2024: International friendship meeting on the island of Fehmarn

(Organized by the Dresden Association from 25th May to 1st June 2024)

03a Plattdeutsch für Anfänger 170On the day of arrival, the organizers were eagerly waiting for the jumeleurs from Dresden's partner associations: Strasbourg (France) and German-speaking Switzerland, as well as from the friendly associations Ticino, Braga, Regensburg and Berlin. The welcome and the joy at seeing each other again were truly wonderful.

In all, a total of 82 participants from seven associations participated in our friendship meeting on Fehmarn. There were:


  • 35 jumeleurs from Strasbourg,
  • 14 from the German-speaking Switzerland,
  • 4 from Ticino,(italian-speaking part of Switzerland),
  • 6 from Braga in Portugal,
  • 2 from Regensburg,
  • 6 from Berlin
  • und 14 jumeleurs from Dresden.

We were particularly pleased to also have with us Peter Backes, President of Eurojumelages, as a guest of honour.

Edgar Starck the President of the Dresden association, delivered a welcoming address and also provided information about the extensive programme to the participants. Each participant received a programme booklet and information material about the planned excursions.

The beautiful hotel complex (built by the famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen) which is situated directly on the south beach of Fehmarn offered excellent conditions for a relaxing week. All rooms had a sea view and were large and spacious.

Everyone was excited at the prospect of discovering the island of Fehmarn and Schleswig-Holstein in the coming days! Our excursions were made easier through the use of two coaches - one from France and a rented German coach.

Fehmarn has a typical island climate, so in general we had mostly nice weather and sunshine. Some adventurous jumeleurs even dared to swim in the Baltic Sea with water temperatures hovering at 15 degrees, but most preferred the hotel's swimming pool.

02 Auf der Fhre nach Dnemark 250On our first round trip, we were able to admire the construction of the Fehmarnbelt tunnel near Puttgarden. This tunnel is scheduled for completion in 2029 and will then connect Germany and Denmark. We took a ferry trip from Puttgarden across the Baltic Sea to Rødby (DK) and we saw that the tunnel is also under construction in Denmark. The sea journey provided us with an excellent opportunity to have many interesting conversations with our national and foreign friends, and at the same time to savour a delicious strawberry tart.

Our Swiss twinning partners were particularly astonished that Schleswig-Holstein also has a Switzerland. They and all the other participants were able to see this for themselves on their trip to the beautiful Swiss Holstein. The small towns of Eutin and Plön have very impressive castles and the highlight was the "5-lake trip" from Plön to Malente.

03 Jumeleure aus Braga u Tessin 300At Dieksee Malente, we had a delicious meal in the "boathouse" while chatting, eating and drinking, and took souvenir photos in the picture frames. Now everyone knows that “Guten Tag” is called “Moin” here and “Moin, Moin” is already superfluous chatter.

Afterwards, those participants who still remembered the films from "Immenhof" were able to visit the original film location. The marvellous rose bushes and a number of other things will remain in our memory.

04 Lbeck Holstentor 300Unfortunately, a trip to Lübeck took place in rainy weather, but with our spirit of adventure and our umbrellas, we could still admire the Holsten Gate, the old salt warehouses, the cosy passageways, the magnificent town hall, the Buddenbrook House, the Holy Spirit Hospital and of course the factory outlet for Lübeck marzipan. The two tour guides were happy to be able to brush up on their French again. In the afternoon the weather changed and in glorious sunshine, we strolled along the beach in Travemünde. Of particular interest was the nearby border with the former GDR.

The weather in Kiel was once again not particularly kind to us. We visited the terminal of the Norwegenkai with very good explanations from the city guide, especially about the failed bridge constructions over the Kiel Fjord. We also admired the Schwedenkai and many other Kiel sights from the coach.


07a 2schiffe 200We were then able to explore the submarine in Laboe and visit the naval memorial without getting wet as the rain stopped. To everyone's amazement, our oldest Jumeleur from France (92 years of age) also crawled through the tight passages of the submarine because he was very interested to experience the conditions under which the crew had to work and live.

Everyone was in a sombre mood when we realised that one hundred and twenty thousand sailors lost their lives at sea during the war from 1939 to 1945, including 30,000 submariners. International understanding and a peaceful Europe are all the more important today and EuroJumelages can make an important contribution to this.

To recover from the intensive excursions and the many new impressions, we now had a free day for swimming or for walks on the beach, during which we were particularly amused by the many rabbits in the dunes. Some participants opted for a round trip on the little train whilst others preferred to simply enjoy waffles and coffee on the hotel terrace.

10 Gruppenbild 1 800Another "Fehmarn individual" day was availed of for an excursion to the Fehmarnsund Bridge, to Burg with the Museum of Bridge Artists, to the Utkieker observation tower, to Orth harbour, the Flügge lighthouse and the Baltic seaside resort of Heiligenhafen with its extraordinary pier.

The wonderful friendship week passed far too quickly. On the festive evening, the President of the Dresden association thanked everyone who had helped to prepare and organize the meeting. The meeting had been repeatedly postponed for three years due to corona virus and it was therefore all the more gratifying that the participation and contribution of each individual resulted in a very successful meeting which also demonstrated that the idea of jumelages is very much alive.

10 Gruppenbild 400Dresden jumeleurs have been able to participate in the realisation of these ideals since 1990, i.e. for 34 years. Furthermore, since 1993, the Dresden association has had very active partnership with the Strasbourg association and with the German-speaking Swiss association since 1994. During these periods everyone in the Dresden Association has benefited greatly from Eurojumelages. These twinnings and also the international meetings and the encounters with all the other jumeleurs have provided us with unforgettable moments. The meeting on the island of Fehmarn is considered as another milestone in our journey within Eurojumelages.

Ursula Starck
association of Dresden