The Waddeneilanden, the islands North of The Netherlands in the Waddensea. It is an natural Unesco World Heritage Site (WHS) and I really love the places. In the Dutch part (there is also a German and Danish part) there are 5 inhabited and 3 uninhabited islands. I have been to Texel before, the largest island, and have now visited Schiermonnikoog for a weekend.

We take the ferry from Lauwersoog and land in the municipality of Schiermonnikoog. A small and also the only village on the island. It welcomes us with a cute center and impressive historical houses, dating back to the mid 1700's. That is just not what we came here for. It is the nature which I love. Dunes, beach, sea, wind, sun... with its roughly 40km2 of land we have enough to discover. 

We walk to the white sandy beach, one of the widest in the Netherlands. The nature along the way is as it should be. Open to the public, in autumn colors and relatively rough. The highest point of the island is a dune of 20m, making it an easy stroll. The red lighthouse is a nice landmark in the otherwise greenish dune landscape. It was build mid 1800's and is still a beacon for shipping. Also the white tower has been a lighthouse in the past and has been transformed to a water tower and later was used as an antenna for telephone/radio traffic. 

It is autumn, and this year there are many, many mushrooms in the forests. Time to find them. We hike through areas with coniferous and deciduous trees and find what we are looking for. In all sorts of sizes, colors, shapes. Amazing nature!

With the Balg-Express we take a tractor to the eastern most tip of the main island. Due to erosion and sand drift, the islands in the Waddensea are always changing and 'wandering'. Mainly in the Balg area, approximately 2kms of land has appeared in the past 30 years. It is flat, barren, and most of all loved by seals and birds. The distance from town causes little people to visit. Only with the tractor groups of 30-40 are dropped here once or twice a day for half an hour.

The island, as most of the Netherlands, is great to explore on bicycle. Everyone is paddling around on two wheels (as cars are not allowed for visitors), enjoying the rolling dune landscape. The views on the beaches are magnificent and especially with a strong western wind, we see the sand drifting in action. Nature is beautiful in all its aspects!

PrachtigWad (Beautiful Wad)
Zilte Lucht (Salty Air)
Getij (Tide)
Wolkenpartij (Cloud formation)

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