost no cycling and lots of walking.
Today started in a relaxed fashion as it was a rest day after all. Albeit an unplanned one. Our spirits were still a bit low but despite this we decided that we were going to try and make the best of the day.
We started off by walking into the main square which, whilst it reminded us of Dutch coastal towns, was not the same as them. All the buildings were immaculately maintained as was the square. The architectural styles used were definitely German rather than Dutch and the German tradition of good food and good beer appeared to be alive and well in the few cafes and restaurants in the town.
The church was quite nice, brick built, with the odd buttress to support older sections of the walls that had, over the years had decided to part company with the concept of vertical. We wandered off into other parts of the town and found more lovely old buildings, in brick, with all sorts of details in the gable ends and window frames. There was a cafe/restaurant in a larger building, part of which was clearly a much older warehouse. The design of the warehouse was similar to those to be seen all over Amsterdam, and the same format as wooden warehouses to be found in Bergens Bryggen district.
When I come across such similarities, whether the dyke landscape that starts in Belgium and carries on all the way up to Denmark, or the green rolling countryside next to the Swedish coast that reminds me of parts of Rogaland or the North of England, I realise the sense of cross border initiatives such as the NSCR. There are so many cultural links that have bound the countries of the North Sea together for not just centuries but millenia.
This street for instance reminded me of a town in Friesland that Toos visited on one of their famous tours. Familiar features were the stepped gable ends of the buildings and the fact that the facade of the buildings was the gable end (that is the roof ridge runs at ninety degress to the facade), plus the use of brick and stone setts to pave the street.
The sun had been shining since we got up and by now it was very warm and very, very close. We were still a bit out of sorts, Damae was sad about her bike and I was just sad and fed up. The year since our successful 2008 tour had not been much fun. Besides the credit crunch and the hassle Damae was having with her MSc supervisor, I'd had a heavy bike accident in the spring, and lots of little annoying things cropped up during the spring that took a long time to get resolved. Little did I know it but 2009 was to end in similar fashion as two days before out Christmas holiday the washing machine packed up. For now though, that was in the future but our (relatively minor) troubles had taken a lot of energy out of both of us.
Our wanderings then took us towards the supermarket and the building supplies shop on the East of the town. In the building supplies shop we found builders tarps but the smallest was three metres by four and we wanted one that was one metre by two. We considered the possibility of buying the smallest tarp and then cutting it down, but the idea didn't grab us, so we wandered out into the sunshine.