One of the highlights of our visit to Vlieland was the hike across de Vliehors, a 20 square kilometer sized dune area on the west side of the island. Usually this dutch piece of desert, also know as he Sahara of the North, is only accessible in the weekend because it is used as army practise territory during the week. But after obtaining special permission by email from a friendly army captain we could enjoy a day alone on this vast stretch of empty beach.
The day before we could see (and hear!) jet fighters flying over this deserted land, but this Wednesday the air was totally quiet. Apart from the wind and waves of course. It’s weird to see tanks, or what’s left of them, in the middle of the beach. Shot to pieces. Bullets surrounding it. And with the red flags and gigantic warning signs at the beginning of the beach (DO NOT ENTER. DANGER) it almost looked like a deserted war zone. To me it felt as if we were at the edge of the world. And with threatening dark skies above us and heavy winds taking our breath I almost felt like we were on a pilgrimage, looking for the promised land.