Sunday, 22 June 2008

Vlieland, 14 June

Our journey to the island was eventful. Just six miles into the 120 mile journey, the train was halted at Dieren and we had to get off. An electrical fault at Zutphen, a junction 10 miles further north, had cancelled all rail travel. Two hours later, a replacement bus took us there, but it meant we had missed the 2.15pm ferry. Fortunately, there was one at 7pm as well. On arrival at Harlingen, the port, we had a 3 hour wait on our hand. Harlingen is a quaint old port, one of the Eleven Cities of Friesland, and worth an amble through. We also looked round the fishery port, where trawlers from Holland, Belgium and the UK were tied up. The PD registration is very familiar to me, as Peterhead trawlers would sometimes put into Stornoway.

At 7pm, the ferry sailed. It is a new craft, put into service in 2005, and it whizzed across the Wadden Sea in slightly hazy conditions in the timetabled 90 minutes. The familiar landmarks were passed, like the Pollendam (just outside port), the islet of Griend (a bird reserve) and the huge sandbar east of Vlieland known as the Richel. It is a resting place for hundreds of seals. The Brandaris, the Terschelling lighthouse, winked away on passage. The ferry takes a circuitous route to the islands. Reason is that the Wadden Sea is a tidal basin, large stretches of which run dry at low tide. Only deep channels are navigable to shipping, and these are all marked by buoys.

On arrival at Vlieland, which I had not seen for 8 years, we collected the keys for the holiday bungalow, the bicycles and set off for the short ride to the western side of the island. In the Ankerplaats [Anchorage], the bungalow Brander was ready for us as arranged. Shopping was delivered by the local store, and we could crash in short order.

Pictures available here - check back later for full annotations.


justplainbill said...

Great pictures as usual. Hope you had a good time. Looks like a great place for a get away. Nill

sybilsybil45 said...

Sounds like you had an adventurous journey !!  Photo's are great.  Love Sybil x

rjet33 said...

I enjoyed seeing all of the pictures.  Looks like a great place to visit.  The architecture is beautiful.  I am curious to know how old your Dad is since he takes such long treks with you on a bicycle.  I'd do well to get around the mobile home park I live in here in the states!~

Thanks again for sharing your photos with us.  Gorgeous pictures!~



winivere2002 said...

Your mum chose the perfect day to ascend into heaven. We have a Harlingen here, too, but it is not as pretty as there. Spirit sprinkles of beautiful blessings being wished for you on this day. Be well, my friend.

flawson87 said...

Welcome back, Guido!!  As always, your pictures are great.  I particularly liked the ones of the beach at sunset.  
Take care, my friend.

lurkynat said...

dear Guido,
gee... Vriesland is zo "schitterend mooi"!
I envy you on your visit! It is so great to breathe the air there the sea is so welcoming. As usual you bring all of these things into our minds and we sail
forth with you!:)