Making of – Video shooting on the beautiful island of Juist

It’s 6.30 pm and we’re on board of the ferry to Juist. In bright sunshine Captain Laupichler welcomes us on board. Pascal and Julia from a video production agency and me acting as an editor – plan to interview some remarkable personalities for a Juist image video.

“Because Juist is dependent on the tides, you can’t boat there anytime. That is why we only have a few daily visitors and arriving here is already very relaxed”, the captain explains. Asked about the island’s highlight, he immediately replies: “the unspoiled 17 km long and fine sandy beach.”

A unique Nature paradise

“Our beach is one of the ten most beautiful beaches worldwide”, confirms Alexandra Kellner. Today she is working as a ranger for the national park Wadden sea. Before coming to Juist, she finished her scientific studies in Bavaria, worked in an advertising agency for ten years and as an educator in a forest kindergarten. In 2015 she applied for the vacant position in the national park and – until today – never regretted it for a single day. “As one of the seven Eastern Frisian Islands, millions of migrating birds take a break here on the way to their breeding and wintering areas.” Juist consideres its tourists as guests and this is only one example showing the hospitality of the locals. Fresh air, hikes in the the Wadden sea and simply relaxation  – that is her insider tip for a perfect vacation on Juist.

The Wadden sea – the biggest biological treatment plant of the northern hemisphere

Heino, a passionate mud flats guide explains the biological cycle of the Wadden sea: “Nutrients are decomposed and carried back into the sea via the atmosphere and rivers. During the tide nutrient-rich water floats the mud flats and goes back as clean and filtered water. If we look at it as an organism, worms responsible for the oxygen production can be considered as the lungs. The kidneys are the shells filtering the water and crabs, fish and birds can be compared to the liver.” If this interaction doesn’t work correctly, the whole habitat will collapse. This is why the literate “sea dog” offers guided tours through the tidal flats, presenting the population of the world heritage site to guests while sharing the knowledge he has gained over years of practice. And in the mean time he provides restaurant tips or tells stories of his live.

Exploring the island by bike

A young man called Aibo Extra could have easily made it as an actor with this name. After spending ten years onshore he now returned to his home island where he has opened a bike store. “On Juist life is relaxed. No cars but horse carriages and bikes. Even the waste collection uses horses and the postman rides an e-bike.” The guesthouse on the other side of the street is run by his mother in the second generation. “I really like Juist and the people living here. Everyone stands together and the nature is awesome. Where else on earth can you see the Wadden sea on the one side and the ocean on the other?”

Kite surfing on Juist?

“Of course”, Lennart, 38, laughs. From the beach bar we hear loud lounge music. Twelve years ago he and his partner Joseph opened their kite surfing school. “We live on Juist for six months a year. Around here, kite surfing is a rather exotic activity but a lot of the guests appreciate it, especially because here is so much space for only a few kite surfers.” Lennard came to the island by accident, before he worked as a ski instructor in Austria. “When it comes to social contacts, Juist has its own quality and communication doesn’t need digital techniques. The people here are quiet but cordial. The Juist people say “Moin” (dialect for “hello”) once, if you say it twice you’ve already talked too much.“ Lennart lives in harmony with nature: solar panels on the roof of the kite surfing schooling and his own grown vegetables in the garden fertilized with horse droppings from the streets are his part to sustainability.

Cheese lover and lighthouse keeper

Bernd “Bubi” Grützmacher was born on Juist in 1945, but after receiving the skipper and captain’s patent he traveled the world. He met Gunda during a shore leave, feel in love and married her. When they found a vacant former butcher store on Juist, they returned to the island and opened a small cheese store. Bübi also produces the island’s best seabuckthorn marmalade – it is a matter of honor for him seeking the little orange fruits that are full of vitamin C himself. Besides he works as the lighthouse keeper, whereby the lighthouse is rather used as a viewpoint and – completely untypical – offers a view on the inland. Every day at 6.30 p.m. he guides guests there for free.

During our stay on Juist we’ve met so many more special characters showing that the island is not only special because of its pristine nature but also because of the people living there. It’s the people living on Juist who preserve the beauty of this idyllic island in passionately fending off cars and other threatening changes.