We are soon approaching the first drop-bag station at the start and finish location in Kampen. We have left List behind. Today’s section is called Vogelkoje (bird decoy / the old duck trap).
Throughout the island, our run frequently passes spots that remind us of the island’s past, a time before tourism and celebrities. It’s about living and surviving with nature, with wind and weather, and the tides. Whether it’s sheep farming, whale skeletons, or duck trapping, the latter is what Vogelkoje was all about.
From the mid-18th century to the early 20th century, these special facilities were used to trap animals, a type of trapping that was spread across Europe. On Sylt itself, there were a total of four such facilities.
So far, the route and your view were dominated by the tidal flats, dunes, and heather. However, the Vogelkoje section is different. Now we traverse a protected forest area, slightly undulating but sheltered from the wind; for a moment, one can forget that we are surrounded by the sea.
Since 1935, the area around the Vogelkoje in Kampen has been a nature reserve and is now a popular destination for restoration. Thanks to the work of dedicated island residents, it offers insight into Sylt’s history.
The facility is maintained by the Söl`ring Foriining association, complete with a nature trail with information boards about its history. The association passionately works to preserve the culture of Sylt. Spread across the entire island, they keep the Sylt way of life alive. Every visitor to Sylt should, in addition to the Vogelkoje, also see the local museum operated by the association to get a sense of how it once was and what the island means to its residents.
Unfortunately, Kampen and the drop bag are already waiting for us. Our legs should still be fresh, so the educational stop will have to be postponed for another time.
The route remains asphalted, and we share the path with cyclists. Since the start at 6 a.m., some time has passed, so we will now encounter more and more other participants in road traffic, mainly walkers and cyclists, so please be careful and considerate.
Many will probably encounter ultra-runners in the wild for the first time. Let’s try to leave a good impression. We would be very pleased about that for the future of the race.