Sunday, August 30, 2015

Texel part V: vacation slide show



Hello everybody. In June me went on a great vacation for 1 week to the Dutch Waddenisland Texel. Me wrote a few blogs about it - me thinks the people of Texel like them too, there have been some favored and retweeted on twitter! - and already showed some pictures. Here is a little recap of all the blogs (with the links) so you can re-read them whenever you like. But also me made a slideshow. Because hey, a vacation recap is not complete without a slideshow with holiday pictures. Me hope you enjoy it!


Vacation blog part I
The island Texel



Vacation blog part II
De Slufter



Vacation blog part III
Ecomare & Waddensafari



Vacation blog part IV
the ocean & the beach


Let me know what you think about me slideshow!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vacation blog part IV: the ocean & the beach



Hi there. On rainy, grey days like this, me like to take out me photobook and look at sunny holiday pictures. Like when me talked about Texel in part I of me vacation blogs. Or about the Slufter in part II. And ofcourse me love me pictures from part III about the seals. So for part IV of me vacation blogs me will write about the ocean and the beach. And o boy does Texel have a lot of beaches! (Me at the beach of Paal 17)

Surrounded by sea
Texel is an island, so of course it is surrounded by sea. There are even two seas surrounding the island. On the west coast there is the North Sea. The east coast of the island gives you a breath taking view over the Waddensea. You can swim and play in both seas, but the beaches are on the west coast of the island though. The Waddensea is more used for fishing and such. You can make all kinds of cruises and educational trips per boat on the Waddensea.


The Northsea & a shrimpboat at the Waddensea

Beaches by numbers
If you like to go to the beach, Texel is a treat, because there is 30 kilometers (that is 18,64 miles!) of beach to choose from. That is a lot of sand and beautiful scenery to enjoy! Some are more quiet, some are more popular, but all are numbered to keep them apart. Every beach entrance is called by the kilometer pole that is standing there. The numbers correspond with the kilometer mark that is used by the Government. If in example you visit the beach at Paal 9 (pole 9) you visited the beach at Den Hoorn. It is also the 9th kilometre of the beaches in Texel. Me went to Paal 17 near ecomare, Paal 21 at De Koog (the town me stayed) and Paal 33 at De Cocksdorp where the Lighthouse is. Me thinks Count von Count will like that very much too. Every beach is different. They all have nice diners though. Some have beach houses for rent, where you can change into your bathing suit or clothes and lock away your valuables. Some beaches are great for surfing so on those you can find surfschools. Some beaches are absolutely nice to sunbathe, others are great for taking long strolls or play with your dog. It is awesome. Also there are guarded and non-guarded beaches. That means some are with and some are without lifeguards.



The Northsea from the beach at Paal 17
A buoy at the Waddensea & The Northsea at Paal 33

Dogs allowed
This is probably why Berry loves Texel so much: dogs are allowed on every beach! Okay, every beach has its own house rules stated neatly on big bulletin boards at the entrance of the beach, but on every beach you can enjoy your time with your furry four legged friend. That is very special, because not all beaches on the mainland of the Netherlands allow dogs to accompany you for a day on the beach during the summer season. On the island the main rule is that on guarded, touristic beaches you should keep your dog out of other people’s business and on a short leash. On the non-guarded beaches dogs are allowed to run freely off their leash. Our Sammie had so much fun! He even got his paws wet in the ocean on two different occasions (and beaches). Dogs are also allowed to accompany you at the beach diners. They even bring a bowl of water for your furry friend when you order a cup of coffee or a soda. Nice huh. Me loved that.


Sammie running without a leash on the beach at Paal 33 and just chilling in the sand after a swim at Paal 17

Well, that concludes part IV of me Vacation blogs about the island Texel. What do you think? Maybe they can give me a job at the Tourist Information Center? Well, see you next week!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Vacation blog part III: Ecomare & Waddensafari



Hello again! This is part III of me blogs about me vacation on the island Texel. In part I me told you all about the island, in part II me wrote about the amazing piece of nature de Slufter. Today me will tell more about the seals that live in the Waddensea and also at Texel.

