For those of you not familiar with the coastlines of Northern Europe, the Wadden Sea extends along the coasts of the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark (see map). These coasts are traced by a string of barrier islands (called the Frisian Islands, or Waddeneilanden). The space between the islands and the mainland is called the Wadden Sea. The Netherlands is home to 5 of the Frisian Islands. The islands are really wonderful places to visit - characterized by naturally evolving dune systems, sandy beaches along their North Sea side, and salt marshes/mudflats on the Wadden Sea side. Since moving to Europe I've visited Texel (see biking blog post), Terschelling, and Ameland. I have yet to visit Vlieland. This past weekend we walked to Schiermonnikoog, the most eastern Frisian Island in the Netherlands.
For during the walk:
For after the walk:
What did we see?
We learned that crabs normally dig into the mud to take shelter during low tide. However, we still saw many crabs lying on the surface, appearing dead. But they're not! They're lying there waiting to shed their shells, which apparently takes 1 to 2 weeks. Then, they gradually grow a new, larger one. Our tour guide was also very excited to explain how crabs have sex, and that male crabs have two penises. Fascinating stuff.
Is wadlopen hard?
More photos from the walk (click to enlarge)
Arrival to Schiermonnikoog Island
... then, a 3 hour car ride + 1 hour train ride later, I was back in my apartment in Antwerp, Belgium. and TOTALLY POOPED! What an awesome weekend :)
Distance: ~14 km (~8.7 miles)
Duration: 4 hours
Weather: Cool and cloudy (luckily!!)