The journey started in the beautiful port town of Enkhuizen directly on the Ijsselmeer.
In the cozy cabin we felt right at home and also the luggage was quickly stowed away, as the skipper called for an aperitif. He informed us about everything worth knowing on board, security measures and also Covid-19 was an issue.
Breakfast was served at the table, stairs were marked with waiting points, there were enough disinfection stations and the bikes were regularly disinfected. All guests had a feeling of security right from the start and were looking forward to the coming days.
After dinner there was enough time to visit the beautiful old town and the harbor.
The first bike tour with about 25 km took us along the Ijsselmeer to Medemblik. There the ship was already waiting for us and we switched from wheel to ship. The weather was good and thanks to the very good wind we were able to sail a whole bit north without the engine.
Particularly impressive was the lock at Den Oever, where we crossed the final dike and the connection from the Ijsselmeer to the Wadden Sea. While the skipper and the sailor set sail and steered the Mare fan Fryslân towards Texel, we enjoyed the 3-course dinner in the salon. We took the dessert with us on the sun deck to watch the crew docking in the harbour of Oudeschild (our next overnight accommodation).
As the largest island in West Frisia, Texel has a lot to offer: countless well-developed bike paths, varied landscapes and nice villages that invite you to stroll and linger. On board we put together a suitable route with the help of the knot system, which we quickly cancelled on the way due to the changing wind direction. The wind came felt from all directions, but mostly always from the front. So after the first 15 km we decided to take a break on Texel’s largest city – Den Burg. It was market and we strolled through many nice shops, drank a cappuccino or three and hoped that the natural violence would soon subside. “As long as it doesn’t rain” motivated us again and again and so we went to the beautiful beaches in the west of the island.
When we arrived in Den Koop, cycling in the wind was really worth it: Fantastic dune landscapes and the North Sea were waiting for us. An extensive beach walk is just part of a holiday in Holland. Afterwards we cycled further south through the dunes and there was the long awaited tailwind. The way back to the ship led us through fragrant coniferous forests and meadows until we arrived in Oudeschild, where we could follow the flying flags of the three-master instead of junctions.
After the varied cycling tour on Texel, today the sailing day to Terschelling was on the agenda. During the 6-hour crossing through the Wadden Sea we were also allowed to help again and again. The sailor took a lot of time to answer all our questions and introduce us to the world of seafarers. The wind played along and so the engine could be switched off while driving. The rustle of the sea, the wind in the sails and passing seagulls determined the holiday at sea.
Lunch was again served in the salon and in the late afternoon we reached Terschelling. The large 400-year-old lighthouse “Brandaris” in West-Terschelling, the largest town on the island, welcomed us from afar and in the evening we explored the first shops and a nice restaurant overlooking the harbour.
From the 70 km long cycle paths we chose a beautiful route through small villages and the heathland “De Boschplaat. ” The bike paths were again very beautifully laid out and wide enough to ride next to each other.
In Midsland we took a lunch break and strolled through the typical Dutch village to get some souvenirs. To get back to the ship after the bike ride, we simply took the lighthouse for orientation and quickly reached the harbor with countless sailboats and the Mare fan Fryslân.
The crossing in the late afternoon was supposed to be south to Harlingen, but with our first knowledge of seafarers we noticed that we were moving more east to the neighboring island Vlieland.
On a sandbank very close by the surprise of the crew awaited us – about 200 seals sunbathing in large groups or occasionally swam pretty close to us. A great backdrop for some nice holiday pictures.
Even on arrival in Harlingen and dinner there, all guests thanked for this successful surprise, which made the holiday special.
Before we started the 58 km long bike tour to Makkum, we spent the morning in the lively Frisian port city of Harlingen. The historic city centre with many small and large sailing ships, yachts and canals invited us to go for a walk before the longest leg of the journey lay ahead. Via Franeker we cycled through the vast and wonderful countryside to Makkum and got, as much water as we saw in the last days, a lot from above. It rained intermittently, but thanks to good rain clothes this day was also a nice cycling day. Back on board and quite wet, we dried our clothes, were proud of the bike kilometers and enjoyed delicious buttercakes and our exchange with other soaked guests.Auch solch ein Tag, da waren sich alle einig, gehört mal zu einer erlebnisreichen Radreise dazu.
The next morning the sun welcomed us for breakfast and we started the cycling day with the first stage to Hindeloopen. The pretty resort exceeded our imagination, when it was said on board by the skipper “must go over Hindeloopen, really nice there. ” Old houses and canals with winding streets resembled a labyrinth and at every corner a new postcard motif waited. A typical Dutch folding bridge connects the old trading port and the promenade with small restaurants. Pannekoekenhuis or fish? The choice for lunch was great.
The second part of the stage was along the Frisian Sea. Many sheep grazed right on the bike path and were rather unimpressed by our curious cyclists, so that we were allowed to ride slalom around the animal obstacles again and again.
Arrived in Stavoren the Mare fan Fryslân was waiting for us and we realized that the crossing across the Ijsselmeer to Enkhuizen, should be the last sailing trip of this trip.
The crew thanked us for a great week and all guests thanked us even more. Whether skipper, sailor, smutje or servant – all were very attentive, helpful, hospitable and made the stay on board unforgettable.
Hard to believe that the week was over, we packed our bags and cleared out our cozy cabin. One last breakfast, one last coffee on the sundeck and one last chat with the fellow travelers, then we said goodbye to the Mare fan Fryslân and departed back to the Oldenburg home.
In our travel invitation for the West Frisian Wadden Sea it says “Sailing trips are something special, a feeling of freedom. ” This text has been around for a long time, but never before has it been more important to me than in this turbulent year.
Because just a few weeks ago the maritime experiences on board, the wonderful cycling tours and the hospitality of the Dutch were still far away, they made this holiday not only beautiful, but unique!