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Islands suck and the story I’m about to tell you is a bit ridiculous, mainly because I’m to blame for the drama.

A couple of weekends ago I traveled to lake Chiemsee in Bavaria for a story on the love affair between islands, lakes and castles in the area. I thought it’d be a brilliant idea to convince the right people to let me stay in a small room that is normally meant for staff overnight. On the Herrenchiemsee island. Surrounded by only a fortress and a giant forest. Alone. But there’s nothing wrong about that, I’m always the first to advocate doing weird things for an “original” angle.

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The only problem was that on the Friday after 6pm, once the last ferry with about a thousand 70-year-old tourists had left, I really was the only human left. Didn’t see that one coming. Or I did, but I didn’t expect the emotional rollercoaster that followed realising that I was truly alone, accompanied by one tomato and one pepper that I grabbed after stumbling out of my bed in Berlin at 4am in the morning.

The sky was getting foggier and dustier every minute, I was sitting on my window, looking out onto the water and never ever felt more alone in my life. Civilisation was a 15-minute ferry ride away and I neither had a boat nor a clue about how on earth I could make that Friday night an acceptable one. It was the most terrifying thing ever. Just like Robinson Crusoe – with zero knowledge as to how to hunt and fish.

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I considered burning the daily newspaper before reading it to make smoke signs, true Robinson Crusoe style. When you’re hysterical it is hard to impossible to indulge in all things Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign or to read the latest opera review. I was pretty certain I’d be chased away from Bavaria or would never land an assignment again. So no fire.

I was fully aware of the absurdity. 24 hours before I was running through Berlin like a maniac, craving some peace and soltitude. I’m always the first to talk about stepping back for a second and making sure to be ‘quiet inside’ but once it really did get quiet outside, my brain was going crazy. I called both my grandparents thinking this would be the last day of my life (well, not really, but I’m a fan of some drama). And guess what? They laughed. The thought the idea of the always-loud, always-busy Caroline stranded on an island in Bavaria with nothing to do was hilarious. And now I can kind of see their point.

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I frantically messaged about 80 percent of my Whatsapp contacts and it took three hours to deliver the messages (there were some #sadface selfies in there to be fair). By the time I was asleep from the exhaustion and panic, I had already gotten used to the sound of shouting birds and soft waves. These birds and waves are the stuff nightmares and horror movies are made of.

As for the morning after and breakfast (which I normally cherish every day), I felt terribly hungover and there was no breakfast. Yum. Once I had finished the tours and the research, I took the ferry back onto the mainland and drowned my sorrow in a beer or two. Or three maybe. After that the lake, the mountains and everything in between looked all dreamy and innocent again. Never will I joke about wanting to be on a “lonely island” again and ask anyone what three items they would take there.

All photos taken by Caroline Schmitt