Sunday, 1 January 2012

Tuesday 27 December

At 10 o'clock, we left by train for the northern port of Harlingen. This is a 3-hour journey, requiring three changes of trains on the way. However, this is a smooth process, and at 1pm, we duly alighted at Harlingen's new Haven [Harbour] station. It is only a hop and a step to the terminal from where the ferries to Vlieland (our destination) and the neighbouring island of Terschelling depart. The terminal was packed with people destined for Vlieland this afternoon. As the ferry wasn't due off until 2.15, we nipped into the restaurant - where the waitresses had to perform acrobatics over a doglead. This was stretched across a passage way between tables, as the attached canine was playing games with a much smaller specimen at another table. We went on board the MV Vlieland as one of the first passengers. Just as well, as the boat was packed to the gunwhales. It was a misty afternoon, and we quietly cruised in amongst the shallows past the old island of Griend to Vlieland. Things always get a bit lively in the Stortemelk, the channel between Vlieland and Terschelling. This is exposed to the North Sea, for about 10 to 15 minutes, we catch the swell. As we swing round the North East Corner (of Vlieland), seals can be seen lying on the beach. As we later learn, these were flushed off their usual place, the sandbar of Richel, in a recent storm. The seals are presently having their cubs. We got off the ferry at 3.45 and went to the Tourist Office to collect the keys for the holiday bungalow, named Snik. A Snik is a type of sailing ship from years gone by. The bungalow comprises of two houses, and my father and I have the larger section for ourselves. Upon entry, the clock showed 5.30pm - showing that it had not been put back following the clock-change in late October. In other words, it had been unoccupied since. The sun was setting and by 5pm it was dark. After a quick meal, we made it an early night.


Approaching Vlieland

Inside the Snik

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