German Messages In a Bottle Washes Ashore at California Beach

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

Message in a Bottle

What would you do if while walking the beach you discover a bottle floating near the shore?  You may ignore it, just thinking it is someone’s trash, but not all floating bottles turn out to be what you think.  Stefani Strobel, while taking a stroll on California’s Hermosa Beach pier on Wednesday came across just that and it turned out to be more than she expected.

Strobel happened to see a bottle moving its way to the shore and decided to follow its path so that she could discard of the trash, as she typically does during her beachside walks.  “I usually pick up trash when I go on walks,” Strobel told Easy Reader News. “So I saw the bottle floating in the water, but when I looked closer I saw that it had a letter inside.”

There’s something mysterious and exciting about discovering a hidden message, and onlookers at the beach quickly caught on to what Stefani Strobel had found.  Eight tightly rolled-up letters were placed into the single bottle, but when she opened them to read the message, Strobel discovered the handwritten notes weren’t in English.  They had been written in German.

Since none of the onlookers happened to know German, Strobel headed to the closest youth hostel with the hope of finding someone who did.  She was in luck.  At the Surf City Hostel, three girls were happy to help translate the mysterious letters.

Message in a Bottle note

Anna Blume, Nele Schmetterling and Anja Sonnenschein spent about an hour translating the letters for Stefani Strobel.  ““Unsere Wunsche”, which translates to “Our Wishes”, was printed at the top of each letter with the handwritten message written below.  One of the notes was an acrostic poem that spelt out “GEBURTSTAG” (Birthday), and by adding clues from the others, which mention 60 years, it could very well have been a fun activity that was done to celebrate someone’s 60th birthday.

How the bottle found its way to the California shore isn’t clear, but one could believe that a German group of family and friends were celebrating the milestone on an American cruise close by and threw the bottle into the ocean.  Strobel is hoping that she can track down the group that made the messages in a bottle.  “It’s so fun to see how people can be creative. Today you can so easily send a text or a email, but this is so different.”

Some of the translations are included below.  Check out the Easy Reader News article to see photos of each message, and if you happen to have insight into its origin, please share your tips in the comments.

“First of all, I wish you health and maybe grandchildren, in a while. For ourselves, I wish us a long lasting friendship and a beautiful time together. For me, maybe a little more leisure.”

“We wish you healthy, many days (like today) which you can spend with your friends and have humor every day of your life. And think about it… Where are we  going to build our house when we are old?”

“I wish you further 60 years of love and fulfillment. Your son Jirko.”


Sources: Easy Reader News
Photos: Dasha Bondareva [Flikr]

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Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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