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Terschelling in winter

Just before Christmas, I went on a mini-holiday to the isle of Terschelling. We used to go there on holiday every year until I was eighteen, so it was all still pretty familiar to me. But at the same time, it was a very different experience being there in December instead of in the warmer days of May!

The whole “this is different”-feeling became clear at the very beginning of the journey, in the departure hall of the ferry. Where I was used to it being crowded with holiday people, families, children running around etcetera, on this trip, the departure hall looked like this:

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And yes, that was about half an hour before boarding. In the end, about a dozen other passengers showed up, but that was all. Needless to say, the boat journey felt strangely quiet and surreal. Only more emphasised by the thick layer of fog that made the harbour disappear almost immediately after departure.

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And, still surrounded by fog, after two hours, we entered the harbour of West-Terschelling.

What if I tell you there is a huge lighthouse about 200 metres from the shore in the picture below, would you believe it?

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Immediately after setting foot on land, I started out on a walk. It was too cold to just stand around, so better to get moving right away. I actually had a very nice walk, maybe even more so because of the fog that seemed to mute all sounds and made everything look all mysterious.

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After that I walked around the town a bit, went for a drink and got some supplies at the grocery store. I also looked at some of the cafés and restaurants, to consider where to eat that night. Then it was time to head to my hotel. I had a room in the very fancy Hotel Schylge, which I could afford because of special deal I saw in our local newspaper a few months ago. Part of the fun of this holiday, I have to admit, was the hotel itself. And it didn’t disappoint!
I had this huge room with all luxuries you could possibly wish for: a tea kettle, a large bed, two very comfy chairs, even a bathtub! And, the first day before dinner, I spent half an hours swimming in the hotel’s own indoor swimming pool. Just wow.

See here the Christmas tree in the hotel lobby:

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After dinner, I strolled around the town a bit more, enjoying the lovely Christmas decorations and lights everywhere. It looked so different from what I knew, yet still so comfortingly the same, it was really quite a strange feeling.

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The next day, the weather had completely turned around. Now it was rather stormy and raining a bit. I had planned to cycle all the way to the eastern part of the island, but that would be no fun at all in such weather. So instead, I stayed a bit closer and only went as far as the town of Midsland. There I again went for a lovely, if slightly cold, walk. And I even got to visit the little cottage we always used to go on our trips in May.

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Oh, how I love that little heather filled area! I must have walked the path in the picture above at least a thousand times. Even after a couple of years, I still knew every bump and every hole.

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As a nice mid-morning snack, I spread some peanut butter on a sliced banana. Delicious!

Note: don’t try to spread cold peanut butter on a banana with a cheap teaspoon, especially not when your hands are feeling frozen and won’t cooperate properly. I found that out now. Well, you have to experience it once before learning, right?

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Even though it was cold and the rain got heavier as the day progressed, I really enjoyed the walk and had an amazing day. It was great to see a new side of the island that I have come to love so much. It was definitely different from my previous visits, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it was less fun. I had a great time and it actually reminded me a bit of being in the Norwegian of Scottish highlands. Only with seagulls and a salty taste in the air, of course.

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And, it wouldn’t be an island if the weather didn’t keep changing, so the last day the fog had returned in full strength. I packed my bags and set out for another walk, for I had not seen the beach yet. And you can’t be on an island for three days and not visit the beach, right?

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Oh so grey, and oh so beautiful!

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Then, just when I walked onto the beach, the sun came out!

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Covered in sunshine, everything suddenly looked bright and happy and almost as if it was summer. Almost. I did enjoy a nice hour reading and eating lunch in a sheltered hollow in the dunes without feeling cold, so that has to count for something. I think that maybe it was even the best hour of the entire holiday.

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On my route back to West-Terschelling and finally the harbour I decided to walk along a bit of horse trail, as I had never been there before and figured I wouldn’t be in the way of that many riders at this time of year. It was amazing! It was a marked horse trail, but with only a very faintly visible track. It was almost like walking (or riding) off-track, right through the wilderness. Only without the dangers and problems that would bring. I promised myself that I will go back to ride that trail one day. Maybe I can even get to do it with Emily, that would be a dream come true!

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And then it was already over. The three days had flown by, but I had enjoyed every minute of it! Terschelling is just such an amazing Island, I don’t think I will ever tire of it. Even in winter when it is all foggy and cold.

I also love how this mini holiday has given me some time to reflect and restore my energy. It has really helped me to get back in touch with my creative side and come up with a wish list of projects I hope to be working on in the coming year. I’ll keep you posted!

That’s it for now. I hope you had a great holiday season (have I said that already?) and wish you all the best for the coming year.

Have a lovely weekend!

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