Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Departing Vlieland - 18 June

After a week of sunshine, the Friday of our departure dawned overcast and grey. Having cleaned the bungalow, we set out for an hour's walk, as far as the Dam 30 crossing, then back along the beach. We left the Ankerplaats at 10 am, to drop off our hired cycles near the ferry terminal and wait for the boat to turn up. It did so on time, at 10.30. Having been one of the first to board, we took up position on the top deck to watch everybody else throng on board. The MS Vlieland departed at 11.45 amidst a drizzle and poor visibility. The well-known landmarks were all shrouded in mist, and we only saw the dunes along the North Sea shoreline as far as Kaap Bol, just east of the beach hotels. On going inside, there was no seating left for my father and I to sit on, and nobody offered to give up theirs to my dad, who is in his 70s. OK, he is fit and healthy and was content to sit on a sideboard by the window, but it wasn't very good. Arrived into a bright Harlingen at 1.15, on time to miss the 1.30 train (it takes a while for the boat to dock, luggage and passengers to unload) because the bridge was open. Had a good trip all the way to Velp, but amazed at the number of cycles being carried on the train. In addition to cycle-hauled prams, babies and other paraphernalia by young parents. Anyway, we were back at my father's house by about 5pm.

Did I say we're always incredibly sentimental on leaving the island of Vlieland? My father's been coming there for nearly 50 years now. 

View of the Ankerplaats

Junction of paths at Dam 30 crossing

View from crossing at Dam 30

Dog watching over fishermen's possessions on the beach near Dam 30

Good-bye to the beach

Ferry disembarking

View of the village and the lighthouse dune

Luggage trollies going on board the ferry

Departing Vlieland - the island salutes you

Trains at Leeuwarden

Monday, 28 June 2010

Karveel I

This shows the interior of the bungalow

Kitchen area

Sitting area

Final full day - 17 June

Another bright and breezy day, and we set off by bicycle to the dunes near the Posthuys, 5 miles away. Having parked the bikes at the beach crossing, we headed south towards the Vliehors. Upon arriving at the boundary, we found the red flags flying, meaning that a military exercise was underway and entry was forbidden. The northeasterly wind had the flags flying straight out. We headed towards the nearby Meeuwenduinen (Gulls' Dunes) and made our way back towards the Army Camp. Upon walking back north to the Posthuys, we saw a line of shellduck young crossing the road, with a flock of gulls diving in, thinking their lunch was crossing the road. A couple of cyclists were waving furiously to chase off the gulls. The adult shellduck shepherded their young back into the bushes. Shellduck and eiderducks lay their eggs in empty rabbit holes, taking their newly hatched chicks to the sea on foot. A road makes them very exposed to predators. Having arrived at the Posthuys, we had a cup of tea and a piece of applecake. We then slowly headed north towards the village. After returning to the bungalow, we had a paddle in the sea.

Pad van 30 [Path of Dam 30]

Trees along Pad van 30

Danger area


In the Meeuwenduinen

Highland Cattle - yes, we're still in Holland

Pad van 20

Goldfish pond "Klaas Douwes"

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Along the beach and back - 16 June

Another sunny and windy day, keeping the temperature around 16C but most enjoyable. After a jaunt into town by bike at 9 o'clock, we set off on foot down the beach, heading south. After a coffee break at the Pad 20 crossing (pad is Dutch for path), we traversed the island near the Posthuys, and went north along the periphery of the Bomenland plantation. Had lunch at the viewpoint, and then my father decided to take a wrong turning. It all ended in tears, or rather in a fox snare. Dozens of snares have been put up across the island to catch foxes, which some idiot has set loose in the place. We then walked the length of the Wadden Sea shore, or rather the line of dunes that separate the sea from the main road. It is a mildly elevated section (all of 20 feet above sealevel), which ends at Lange Paal, 2 miles south of Oost Vlieland. From there, we followed the main road into the village. There, we had an icecream and headed home.

Emerging from the forest into the Ankerplaats

Ankerplaats entrance

Anyone missing a rubber glove?

Anyone riding the cycle path in the dunes just has to go up the crossings and see the sea

Bomenland (Land of Trees)

Along the seashore

No caption necessary!

Tuesday 15 June

Today, my eldest sister came up to join my father and I on Vlieland. She lives near Amsterdam so it's only a 70 mile drive up to Harlingen to jump on the boat. We picked her up from the ferry pier and took her to Karveel I to ply her with much needed coffee. At midday, we set forth by bike through the dunes to the Posthuys restaurant for some lunch. It is quite a breezy day, not all that warm, and although there are screens around the patio outside the Posthuys, the watercress and other loose bits and pieces that adorned our various lunches soon ended up on the floor. After lunch, we walked up and down the little dyke along the Kroonspolders, then slowly cycled back towards Oost Vlieland. It was still early so we flopped down by a roadside seat and lazed away some time before the ferry was due. By 4.45pm, my sister was on her way back after a very nice day out and about in the island.

Mars, built around 1905

Ferry docked

Weatherview - northeasterly breeze force 5

Bird reserve

One of the dozen-or-so "Water Paints" frames on the island

The beach at "Pad van 20"

Posthuys patio


Road through Bomenland [Land of Trees]

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Around the corner - 14 June

The northeastern cape of Vlieland is locally referred to as the northeastern corner (Noordoosthoek) of the island. Walking along the beach from the bungalow takes you there in an hour or so, then it's a quick jaunt to the marina. On the way, a clear view is had of the neighbouring island of Terschelling, a few miles to the northeast. After the marina, we walked through the village and I called into the cemetery to photograph about 50 wargraves. These are mainly of aircrew, shot down in action during the Second World War, and those washed up following shipwrecks due to mines at sea during the war.

Crossing onto the beach

Trawler heading out to sea

The shell gallery


Beached jellyfish

Along the beach

View of Terschelling

Sailing boat (dated 1906)


Hello puss

Old church