Thursday, October 20, 2005

The North of Netherlands

We rented a car for the weekend and then drove down to a place called Den Helder, in the north of Holland. But first about the ride – the Dutch countryside is very picturesque with wide green expanses, many canals and windmills but NO tulips!! Unfortunately, this wasn’t the season for the famed tulips. I also saw the most picture perfect rainbow ever on this ride – straight out of a children’s story book. Incidentally, I saw a rainbow almost every single day of my stay in Holland.

One will see a lot of the famed windmills dotting the landscapes. Many of them are the modern windmills – extremely tall and thin and made of steel or concrete. The traditional Dutch windmills are far prettier and ore enchanting – they are stout and short very Dutch (but of course!!)

Well, we parked the car at Den Helder and then took a ferry to the island of Texel, to the north of Holland. It was a short ferry ride and we crossed the North Sea to reach the lush island. Now Texel is a small, highly vegetated (if there is such a word) island and is like a sober seaside resort in which mostly old couples settle down after they retire. It’s so small that there is only one bus line and it covers the entire island in about 30 minutes. It is not surprising that there isn’t much to do there, especially on a wekkend.We just walked to the beach. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t as clean as I expected it to be. This may be because the sand was very porous and resulted in the waves leaving behind large amounts of foam that took ages to get absorbed into the sand. None of us had seen anything so weird before. Since it was raining as usual and very cold by the beach, we had coffee at a cosy little restaurant by the sea and that warmed us up enough for us to walk around the town centre for a little while before catching the last ferry backto Den Helder and then driving back to Rotterdam, where I saw a nice movie called ‘A Thousand Acres’ before dozing off.

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