January 22, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007

By Nate Wybenga

Today our excursion lead us to the northern part of the country, up the Frisian coast.  It was a beautiful day, although fairly windy and cool, it still was nice to have the sunshine!

As we headed up the coast, we crossed over from the province of Noord-Holland to Friesland via an extensive enclosing dam that separates the salt water North Sea and the fresh water Ijsselmeer.  We were able to stop on the dam, takes some pictures, and even have a cup of coffee.

Our first stop was in a town called Franeker.  In Franeker we simply parked the vans and walked around the town for a while taking note of some of the questions asked on our homework.  We then drove along the Friesian coast and looked at how the coastline has changed over time.  As time has passed, the Friesians have been able to reclaim coastal regions for mud flats, marshland, sheep grazing, etc.  The land that is reclaimed is then on the coastal side of the dike.  Over time then, the Friesians have but additional dikes so that the reclaimed land is on the mainland side of the dike, also allowing them to build higher and more secure dikes.

So on our tour of the Friesian coast, we were able to drive along older dikes while noticing the towns that have been built against them, the reclaimed land that is now used of pasture, and the more modern coastal sea dikes.  At lunchtime we stopped by the main sea dike and were able to walk over the dike and see the North Sea. 

The final leg of our excursion took us further north up to Ameland.  Ameland is a location where a ferry departs and connects some of the islands off the coast to the mainland.  We took a short stop there, looked around at the mud flats in that location, and then headed home.


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Our group stops on the dam to take a look around

 

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We all walked the pier in Ameland

 

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Another picture of our group at the ferry in Ameland

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