scattered between the trees are seven crosses, old islanders told that 7 Swedish sailers lay buried here.
The official graveyard, Vredenburg, is some 500 metres away but these men are buried randomly as it seems. Very peaceful!
Since there are no cars allowed on the island (except for residents) the only way to get a round is by bicycle. We had a lovely day cycling around the island, its flat so you can go for miles. There are many places on the island where you can hire them.
On some parts of the island you can still see the "living dunes". Charactaristic for this landscape that it is always changing. Sand is gathering blown together by the wind, creating new little dunes, or increasing already existing ones. On other places holes are created because the wind hollows out this area by blowing away the sand. It's fascinating to see landscape being created in this way and knowing on a next visit it will all look different again.
The structure that dominates the island, and can be seen from far away, is the lighthouse. In 1853 there were two lighthouses build on Schiermonnikoog. When seen from a ship, the lights of the two lighthouse coincided, the shipper could sail inbetween the sandbanks from the 'Wadden sea' to the 'North sea'. But over time the sandbanks moved and made one of the lighthouses obsolete.
Maybe some of you that have been to the island might not recognize the lighthouse right away, but that's because the lighthouse was painted in this cheerful red colour in 1998.
It's very easy to get to the lighthouse itself. I think it's best if you buy yourself a map of the island so you can navigate around and see all the bicycle paths.
The lighthouse is not far from the village, just head towards the beach and you'll find it. The bicycle path is a dead end, but it does end at the beach, hahaha, so that's not a bad stop to make :-) It's only a slight detour from the main road to get here. The street name (photo 2) is appropriately called "Vuurtorenpad" which means "lighthouse path" :-)
This is the second lighthouse of Schiermonnikoog that is located more inland. This is the lighthouse that is not in use like a lighthouse anymore, so it was made into a watertower instead.
If you really want you to, you can bicycle to the tower....although it is actually a walking path, so maybe I shouldn't reccommend this ;-) A little warning though: iIt's quite the climb getting uphill as the tower is located on top of a dune!
It was in this wooded area that I almost bicycled over a pheasant. Luckily (for me and probably for the pheasant as well, lol) the pheasant quickly made room on the bicycle path for me to pass by. I couldn't let this opportunity slip by though to make a brake for it and make a quick photo.
The island is home to many birds and it is not surprising that the island has been declared a National Park in 1989. Although it has a National Park status, most of the park is open to the public all year round. There is one area though, east of the "Prins Bernhardweg" (= a name of a road) and north and east of the "Kooiweg", that is closed from the 15th of April to the 15th of July because thousands of birds come to this area to breed. This protected area is clearly marked by signs.
Great little island, a short ferry away from the mainland.
Easily walkable, we took a bus into the main village and hiked around from there. There are quite a few restaurants around, so whenever you are hungry and thirsty there should be something nearby!
Seals can be visible from the beach, and there is a German bunker and Allies cemetery to explore.
The village is adorable and full of historic houses.
This time we just went for one day and decided to take one bike with us and rent another. When you get of the boat there is a bike rental station at the Veerdam.
Here you can rent a bike from april to october which saves you the costs of a bus ticket.
Prices start at € 5 per day and € 17,50 for a week.
So this might be the best places if you directly want to start biking around the island.
But for me the quality of the bikes is less then the company i wrote about earlier. I had two bikes who both had wobly pedals and one of them had a terrible saddle. I know that i won't rent here again the bikes are nice if your planning not to use the bike that much, else don't go here.
The company also has a location in the Village.
I always bring home shells from beaches I visited.
Still haven't found something to do with them but back home they always bring back the happy feeling from being on the beach.
I have never seen such a huge beach. We began walking towards the water and decided we wouldn't have time when we were only about halfway there after 10 minutes walk.