Vlieland

As promised, some more photos of our stay on the Dutch island Vlieland :)

Paul bought a camera just before we got there (he found a great deal on a second-hand Canon EOS 30D, and a really nice 28mm f/1.8 lens to go with it), so of course he had to try it out. Below you can see him with his new camera, and the other one is one of the results :) it’s great for portraits!

The photo below is a very wide angle photo of the sky over the Wadden sea…

The day after the wedding was a really nice sunny day, and we went for a walk on the beach. The beaches on the North Sea side of the island are sandy and very wide…

It wasn’t quite warm enough to swim, but it was great for “pootjebaden”. Paddling in English, but that word just doesn’t have the same feel to it! Pootjebaden literally means footie-bathing.

The dunes there are in constant movement, and the patterns can be really nice:

One side of Vlieland consists of a 20 square kilometre area of sand/beach, nicknamed the Sahara of the North ;) but officially called the Vliehors. Unfortunately you can’t always access this area, as it’s used by the military for shooting practice (I guess they pretend to be in the desert!). We only made it as far as the “DO NOT ENTER” signs, but on weekends you can usually access beyond this signs. There is another way of getting there, the Vliehors Express, a funny kind of 4WD truck used for excursions to this area. You can see it in the photo below (on the left). The really cool thing of this vehicle is its tires! Every year there is a poetry contest, and the winning poem is engraved on one of its tires… you can see the result below, how cool is that?? The full poem reads: “Volg nu voor heel even de woorden langs de waterlijn. Laat hier je grootste zorgen slechts natte voeten zijn” which translates as “Follow for a little while words along the water line. Let here your greatest worries be wet feet”

After our nice beach walk, it was time for a nice beer/ice tea and a “broodje kroket” at the beach pavilion, where you can sit outside but sheltered behind glass panels – really nice!

That evening we returned to the beach to watch the sunset. We were very excited about this, as we hadn’t seen a sunset for quite a while :) The photos below illustrate our different approaches to photography… Paul took this very serene pastel coloured photo of us on the beach, while I took one with the sunset in it, using flash… I have to admit that Paul’s photo is nicer though ;) but maybe that’s just because I am grinning so much in the other one!

As we watched the sunset, a beautiful two-master left the harbour, which is just around the corner from where we were. We joked that it would be perfect if it could just sail right in front of the setting sun… and guess what, it did exactly that!

It was beautiful! There were some boys swimming as well… What a magical sunset, this was my favourite moment of our time on the island.

The next day was rainy, and we stayed in the apartment that we shared with my parents and my sister. Paul had some work to do on his talk, and the rest of us was reading and watching tv and falling asleep :) A nice lazy day! We all went out for dinner, and afterwards the weather cleared. We decided to bike to the other side of the island to walk through the forest there. Originally there was no forest on the island, it was planted so that the trees would hold the sand. It was very difficult to get trees to grow here, but they succeeded eventually. Before they did this, the island was constantly changing shape as the sand was blown around, and one village was lost to the sea.

Anyway, these photos are taken on our bike trip there, it was about 8 km away. You can’t cycle much further than that, the island is very small! In the first photo you can see the typical Dutch “mushroom” which shows you the way :) you can find them everywhere in the country on cycle/walking paths.

Near the forest, we found some tiny frogs! You can see how small it is in the first photo, on Paul’s hand. I hate frogs (due to a traumatic experience as a child ;) ) but I would almost call this one “cute”….

We didn’t take many photos in the forest, as it was too dark there. We were there around sunset, the sky was beautiful! The second photo is a really nice birdwatching hut on the Wadden sea side of the island. Here you can see the mud flats that appear at low tide…

We left Vlieland on the next day… we really didn’t want to leave, we had such a great time there. On these islands you feel so far away from everything, and life is simple and fun. We’d really like to come back for a week or so next year! Before getting on the ferry, we had coffee with my parents, with some bitterballen :) Bart, Kaya and Mare were taking the same ferry, and Kaya took this really nice picture of all of us on the ferry.

Photos from Canada will have to wait a while unfortunately! We are planning to leave on a camping trip to the Lofoten tomorrow. I’m sure we’ll come back with LOTS of photos. Paul’s parents are coming to visit us right after we come back, and we’ll also go to Trondheim for a few days with them. I hope to find some time in between to update the blog!!

4 Responses to “Vlieland”

  1. They are all wonderful photos, but how cool about the tire words! That is so neat! I've never heard of anything like that. Neat!

  2. nicnik says:

    I didn't know that "cute" frogs could exist in Hanneke-land?! Fantastic photos as usual, enjoy your trips!

  3. Ben says:

    I love those pictures of the ship at sunset. They're gorgeous!

  4. Hanneke says:

    @Susan, I had never heard of it either, it is such a great idea! And it works really well on the beach there.

    @Nicole, me neither, hehehe… but this one is too small to be harmful. Still, I wouldn't pick it up myself! See you soon :))

    @Ben, thanks! It was a truly magical moment, Pirates of the Caribbean (or Vlieland?) style!