Seals
Around the islands in the Waddensea and under the salty dark water live all kinds of animals. There are the huge seagulls, numerous little and bigger fish, little crabs, little sharks (yes… sharks), rays and two kinds of seals. Seals are mammals (or as me like to think they are dog mermaids) that hunt for fish and live in large families. When they aren’t swimming they love to just find a sandbank and lie in the sun. Such a lovely life… Sadly because of storms and illnesses, young and older animals often wash up at the shore. Sometimes they die there… But more often they are rescued by good people. Like the Sealshelter of Pieterburen in Groningen (a province of the Netherlands) or, when it happens to be on or around Texel, they are rescued and picked up by the good people of Ecomare.nl.


Two different seals at ecomare

Ecomare
Ecomare is a shelter and a museum, but also a research center for aquatic wildlife and birds that live around the shores of Texel and in the Waddensea. Young animals that lost their mommy or sick animals are taken to the shelter and nursed back to health. When the good people of ecomare believe a seal (or other animal) can catch its own fish or is healthy again, they bring it back to the ocean. Neat huh. But there is more. At ecomare there are also animals living permanently. These animals could not return to the sea. Some were too young and do not understand how to catch fish. Others are blind or deaf. Or got other injuries. Whatever the reason is, they just keep them at ecomare or bring them to another shelter for a new forever home. Like a zoo. Me love that. They just give the seal a new home at ecomare.


Seals in their forever home at ecomare

At ecomare their also live other sea creatures, like two harbour porpoises. They belong to SOS Dolfijn from Harderwijk but live on Texel now. Downstairs from the basins with seals and harbour porpoises there is an aquarium space with fish, rays, crabs, little sharks ans a window where you can see the harbour porpoises swim.


Harbour porpoises at ecomare

Ecomare also is an educational centre, with exhibits and such. Me visited de Walviszaal (The Whale room) with huge skeletons of different kind of whales, like a dolphin, humpback whale, killer whale and even a sperm whale… That is amazing! Me love to visit ecomare. It was me third visit and this time the seals seemed very interested in me. They were so cute, me almost jumped in to cuddle. Luckily there are some statues to cuddle.


Cuddly and curious seals

Wadden safari
However me loved to visit ecomare, me also wanted to see seals in the wild too. So we took a boat trip from the harbour of Oudeschild. It was a large ship with nice tables and a bar inside. Me love taking boat trips. The waves were pretty high though, so me got a little queasy. But it was all worth it.


The Texel 44, our ship and me on board

We passed the island Texel, went through the Marsdiep to the Northsea and reached the famous sandbank of Texel. Normally sandbanks disappear under water when the tide is high, but this one stays above the sea water. Here, for the coast of the province of North Holland me was treated to a magnificent view. As far as me googly eyes could see there were seals! So many seals! Too bad it was very hazy because of the rain, water and fog so the pictures aren’t that great. But it was amazing! This Waddensafari is a must do whenever you visit the island Texel. After the beautiful view we got a short tour of the marine base in Den Helder and from that it was a smooth ride back to Oudeschild.


Gorgeous seals just chillin’

What can me say. Me just love seals. When you get the chance to visit Texel, please go on a safari or go to ecomare. You will love it too. Bye bye for now and see you next week for part IV of me vacation adventures.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Vacation blog part II: De Slufter



Hi everybody. Here is me again with part II of me vacation blogs. In part I me told you all about the island Texel. Well there is lots to see besides towns and sheep – although me really love sheep… – because the island has a lot of national parks and nature scenery too. There are forests, dunes and De Slufter (pronounce it as The Sluv-ter). Me visited this particular piece of nature twice while me stayed on the island. Both times it was magnificent and totally different. Me hope the pictures will give you an impression of how beautiful this piece of nature is…

What is De Slufter
De Slufter is a grand piece of nature made by the ocean and Mother Nature herself. It is a large piece of open space between two rows of dunes. Dunes are natural dykes made of sand and vegetation, like dune grass. When the sea gets rough and wants to flood the main land, the dunes are there to catch the water. Most of the time there are two or three rows of dunes. The one closest to the water is the smallest, the ones more on land are the highest. That way they can capture the water. Well, at De Slufter the ocean broke the first row, creating a way to flood directly into the large open space when the tides get high. Also the ocean created a gorgeous and unique landscape with creeks, streams and bunkers covered with soft grass, little flowers, seaweeds and plants.



