Walking on Vlieland

Posted: September 9, 2012 in Hiking
Tags: , , ,

Vlieland is my favourite place in the Netherlands. An island of sand in the far north of the country, it offers peace and tranquility. There, I am at one, alone, with the elements.

The road to the west stops half way down the island. That is where the expanse of sand starts, and where the people stop. An amazing wide, white beach, punctuated by sandhills in the interior, rising from the sand expanse, covered with reedy grass and home to huge colonies of birds.

The vast sandy expanse

The vast sandy expanse

The expanse is a military area that is open to all on the weekends. A military tower, checkered in yellow and black, watches over the entrance to the sandy plains. Behind the tower, hidden behind the first sandhills are dilapidated tanks: they are now little more than a brittle cocoon of rust. Dotted over the plains are watch towers and little wooden huts that are military targets.

Rusty tank

Rusty tank

At the far end of the island is the ‘reddingshuis’: a white hut perched on high stilts, fenced off by logs and buoys and anything that has been washed up in the tide. Around it are  vast plains of sandy nothingness. On the opposite side of the sand flat, at the end of the island, is a wooden jetty, extending across the sand, and three metres above it, out to the sea.

Reddingshuis in the distance

Reddingshuis in the distance

Reddingshuis

Reddingshuis

The jetty at the end of Vlieland

The jetty at the end of Vlieland

On the sand flat I feel alone. It is peaceful, it is vast, it is beautiful, and I am there in the middle of it. Noone comes here. Noone walks more than 500m from the road. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. Parts can be boggy or firm. It can be still or there can be a howling wind. Nicest is the weather like today. A clear sky, and the sands lit by the golden orb in the sky. You can see for miles. And all you see is sand. A dot on the horizon is a target. Another dot on the horizon is the hut. Another is a watch tower. But they are all far away. In between is sand. Silence. And noone.

The distance

The distance

Footprints in the sand

Footprints in the sand

Not watching TV

Not watching TV

Military tower

Military tower

The morning light makes everything different. On my morning run, I saw the sun rise behind the sand dunes. The air is crisp with a hint of moisture and dew. Vlieland is beautiful whenever you look at it.

The morning light

The morning light

The morning light

The morning light

Maaien

Maaien

The heart of Vlieland

The heart of Vlieland

Vlieland

Vlieland

Comments
  1. Dina says:

    Hi Matthew,
    excellent impressions of my favourite spot in NL. Beautiful composing, grand nature, congratulations. Have you ever been to the coast of North Norfolk, UK? Holkham Beach, voted as the top beach in the UK, shows a similarity in tranquility and solitude that I find absolutely fascinating.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Greetings
    Dina

  2. Phil Lanoue says:

    This looks like an amazing location so wonderfully photographed! I especially liked your image “Footprints in the Sand.”

  3. allesistgut says:

    What a lovely place. And nice photos, too.
    Greetings. 🙂

  4. Thanks! You feel like being alone with nature, like some parts of beautiful Iceland!

  5. Francina says:

    I have never been to Vlieland, it looks very beautiful too. Schiermonnikoog is my favourite island off season. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.
    Ciao, Francina

    • lambchopeindhoven says:

      Hi Francina. Schiermonnikoog was my first island in the north of the Netherlands. I really liked that island too. The think I like about Vlieland is the vast open spaces of sand. The endless beaches of Schiermonnikoog are also lovely!

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