Shopping On The Baltic Coast For Designer Gear

By: Gordon Warre

It's Saturday, market day in Eckernarde. The heady scent of flowers mingles with the aroma of smoked fish and ham, tasty country cheeses and fresh fruit a festival for the senses in a town that already has so much to offer. Shopping in charming Eckernfarde is always a delightful experience. Of course there are boutiques and fashion shops, but that's not all. Between them you'll also find a large selection of unusual little speciality shops with friendly and helpful proprietors.

People here still have time for their customers, for a chat and a friendly word. And there's so much to see that it really is a good idea to take your time so that you can enjoy it all.

Eckernfarde's pleasant shopping district has a unique character all its own, and it's just a short walk from the beach and the harbour. Keep your eyes open when you're strolling through the pedestrians only shopping streets, otherwise you might miss the unobtrusive, old-fashioned signs identifying privately-run little shops where you can browse happily for hours.

You'll find beautiful items for your home, arts and crafts, gold jewellery, antiques, maritime souvenirs and much more. If your feet get tired you can always stop for a rest at one of the pretty pavement cafes or little restaurants serving tasty local cuisine. The towns on Schleswig-Holstein's Baltic coast are often underestimated as a place to go shopping. In fact you can find everything here, from top international shops to antiques and rare collector's items.

And when we say top international shops we mean it. For example, in Timmendorfer Strand you can find all the same names you would expect to see on the Kanigsallee in Dusseldorf or the Kurfarstendamm in Berlin, all in the space of a couple of hundred metres, including Prada, Gucci, Chanel and Dolce & Gabana. Top brands are definitely en vogue here there are even big-name stores for fashion-conscious kids. And all combined with the unique character that makes this Baltic seaside resort so special, and not just in the summer.

Apropos special: In recent years the beautiful beach promenades in many of the towns on the Baltic coast have undergone a transformation. In addition to their original charm they are now also attractive shopping precincts. For example in Gramitz, you now have the endless beach on your right and shops, restaurants, pubs and more on your left.

Here, and in Kellenhusen, Dahme and other towns along the coast, you can enjoy a truly unique shopping experience not to be had in the big city. No wish remains unsatisfied no matter whether you prefer to stroll through picturesque little towns like Eckernfarde, Schleswig or Eutin, town of roses, absorb the maritime charm of Heiligenhafen and Neustadt, or stay on the beach and do your shopping between sunbathing and swimming. If you keep your eyes open on your travels in the region you'll also find that there is plenty more to discover in addition to the shops.

For example art galleries, arts and crafts markets and farm shops particularly in the smaller towns and rural communities you can often come across many hidden gems. The regular farmers markets, which are now also staged in the towns, are another big attraction. For instance, in April 2003 a new farmers market opened at the Marienhof farm in Neustadt.

Now, in addition to the famous cakes and pies you can also buy a thousand and one beautiful and useful things and enjoy a really entertaining shopping experience.

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