Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Texel, part 2

This is a long overdue post because I am lazy as can be!

I actually like writing as this type of activity help my thoughts wander into relaxing mode territory. I am hyperactive and energetic so this hushed way of channeling my energy open up new dimensions in soothing and destressing my senses. That is why I can never stop blogging!

The Texel trip seemed so far away now but the experience is still very vivid to me.

Cockersdorp

The red lighthouse in Cockersdorp, Texel and 2 girls doing power walk.

We stayed in a B&B in Cockersdorp, a small rural village up north in Texel Island. It was Dutchman’s idea as he wanted something different from what we normally take. He did not fancy staying in De Koog or Den Burg where many tourists opt to stay, which is fine with me. So there, I am pleased to report that our first B&B accommodation was a success!

There was a lighthouse nearby the village and a white sand beach filled with kite flyers. I read on Texel tourist website that there will be some kind of kite festival in some parts of the island. We also found a tiny port that ferry passenger to the next island, Vlieland, which I heard is also a very nice place to holiday.


Texel lighthouse in Cockersdorp and the representing animal for Texel island, sheep, grazing on the dike.

In the morning we took a leisurely drive along the countryside and snapped fotos of the grizzly sheep grazing on top of the dikes. Texel is quite famous for its wool production that true to its popularity many souvenir shops sell wool-stuffed sheep animal dolls, even key chains with the name Texel engraved on it and little innocent sheep dangling from the ring.

Cocksdorp quaint countryside, taken from the car inside mirror.


We also saw parachutes and gliders, and Dutchman gleamed. I have actually forbidden him to engage in extreme sports. He used to parachute, paraglide, and bunjee jump before he met me. He was also younger before, more active and adventurous, not like now where his world only revolves around his work, and me of course. The only active sports he does now is snowboarding and roller blading.

He also thought the name of the village -- Cockersdorp, is a good start in learning the Dutch language, ha-ha. Well, what can I say the village name reminds me of equally hilarious real Dutch family names such as Kok, Dik, Fok and Fokker. When translated, they actually mean: Kok = Chef; Dik = Fat; Fok = Breed; and Fokker = Animal Breeder

Here are more fotos of Cockersdorp and Oosterend: Cockersdorp and Oosterend, Texel


Den Hoorn and ‘t Hoorntje


A field of white flowers and on the right is a residence selling home made ceramics. The owners laid out a bench along the street for interested buyers.

My most important part of this weekend holiday was the bike ride from De Koog through the villages of Den Hoorn, ‘t Hoorntje, and Den Burg. I really enjoyed the most the stretch between De Koog and Den Hoorn because the bike route goes through the forest. With the very hot sun and its spiky rays, the day turned out unexpectedly to be sooo excruciatingly warm, however, with the shade and gentle breeze blowing through the trees gave us the much needed cooling effect. It made the bike ride through the woods really pleasurable.

Me with my rented bike. This foto was taken in ‘t Hoorntje by the junction near the port where the big boat leaves for Den Helder, or mainland Holland.

Our roadsters were rented in De Koog. While we were waiting for our bikes there was another couple around who could not make a decision which bike to take, a young Asian girl (she could be a Filipina) and an older Dutch man who was very vocal. They finally chose a double bike because the Asian girl does not know how to ride a bicycle, and since she is small (smaller than me) the seat has to be adjusted. When the personnel attending to us gave our bikes, the older Dutch man quickly pointed me to the Asian girl, and said, albeit subtly, “Look at her, she can bike! Sure you can!?” She replied by making a face.

More fotos of Den Hoorn and ‘t Hoorntje can be found here: Den Hoorn and ‘t Hoorntje, Texel


Buffalo! Next foto is the yummy salad, quite surprising really. I think Dutchman had Uitsmijter.

The beach near Den Hoorn was a nice stopover. We were not really planning on swimming but it’s always a great idea to swing by the beaches, knowing the Dutch as ardent sun and beach worshippers, there will always be activity and inviting open-air terraces. Along the way, we saw buffalos foraging by a shallow lagoon and I was lucky to have one stray near the road so I could get a close up foto.

It was already lunch time on our watch and what better way of spending time but to eat! I don’t trust Dutch restaurants with salads anymore, however the heat was getting to me and all I needed was a light fresh lunch. With that, I gambled head on and ordered a salad on the menu, and oh wow, was glad I did order... the salad came as a nice surprise.

Oudeschild and Oosterend

The old pretty wooden houses of Oosterend.


The holiday was too short to visit and enjoy all the villages, which was a shame really. We quickly passed though through Oudeschild, an old village in the east part of the island with a harbour. The place was once the harbour of glory where the VOC ships took off to sail to the East world in search for spices.

I only caught a glimpse of the habour and the towering poles of the ships and their flags. Across the marina is an impressive windmill and a row of pretty old houses.

Residents really tidy up and make pretty their home facades, and this one is a perfect example of a house with the ubiquituous Texel map hanging on the house front wall.


Oosterend, I had the quick chance of wandering on foot while Dutchman waited in the car. It is a monumental protected picturesque little town with wooden houses that is preserved and dates back in time.

I love how the villagers adorn the façade of their houses with pots of flowers, welcoming knickknacks and carved wooden map of Texel painted in dark green hanging on their front wall. It seems like the carved wooden map is the emblem of each house in the island.

All in all, Texel was a nice short weekend getaway. The trip was actually Dutchman’s late birthday gift to me, as per my request ;-)

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