Sunday September 16, 2018

Holwerd, Fryslân, Nederland – The Wadden Sea stretches from the north and west coast of Fryslân to the territorial waters of Germany and Denmark. UNESCO says this is “the largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats in the world.”

At low tide, when the winds and currents are right, the water is shallow enough that you can walk from the mainland right across the Wadden Sea to some of the islands that are strung along the Fryslân coast. These hikes are known as “wadlopen” or mud-walking, and can only legally be done with registered guides who can pick a safe route depending on the conditions on a given day. (And of course, they can only be done at low tide, so there is a very strict time limit to complete each hike.)

On a beautiful morning in mid-September, my brother Ronn and I set out from the coastal town of Holwerd to walk across the sea to the island of Ameland, about 10 km away.

A photo gallery of this walk is on Flickr:

When we reached the island we hiked over the extensive sand dunes to a beautiful white sand beach on the North Sea side. A tractor pulling two large wagons then hauled us about 10 km along this unbroken beach, to a village close to where a ferry would carry us back to the mainland.