The idea is to enjoy a nice long and active weekend on Terschelling, one of the Dutch North Sea islands.

The Island

With a length of 30 km and an average width of 3.5 km, the island of Terschelling offers quite a varied landscape. On the north coast there is a 30 km long beach, sometimes as much as 1 km wide! Beyond this beach there is a very broad strip of dune. 80% of the island is a nature reserve area; the other 20% consists of cultivated meadows, villages, roads etc.

West Terschelling, which is reached by a ferry, is the largest of the island's villages. Here, as in Midsland, you can admire the typical facades of the old Commodores' dwellings dating from the heyday of commerce and whaling. The appearance of West Terschelling is characterized primarily by the Brandaris, the 55-meter-high lighthouse dating from 1594. Unfortunately the Brandaris is not open to the public. From West Terschelling a road runs eastward, passing various villages such as Baaiduinen, Midsland, Formerum, Lies, Hoorn and finally, Oosterend. Besides West Terschelling Midsland is the only village boasting an authentic village center.

February is definitely not high season here so we had most part of the island all for ourselves. As pleasant as that is, the downside is that most cafes, snack bars and pubs in the villages were closed.

Strand jutten

Although, not all the island was deserted ... the beach was busier than ever with thousands of people and hundreds of four-wheel drives.
Already on the boat to the island we had picked up some talk about containers that have fallen off a ship during heavy weather and that were washed ashore on Terschelling. Imaging this: 51 containers full of sports shoes and toys fell of a ship. Some 10 of them were washed ashore on Terschelling. Many of them were broken open and now the whole island was there on the beach trying to find as many matching pairs as possible to take home as bait. In Dutch this is called strand jutten – basically picking stuff up that the sea has washed ashore. Strand jutten is perfectly legal so everything you find (with some few exceptions) is basically yours. Good ... that was all we had to know to start our own hunt for some new sneakers ... take a look at the photo book to get a better idea of it.

To summarize

Terschelling – with or without stranded goods – is definitely worth a trip.
Getting there is easy. The fast boot (snelboot) from Haarlingen to West Terschelling costs around 30 EURO return per person.
On the island is a large variety of hotels and B&Bs to chose from. Last time I was there I had been at a small B&B in Midsland. This time we opted for one of the largest Hotels in West Terschelling, overlooking the marina with pool and sauna.
Taking a car to Terschelling is not encouraged (very expensive) and the best way to get around is by bike. You can rent them basically anywhere for little money. Of course, during high season there are busses running regularly and taxis are also available.