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Amber fisherman from Binz

Finbarr Corrigan
The Irish amber fisherman from Binz

Visiting the Irish amber fisherman from Binz

Amber is also affectionately called the “gold of the Baltic Sea”. The reason was enough for us during our stay in Binz to deal more closely with this extraordinary stone. And so we set off, the Irish amber fisherman in Binz In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to visit. Finbarr Corrigan often came to the Baltic Sea coast at a young age, since his brother lived on the neighboring island of Hiddensee. There he became acquainted with the stones for the first time, from which the Baltic Sea waves flood new finds year after year on land. Finbarr tried one of his stays in search of the legendary stones and had found a taste for them straight away. From then on, he regularly spent his vacation on the Baltic coast until one day he decided not to return to the UK. He sold his restaurant and settled on Hiddensee. There he met his present wife and moved back with her to her home town of Binz, where he now runs his own amber business together with his family, to which an adult daughter belongs today.

That Finbarr Corrigan is a creative man shows up before we see his shop and his workshop. On the steps in front of the house are the most amazing tricks, and for most plays at least a piece of amber a role. Quirky woods are combined with the glowing warm-gold stone, but metals or mirrors also provide attractive connections with the stones that Finbarr has usually collected himself.

As soon as we enter the shop, he comes towards us with outstretched hands and welcomes us to his workshop. "Do you want a cup of tea?" He asks us in the broad accent of the Irish island and doesn't wait for us to say yes. Instead, he sends his daughter to brew us a cup of tea. And then he kidnapped me to his realm: amber of all colors lay in wooden bowls, on plates and in bowls. To my astonishment, I have to recognize that this stone not only comes in warm gold, but can even be colored up to black. This is what makes these stones so appealing, because amber necklaces are never uniformly colored, but always in a wide variety of colors in which the hardened tree resin can appear. It is nothing else.

When I ask Finbarr where the stones come from, he says a little embarrassed: “My daughter knows a lot more about these things. It is a walking encyclopedia as far as amber is concerned. ”And in fact she can explain to me exactly how amber was created:“ Bernstein is the resin of trees. However, these were not the trees as we know them here today on Rügen. When amber was created, completely different tree species grew here. Their resin was much more fluid than that of today's trees. And so it happened again and again that insects were flowed around by the rapidly flowing resin and were thus enclosed in the resin. This is the reason why there are so many fossils in amber - mostly small flies or beetles that did not escape the sap flowing down quickly enough. The resin dried and sank into the sandy bottom. The Baltic Sea coast is just one region where you can find it. In Germany you can find it in the region around Bitterfeld. But it also occurs in other regions of the world, in Africa, the Malay Archipelago, New Zealand or Colombia, for example, where it is known as the "Kopal". "She laughs:" Up to 310 million old ones can be found in amber today Insects."


Insects in amber
Up to 50 million years old - one of the favorite pieces of the amber fisherman from Binz


With such numbers awesome holds my breath. And Finbarr is looking for several examples from his treasures, in which fossil animals are excellently preserved. Unbelievable that through the yellow hardened resin I look into the eyes of an animal that lived on this island hundreds of millions of years ago. These are temporal dimensions that I can not even imagine, and I wonder what has happened since this tiny creature was held in eternity by a liquid drop of resin.

He shows me some finds that holiday guests have brought over. "I drill a hole in the stone so that they can wear it as a piece of jewelry." And he shows me how he does it: with a thin drill, a small hole is made in the ancient stone, which he expands with a wider drill. Then the drilling point is ground smooth - and the piece of jewelry is finished. But he also makes whole chains out of amber or combines them with different materials. I particularly like how natural these works of art look.

One thing interests me burningly: "How and where is the best place to find the amber?" He laughs and says: "The easiest way is after an autumn or winter storm." My eyes widen and I ask: "You are walking in winter Temperatures out into the Baltic Sea to collect the stones? "And he replies:" Yes. The storms bring with them large and powerful waves that stir up the bottom of the sea and thus expose larger pieces of amber. These are driven into the riparian regions by the wave force, and all I have to do is collect them from there. ”What sounds so simple here is certainly not easy. To stand in icy water at temperatures below freezing just to collect the golden stones - that includes a great deal of enthusiasm. He shows me the greatest pieces he has found so far. There aren't many, but two of them are almost palm-sized. "And what are you doing with these two?" I want to know. "I keep them for myself. They are not for sale," he laughs and looks at his treasures almost lovingly. Apparently, a close relationship with the finds is part of the job, as an amber fisherman, to find the necessary energy to venture into the Baltic Sea in wind and weather in search of them.

With these impressions, we say goodbye to Finbarr Corrigan and his family and remember when he will probably go out again into the sea in search of his golden stones. In autumn, when the first storms sweep across the land, his amber and his treasure hunt will surely come to my mind again. The Irish amber fisherman from Binz has left a lasting impression!


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The amber fisherman of Binz
Inh. Finbarr Corrigan
Paulstr. 1
18609 Ostseebad Binz
Tel: 038393-436444
Fax: 038393-436444

Travel Arrangements:

Arrival by plane, train or bus
Lufthansa or Germanwings fly to Rostock. From there, continue with the rental car. It is possible to travel to Rügen station by train.

Car Rentals:
Cheap car hire - book quickly and easily!

Event tickets on Rügen:
Event tickets on Rügen * You can get it from our partner Get your Guide.

Hotels in Binz:
Hotels in Binz * You can book through our partner booking.com at this link. The Travel Charme Kurhaus Binz * you can find under this link.

Find more Slow Travel Tips you find here. Discover places where you Creativity and design you can experience.

Source: own research on site. We thank the spa administration Binz for the friendly invitation to our stay in the city and the amber fisherman of Binz. Our opinion remains our own.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

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