High tides and rainy days
The first time me visited De Slufter, the weather had been tricky. It had rained a lot the day and night before and it was drizzling that day. Also the tide was high. This is very important to know. So after climbing up the high dunes – there was a path, but it felt a little like climbing – we were treated to a very magnificent landscape. It was so wide! Me suddenly felt like a tiny tiny Cookie Monster! Even with the grey and drizzly weather conditions. There was green as far as me googly eyes could see. All the way to an opening of the dunes where me could see small waves – it was far away – roll onto the beach… We went down to see it a little more up close and saw these beautiful creeks and streams were carved out of the landscape like cookies from cookie dough. We wanted to hike in further, but we couldn’t. Because of the high tides lots of regular paths were blocked by water. So we looked around for a while and went back over the dunes.



Low tides and sunshine
A few days later the weather changed. The sun shone high in the sky and we decided to go back to De Slufter. Boy was that different! On top of the dunes me could see even more of this gorgeous piece of nature. Me even could see the lighthouse on the Northpoint kilometres away! It was breath taking and me almost dropped me cookie. The tide was low at the moment we entered De Slufter (again, very important), so this time we could walk over the regular pathways. We jumped over a little stream in a creek with ease, just taking in the scenery. We did not go all the way to the beach, there was a warning that there could be sick seals there and we did not want to expose our doggy to them. But we came so close. We even walked on the ocean floor, because there was seaweed growing between the sand. As we took in the scenery it was important to keep an eye out for the changing of the tides. One moment we noticed the streams were flowing the wrong way: time to get back, because it meant the tide was getter higher. When the tide rises you have plenty of time to get back before you get wet feet, but the water level of the streams rose quickly. The stream we easily crossed just minutes ago, was now a much larger stream. So me jumped on Berries back and she brought me to the dry land again. We took a breather in the grass just to take in the scenery again before we left.



Must see
If you ever visit the island of Texel and just want to experience a beautiful work of art made by the artist that is Nature, you must go and visit De Slufter. It does not matter what kind of weater it is. Even the tides does not matter. Every visit is different and that makes it so special. Well, bye bye for now!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Happy International Elephant Day



Hello everyone. Me is back again with a great holiday. Today, August 12, it is World Elephant Day. Me love elephants. They are huge, but are also sweet and cuddly. Me never sat upon a real elephant, but me like to sit on top of the real statues at the zoos in the Netherlands. It is amazing to look at elephants. These giants are so gentle and only are fighting if it is truly necessary. That is why it makes me so sad when me hears baby elephants get orphanaged because of hunters shooting the elders of the family. Me thinks this must stop so maybe, just maybe me can one day see one in the wild. In the meantime, me will enjoy the elephants me can visit at the zoo! Me sure love elephants. Do you?

Me made a collage of some Elephant love. Cute huh.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Happy International Lion Day



Hello everyone. Today, August 10, it is World Lion Day, or International Lion Day. Today we remember that lions are beautiful big cats. And no trophies. We must protect the lions. Me love going to watch the lions at the zoo. They often come to greet me. Me sometimes want to pet them, but me know better not to. But when there are sleeping and the manes look so soft... Ah well. Me think it is safe to cuddle through the glass when they are sleeping. Me softly sing too. A weeeeeeeee a weee a wim o way. What do you think? Do you love Lions too?

Me made a collage of some Lionlove. Cute huh.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Caribbean Fun



Hello everyone. Here is me again with a fun Cookiereport. Today me visited the Dolfinarium in Harderwijk. It was awesome, because there was a Caribbean Night going on. Me could stay with me dolphin and walrus friends until 9 pm! Awesome huh. It was all sunny today and there was lots of cool music, real Caribbean. And beautiful dancers too. And you know me like to boogie. But me also made some new friends... well... me think me did. What do you think?



First me went to see the walruses and dolphins. They were really playful. This little one loved playing with a big ball. Me thought it was cute. Under the water we found some cooler air – it was hot today. Me think the dolphins loved me tropical shirt what do you think? They were very nosey at the glass.



But that was not all. The dancers also did a Limbo show and one of the girls even was a fire eater! That was a little scary, but she was really, really good!



Well, the whole Dolfinarium was in Tropical Caribbean atmospheres. No wonder the people were smiling and dancing. There was even a giant lobster – me thinks it was lobster – dancing around. But… me also encountered some other people from the Caribbean. Do you think Captain Jack Sparrow will save me from Davey Jones? Well… after the picture no harm was done. They took pictures with a lot of kids too. So me know me was safe. Savvy?



It was a lovely summer day again. And we closed it off with a beautiful sunset. Kinda reminded me of a big, orange cookie… om nom nom… Well… bye bye for now!