The Adventures of Milady in Rügen with Elizabeth von Arnim


On Wednesday I start this summer’s “Big Adventure”. In 2013 I spent a month working at a B&B in Switzerland and last year and the year before I took myself off to Ireland for 4 weeks and 3 weeks successively. This year I’ll be travelling in Germany, Denmark and Sweden visiting Lübeck, the Baltic islands of Rügen and Bornholm, walking the Osterlen Way before finally spending two nights in the Swedish university city of Lund. Originally I had hoped to travel quite independently by ferry and car but there are no longer passenger car ferry services between the north of England and northern Germany or Scandinavia. I think there is still a service to Amsterdam but that is as far north in Europe as you can get these days. So, to save precious time, I’m flying to Hamburg and back from Copenhagen.


One of my favourite authors is Elizabeth von Arnim (1866-1941) and in 1904 she published her book recounting the story of her journey in 1904.

Every one who has been to school and still remembers what he was taught there, knows that Rügen is the biggest island Germany possesses, and that it lies in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Pomerania. Round this island I wished to walk this summer, but no one would walk with me. It is the perfect way of moving if you want to see into the life of things. It is the one way of freedom. If you go to a place on anything but your own feet you are taken there too fast, and miss a thousand delicate joys that are waiting for you by the roadside.


A Postcard from Rügen

Thus her story begins. Walking was out of the question for Elizabeth since at that time she could not walk alone. In the end she travelled by coach and horses with her retinue, or at least one maid. For my part I prefer to have company for such a trip and one day that company presented itself in the form of Queen Breaca (QB) who comments here and offered to accompany me and indeed plan the trip to Rügen together. We shall be travelling by car and staying in one place but travelling out each day to different parts of the island for our walks.


From that plan a visit to Lübeck was suggested by another reading friend (Rhona) and not quite finally, a friend who used to be a neighbour but has since moved to Derbyshire, suggested a walking tour in southern Sweden since Rügen is but a hop, skip and a jump from the starting point Ystad in Sweden.


Hearing of this plan QB then suggested adding an additional trip to Bornholm, a Danish island in the Baltic of which, up to now, the only thing I knew and  remembered about it from my school geography lessons was that it is (or was) a major source of China clay!


The map at the top outlines Elizabeth’s trip and we hope to visit many of the same places. Different adventures will befall us and we’ll do different walks too. I’m very excited about this adventure!



8 comments on “The Adventures of Milady in Rügen with Elizabeth von Arnim

  1. queenbreaca says:

    Oh gosh, you’re already writing about our trip, and we haven’t even started yet! I like the hop, skip and jump, because that’s exactly what we’ll be doing: hop onto the ferry in Sassnitz/Rügen, skip (i.e. take a few interim steps on) Bornholm, followed by a very short jump from Rønne to Ystad for you, while I return to Sassnitz. Good for you that though being a Danish island, Bornholm lies just off the coast of Sweden, and there’s a fast ferry service to Ystad. The weather vane photo, by the way, is one that I took during one of my numerous stays.

    • I know, QB, and I’m still at home but I usually post in advance about my forthcoming Big Adventure each summer. It was hard to choose one of your lovely pictures and I hope you didn’t mind that I selected one of my favourites from the lovely booklet that you sent me to whet my appetite. See you soooon!

  2. ms6282 says:

    Now I’m really green with envy 😡

    • Oh dear, are you going to unsubscribe?? Actually, that smiley looks rather more red than green!

      • ms6282 says:

        I know! But I am slightly red:green colour blind ! (That is true but real reason is that I couldn’t find a green one!)
        Seriously, though, that looks like a great adventure and I’d love to do something like that. One day, perhaps.

  3. I did guess! Rügen is somewhere that has fascinated me for a while. Sweden is the only Scandinavian country I’ve never visited before. Bornholm and Lübeck are lucky bonuses which just ‘happened’ to fit in somehow. My BIG worry is midges!!

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