As a student, I would often find myself waiting on the platform at Essen railway station, on my way to university, weighing up whether or not to throw caution to the wind and jump on the train to Westerland/Sylt instead. Whenever I saw the train, the lyrics to the famous German song “Westerland” by Berlin punk band Die Ärzte – a somewhat sarcastic homage to this most touristic and middle-class of German seaside resorts – would run through my head. “Oh I have such a yearning, That I think I’m going insane,” it goes. Sod university, I’d think. “Take me back to the North Sea…” Alas, I never did jump on the train. I was a student after all and I couldn’t afford a holiday anywhere, let alone to the wealthy island of Sylt, where Westerland is located.