We visited two of these five, Dutch islands which are strung along the northwestern tip of the Netherlands in the Wadden Sea. Each unique; these Wadden Islands are shaped and sculpted by the tidal movement of the Wadden Sea bordering the east coast and the often treacherous, ever present, lapping waves of the Atlantic Ocean bordering the northwestern coast. Their landscapes are comprised of beaches, sand dunes, salt marshes, mud flats, sprawling fields, forested nooks, and quaint towns. Plant life and wild life are abundant here both on land and in the sea.
Rising high above Terschelling, the Brandaris Lighthouse keeps a watchful eye for passing ships. The Wadden Sea is a bustling shipping area and as early as 1323 when the first lighthouse was constructed it was very important to mark the channel passing between Terschelling and neighboring Vlieland. The Brandaris Lighthouse that now stands was reconstructed in 1594; it is now fully automated.
Terschelling's 70-kilometers of bicycle paths, fietspad
, make touring the island a breeze! One moment we are cruising along a paved coastline of the Wadden Sea, the next careering down the slopes of sand dunes, and every so often passing through a wooded grove.
Cranberries are plentiful on the Wadden Islands and are primarily harvested for the tourist market. We selected cranberry tea, but basically any product imaginable can include cranberries and be put up for sale. Of course, we sampled some fresh cranberries from the field, nearly ripe.