Friday, May 27, 2011

Adventures on Vlieland

Off the northwest coast of the Netherlands are a chain of small islands.  The second one in line is Vlieland.  We had visited this island several years ago on one of our bicycle trips.  This month Elaine's brother and wife are staying on the island in the home of a friend of theirs.  We were invited for a couple of days visit.  You must take a ferry for a 90 minute ride across

It was very windy but quite a lovely day.  We were met at the dock and walked "all the way" - about 10 houses away.  ;-)
Perhaps 20' from side to side.  The front windows are to the dining room
with the living room at the back.  [I'll put more pictures into an album for you to see]  It is a very old fashioned style of house, still furnished in a 1960's style (or older).  Some things are just charming and others simply out-of-date and needing updating.  Really very fun!
Kitchen and bath are entirely tiled.  Tuesday evening we had a very pleasant walk to the highest place on the island, where the lighthouse is located.  Georgous.
Wednesday morning we visited the local church.  There is only one village on the island and thus one church.  This church De Nicolaaskerk dates from 1647 and is made almost entirely from shipwrecks found on the shore.  It includes a ship's mast cut to provide the major roof support, paneling used to make the pulpit and various pieces of wood used to make the front of the pews.  Our guide was the same woman I had heard when we visited here, perhaps 10 years ago.
We then crossed the island to the NorthSea side and took the Vliehors Express.
These open topped trucks run just along the surf line.  We went along the shoreline to the western tip of the island.  The entire western half of the island is  NATA property and we had to have permission to cross their land.  It is an area used for target practice (without any live ammunition) so planes will fly over and have a target on the ground and will be evaluated for how close they can get to the target.  Interesting!  In the middle of the sand, quite far from the waterline is a small house used as an emergency outpost should you get stranded when the tide comes in.  It is such flat land that that can happen easily.
This little building is filled with (and surrounded) by flotsam and jetsam found along the beach.  On
our return journey we were serenaded by a local accordianist and all the natives sang along
 Thursday morning was just a quiet time at home before our ferry back to the mainland.
Such fun!  Thanks Glenn and Sue for your hospitality!

More adventures in den Haag to be posted.


Simone said...

Didn't know we had such a wonderful country! ;)

Laura said...

Marne, what an incredibly awesome experience for you & Elaine! I think you've found the best way to travel -- staying with friends and family and not blitzing from one place to another. Learning about the places you're staying and visiting is really fun. I know nothing about that part of the world and that's where many of my ancestors are from. Go figure! ;) Hugs to both of you!