Friday, 10 June 2016

Friday 3 June

Brilliant sunshine right through the day. We had to rise early in order to clean the cottage, leaving it cleaner than we found it. I left my chalk drawing "Welkom in de Boeier" on the blackboard, for the next occupants. The Boeier is one of the few cottages in the Ankerplaats which remains in its virtually original state. It has been upgraded since 1971 to modern standards, I should hasten to add, and is a comfortable wee place. At 10 o'clock sharp, we locked up for the final time, and rode off to Oost Vlieland to drop off the keys at the Tourist Information Centre. After that, we headed off to Pad van 20, a 3 mile ride down the east coast. For too few minutes, we enjoyed the sun on the Wadden Sea coast, and the island tempted us to stay. But our ferry had to leave, with us on board, at midday, so at 11.30 we dropped off the bicycles and went on board. At 12 o'clock sharp, the hooter went, and the ship quickly made its way past the marina, past the North East Corner and out into the Wadden Sea. By 12.30, Vlieland had disappeared into the slight mist. We remained out on deck during the voyage. A small yacht crossed too close in front of the ferry, forcing it to reverse engines and slow down harshly. Fools. Arrived into Harlingen at 13.35, went to the station and joined the 14.16 service to Leeuwarden. A quick change across platforms into the 14.44 Intercity service to Zwolle, and we were away south. At Zwolle, we had to part company with my sisters, and an hour or so later, we were back home.

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Thursday 2 June

Overcast and grey today, and feeling cold. Had to put a hat and scarf on today. Went through the dunes to Pad van 20, then to the Oude Kooi, a decoy for trapping wild ducks in years gone by. The apparatus has been restored, but is no longer in use. After the Oude Kooi, we went to the Posthuys for some lunch, which we had to take inside - but with the ginger cat sitting next to us. We then returned to Pad van 20 to walk to the Nieuwe Kooi. Finally, we returned to Oost Vlieland and the Boeier. It was cold and windy today. I went to a mobile fish & chip shop in the evening for dinner, and we went to the beach for a final time in the evening. This was our last full day in the island for this trip.

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Wednesday 1 June

June opened with clear skies and sunshine. We headed off on the bikes to the east, down the Kampweg. Stopped for a few minutes at the goldfish pond, named after local man Klaas Douwes, then carried on towards the Fortweg. This links the marina to the northeastern point of the island. Upon approach to the dune crossing, two ship's masts appeared very close to the dunes. On reaching the top of the crossing a ship was stranded across one of the breakwaters. Apparently, the Noorderlicht, a flat-bottomed sailing ship, had attempted to reach Vlieland late last night. However, on account of dense fog, strong northeasterly winds and strong tidal currents, she went off course and ran aground. Her 28 teenage passengers left the ship unhurt and were put up in a nearby campsite. Her crew stayed on board, and the Noorderlicht was pulled free on the high tide in the afternoon. She was towed away to Harlingen for checks. Meanwhile, at midday we settled down in the Dining restaurant (deining is Dutch for sea swell) at the marina, for a cup of coffee and cake. After an hour, we proceeded to and through the village, out the other side and down the Wadden Sea coast to Lange Paal, and then back to the Boeier. Unfortunately, the northeasterly wind made the last part of the journey, through the dunes, a tad difficult as it was a headwind. Later in the day, we walked to the Strandhotel - and back along the beach.

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