From Lelystad to Drachten
Saturday October 29, 2016 was a lovely day for flying. Laurence and René decided to do a flying trip in the afternoon. We first flew to Drachten, in the north of Holland (Friesland). The airstrip in the town of Smallingerland was built in 1962 to attract Philips activities to the area. Nowadays the airport is primarily used for ultra-light flying in weekends, and its closure is discussed for many years.
On the way to Drachten, we also passed Heerenveen, with the 1986 opened Thialf ice stadium, and the 1994 opened Abe Lenstra football stadium.
Thialf stadium Heerenveen
Football stadium Heerenveen
Laurence at Drachten airport
From Drachten to Ameland
From Drachten it is just a short flight to Ameland. After take-off we turned to the north-west, and we contacted Dutch Mill Info to request crossing the military Leeuwarden CTR in the east. Historical Frisian settlements were built on artificial terpen up to 15 metres high to be safe from the floods in periods of rising sea levels before the coming of the dike somewhere around 1200. We coasted-out to the Wadden Sea north of the terp village Ferwert.
The word Wad is Dutch for "mud flat". It is an area typified by extensive tidal mud flats, deeper tidal trenches and the islands. The islands are marked by dunes and sandy beaches towards the North Sea, and a low, tidal coast towards the Wadden Sea. The Wadden Sea stretches from the Netherlands to Denmark for some 500 kilometres.
In 1872, a dike was built between Ameland and the mainland to reclaim land from the sea. The dike ran from Holwerd to Buren and was almost 9 kilometres long. The dike did not prove to be durable, and in 1882, after heavy storms in the winter, repair and maintenance of the dam were stopped.
The airfield is in the north-west of Ameland, with the traffic pattern north of the airfield.
Departure Drachten runway 26
Wadden Sea to Ameland
Laurence at Ameland airfield
From Ameland to Texel
After Ameland we flew along the Wadden islands Terschelling and Vlieland to Texel.
Terschelling is the only island Veleda and René ever visited by boat. It was to visit the Terschelling's Oerol festival, the island's biggest event that takes place in June. The main towns on Terschelling are West-Terschelling and Midsland. The Brandaris is a lighthouse in West-Terschelling, and is the oldest lighthouse in the Netherlands. It dates from 1594.
Vlieland is the smallest inhabited island of the Dutch Wadden Islands and lies farthest from the coast. Vlieland has only one town: Oost-Vlieland. Erosion diminished the size of Vlieland from the west, leading in 1736 to the disappearance of a second village on Vlieland, West-Vlieland (Westeijnde). The west of Vlieland consists of a plain that is now occupied by the military and is home to many military exercises.
Texel is the largest of the five Dutch Wadden Islands. The island has seven towns. All of Texel's beaches are situated on the western side of the island. On the northernmost tip of Texel stands the lighthouse Eierland. It dates from 1864. Texel airport was opened in 1937. There is a restaurant, a hotel, and an aviation and war museum. At the airport also bicycles can be rented to explore the island.
When we visited this time, it was very quiet for such a nice Saturday afternoon. We made a straight in approach to runway 22 arriving from the north-east.
Taking-off from Ameland
Vessel on the North Sea
Airforce practicing site Vlieland
From Texel to Lelystad
We had a coffee at the Texel airport restaurant, and then we flew back to Lelystad airport. In the corridor over the Wadden Sea between Texel and the main land we were in contact again with De Kooy approach, providing us friendly and excellent flight information service. We landed just past four o'clock on runway 23 of Lelystad airport.
Laurence at Texel airport
Texel behind us after departure
Back at Lelystad airport