Archive For The “Europe” Category

Dutch Navy Museum

Dutch Navy Museum

Late 20th-century Dutch guided-missile frigates carried a large radar dome housing a revolutionary 3D radar that could measure an object’s distance, direction and height at the same time. The radar had a range of 242 miles (390km) and could track over a hundred targets simultaneously, making it the most powerful radar of its time (1975-2000)….

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Texel

Texel

The island of Texel, with its extensive sandy beaches and abundant wildlife, is the most visited Dutch island in the Wadden Sea. Ferries make the 15-minute crossing north to Texel from Den Helder every half-hour during busy periods. Texel was popular historically as well. Texel Roads, off the southeast coast of the island, was one…

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De Nollen Landscape

De Nollen Landscape

In the 1980s, Dutch artist R.W. van de Wint began an experimental project that became his life’s work. Over the course of 25 years, he created paintings, steel sculptures and large structures amongst old bunkers in the dune area De Nollen in Den Helder. De Nollen was the southern extent of the Fort Dirksz Admiraal,…

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Vlieland to Den Helder

Vlieland to Den Helder

Den Helder is the main naval base for the Royal Netherlands Navy and the harbour is packed with large and imposing naval ships. Within the port is the Royal Netherlands Navy Yacht club, where we stayed for several nights in sight of all the navy ships plus many large commercial and Coast Guard vessels. From…

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Vlieland

Vlieland

The beach Vliehors is an 8-sq-mile (20-sq-km) sandy plain, exposed to the North Sea, along the west side of the Dutch island of Vlieland. The Vliehors Expres carries visitors the length of the beach, leaving wonderful poems in the sand. Or you can visit by bicycle, as we and many others did. Below are trip…

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Heligoland to Vlieland

Heligoland to Vlieland

We departed Heligoland shortly after daybreak on a 132nm run to Vlieland, Netherlands through the German Bight. The body of water, at the southeast corner of the North Sea, can be a nasty stretch and is our last offshore run off the year. We had blissfully calm conditions through much of the trip, with the…

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Dune and Bunkers

Dune and Bunkers

The tiny island of Dune was connected to the Heligoland main island until 1720, when a storm flood destroyed the land bridge between them. As the name suggests, sand dunes cover much of the island and beaches ring the shores, making it a popular summer destination. The island’s healthy seal population also is a major…

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Heligoland Storm

Heligoland Storm

On our third day in Heligoland, a storm came through bringing southwest winds over 40 knots. In the large port basin, Dirona was moving around a bit in the wind and waves, and the boats in front of us on the dock were really tossing. The harbour would be removing the dock for the winter…

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Exploring Heligoland

Exploring Heligoland

Heligoland is a dramatic archipelago thirty miles offshore from mainland Germany. Attractions include incredible natural beauty, extensive seabird life, seal colonies, naval ruins and many excellent restaurants. On our second day in Heligoland, we toured throughout the main island and particularly enjoyed the views and scenery from the cliff tops at the north end. Below…

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Duty-Free at Heligoland

Duty-Free at Heligoland

Heligoland, Germany is part of the EU, but is not inside the EU Customs Union or VAT area. The duty-free sale of fuel and luxury items such as alcohol, cigarettes and perfume make up a big part of the island’s economy. This is the reason we’ve stopped here for fuel three times in the past…

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Kiel Canal to Heligoland

Kiel Canal to Heligoland

From Lake Flemihude, just inside the Kiel Canal, we made a 97-nm run to Heligoland, a small island 30 miles offshore from mainland Germany. Despite adhering to an 8.1-knot speed limit in the canal, the delays in locking through, and an initial negative current in the river Elbe, we got enough positive current later on…

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Copenhagen to Kiel

Copenhagen to Kiel

After an excellent week in Copenhagen, we reluctantly departed to continue south towards Amsterdam. Over two nights, with an overnight stop in the Smalandsfarvandet, we ran 153nm to just inside the Kiel Canal at Lake Flemhude. Shortly after departing Denmark and entering Germany, our US registration again attracted an official inspection, this time from the…

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Orestad

Orestad

Copenhagen’s Orestad neighbourhood, southeast of the city center, is known for its spectacular modern architecture, so much so that companies run architectural tours of the area. On our final day in Copenhagen, we made our own architectural tour of Orestad by bicycle. We were really impressed with the modern and innovative architecture, including several by…

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Culture Night

Culture Night

We were lucky to be in Copenhagen for the city’s annual culture night, where over 250 museums, churches, theatres, libraries, city buildings and businesses host a public open-house. After going through the list of participants, we selected a tour of the world-wide headquarters of Danish shipping company A.P. Moller – Maersk and the Copenhagen Opera…

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Kastellet

Kastellet

Kastellet (the “Citadel”), just north of the city center, was commissioned by Frederick III in 1662 to defend the port of Copenhagen. The pentagon-shaped structure is today one of Northern Europe’s best-preserved forts. On our fifth day in Copenhagen, we walked north of Nyhavn to visit Kastellet. On the way, we toured Amalienborg Slot and…

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Copenhagen Tender Tour

Copenhagen Tender Tour

Danish architects and designers have long been internationally known for their innovative and striking creations. The iconic Sydney Opera House, for example, was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon. Copenhagen, of course, is full of spectacular examples of their work and a great way to see many of them is from the water. On our…

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