Monday, 24 September 2012

Monday 24 September

Overcast and windy today, with occasional outbreaks of rain, which became torrential around lunchtime. Although a maximum of 20C / 68F had been forecast, it felt nowhere near as warm. Walked into town, just over a mile away, to have a look at the shops. These tend to appear and disappear quite regularly, but some of the regular buildings will never change. Examples are the Poor House, the Church and the Town Hall. This bears the heraldic crest for the former village of West Vlieland, which now lies 6 miles west of the Vliehors, under the waves of the North Sea. This demonstrates that, over time, the island wanders east. The main street, Dorpsstraat, was virtually deserted and the shops were deserted as well. Nipped into one for a postcard and some cranberry tea, a local speciality. Having reached the ‘coupure’ at the eastern end of the village (a deliberate breach in the dyke surrounding Oost Vlieland, to allow access), we turned onto the dyke to walk back west, then up the Vuurboetsduin dune to the lighthouse. Although this in itself only stands 50 feet tall, the dune adds 150 feet, giving the lighthouse a visibility of 25 miles. The neighbouring islands of Terschelling (to the northeast) and Texel (to the south) do not have such a high dune, so their lighthouses are tall towers. On the far side of the Vuurboetsduin, we angled down through the trees to the Torenvijver (Tower Pond) – where the heavens opened. After sheltering for 5 minutes, the rain seemed to let up, and we made a few shortcuts through the woods to return to our bungalow, the Snik. Barely in the door, the heavens once more opened, even more so than at the Torenvijver. After lunch, I ventured out on the bike to post a postcard, and return the long way round through the dunes. A little while later, the sun puts in an appearance, and we enjoy a cuppa outside. However, this interlude does not last very long, and thunderclouds soon rear up on the eastern horizon. By evening, this deteriorates even further, with torrential rainfall and galeforce winds. The remnants of tropical storm Nadine are paying us another visit; further south in Holland the strong winds have blown down trees and tiles off roofs. On the other side of the depression, strong winds are also forecast for the Outer Hebrides, judging by the advance warnings of disruption on Calmac ferries which reach me by text. Let’s hope that tomorrow’s weather is a bit more clement.

P9248118 P9248124 P9248128 Poor house P9248135 P9248143 P9248152 Dorpsstraat P9248160 P9248161 P9248171 P9248179 Torenvijver 

No comments: