Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Den Helder and the North Sea

On the day before Easter we went for a Saturday drive to the northern tip of The Netherlands.  The furthermost point before reaching the ocean is Den Helder, the home of the Dutch Royal Navy.

There were boats of all sizes and descriptions in this seafront city.

They always make their water towers interesting.

The residential areas were pretty.  The canals provide easy access to the ocean for pleasure craft.

Although this is only the tip, there was a huge naval ship in the harbor.

The Marine Museum draws many tourists who visit the area.  It was Easter weekend, and there were lots of people out and about.  We saw lots of motorhomes on the highway.

The Dutch Royal Navy has its headquarters in this building. 

Another navy building.  This city is the stop-off point for tourists going to Texel Island, and because of Easter weekend there were cars lined up for about 2 blocks waiting to get on the ferry.

It's so interesting to travel around in this country - it's completely different from anything we see in Utah.

We saw more flowers growing in fields alongside the roads.  I was surprised to find them this far north.

It's certainly not anything you get tired of looking at.

After enjoying a picnic lunch, we followed some RV vehicles to a little seashore town on the west coast.

Ah!  This is where they were heading.  The weather is beautiful this weekend - 80 degrees feels HOT!  We climbed the dyke and got a beautiful view of the North Sea.

Lots of people have a 5 day holiday beginning on Thursday and continuing through Monday.  With the beautiful spring sunshine it is enticing to escape the cities and go to the seashore.

The dyke holds back the sea from flooding this community.  The dandelions on the right-hand side are growing on the land side of the dyke.

On the other side of the dyke is this stretch of sandy beach.  Quite a few sunbathers are enjoying the lovely weather.

I wanted to get a picture of both sides at once.  It was interesting to stand on top of the dyke and see the ocean on the right.  The elevation of the water is actually higher than the land where the town is standing.  Without the dyke, the town would be under water.

Even the dandelions grow bigger and brighter here than anywhere else.  Flowers just LOVE Holland!

We passed this eye-catching home as we walked down from the top of the dyke.

This sign made me smile.  The words rhyme in Dutch.  It literally means the dyke to see.

In case you wondered if we had run out of windmills - not hardly!

And another......

And still another.  We returned to Amsterdam with reluctance.  We country-kids really enjoyed the great outdoors today.

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