My official travel to Netherlands was suddenly extended by another week. That allowed me a weekend to spend. Since I have visited most places in Netherlands, I usually try to go for a longer destination on flights. But last minute flights were expensive and I did not find it reasonable to spend lot of money for weekend trip.
|Long stretch of sand in Texel|
My colleague Adriaan suggested Texel, the island in North Holland. That sounded like a nice idea. But Friday was a busy day and I could not spend any time to plan the trip. All I did was to put the destination in google maps and get the approximate time to travel.
|Light house in Texel|
So it was in the train, I started digesting the information about Texel. While looking at the map of Netherlands, the chain of islands on the northern coast always intrigued me. I was wondering whether anyone was staying there!! And I was visiting the one of those islands!! By the time I got out of the train station of Den Helder, I was an armchair expert on Texel!!
|Texel ferry terminal|
A short bus ride brought me to the ferry terminal. I expected some small boats but a big ship was waiting. My earlier experience was with small cruise ships carrying 100-200 people. But this was considerably large with large dining area and kitchen. Two decks were dedicated for parking vehicles!!
|Inside the ship|
It looked like sea gulls were “attached” to the ship. Apparently, the food given by passengers was their main attraction. I enjoyed watching them play. Managed to take a close up shot of the birds using my mobile camera.
20 minute of ride and I was in Texel island. I was fascinated how the ship nicely docked into the harbor and cars popping out of the ship and zooming away.
|Ship docking in the harbour|
|Vehicles coming out of the ship|
My destination was the lighthouse on the other side of the island. Since there was some time for the bus, I walked along the sea for some time.
|Walk along the sea|
It took about 45 mins to reach the light house. Built on top of a sand dune, it provide a panoramic view of the sea and it surroundings. Tourists are allowed to climb up after paying for the ticket (4.5 euros).
The lighthouse built in 1864 was damaged heavily during Georgian uprising of 1945. Repair was done by building a new wall around the original lighthouse.
The beach in front of the light house is wide and nice. It is a great place to spend time. I roamed around for a long time before it was time to catch the bus back to ferry terminal.
|The beach side|
Travel to Texel on public transport requires multiple hops.
- Train from Amsterdam to Den Helder
- Den Helder station to Ferry terminal. Bus number 33
- Ferry – runs once in an hour or every 30 mins during tourist season
- Travel in Texel: Regular buses ply only on few roads. For rest of the places(including lighthouse), texelhopper service is available. It provides service to more than 100 points in the island. One need to purchase the ticket online or get it at the bus or at Den Helder bus stop. One need to call 0222 784 000 at least an hour before to reserve. It looks cumbersome but works well once you understand the system. Something similar to shared cab service but with fixed points. Tickets cost 3 euros per journey per person.