Sunday, 1 January 2012

Thursday 29 December

View Vlieland 29-12-2011 in a larger map

If anything, the weather today was worse than yesterday. We ventured out on the bicycles, but were battling the force 7 winds head-on along the main road through the island. The midday high tide had flooded the meadows along the road, giving the migrant geese an unexpected swim. We turned inland half-way to Lange Paal and decided to turn back. Just as well - as we came back to the Snik it was pouring. Cyclists coming the other way looked thoroughly miserable. After lunch, the clouds broke and the weather settled down to showers. We headed out once more, this time for the walk around the Northeast Corner. The tide was still high, and we only had about 30 to 50 feet of beach to walk on. Upon passing the NE Corner, we came across three seals with young pups - one of them only 3 days old, we were later told. It was impossible to reach the harbour breakwater, as the sea had fully flooded the beach there. So, we cut inland along the marina and into the forest behind. Had an amble through the village, and popped into the church where we had a chance guided tour. The church, which goes back to the 13th century, was constructed using flotsam and jetsam, thrown up on the tide. A lot of it came from shipwrecks. Until 1736, Vlieland had two villages. West Vlieland was swamped by the sea, and its heraldic crest ominously depicts a barren tree. Oost Vlieland [East] remains a vibrant community of 1100 souls. Their number is swollen by 8000 tourists at any one time during the summer. We returned to the bungalow via the lighthouse, which sits on top of a 150 feet dune, overlooking the village.

Flooding along the main road

Narrow beach


Seal with pup

The sea is boss!

Forest trail

Heraldic crests

Town Hall and Church

In the church

Lighthouse from up close

Tower Pond

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