Alex and Fiona have both been to Texel for school trips, and Alex at least was completely enchanted with the place, and has been trying to get us to take a visit ever since. When mum & dad were staying with us last week, we took a trip there.
The ferry across to the island is impressive, modern, and comfortable. Also very short — just long enough to get a coffee at the cafe. We drove to the Hoge Berg (an impressive vista), and stopped in Oudeschild to have a wander round the harbour. (This is where Alex and his classmates took a trip on a shrimp boat, and Alex tried fresh shrimp for the first time.) Then we crossed west to De Koog, and had lunch at Strandhotel Noordzee. On crossing back to the mainland, we passed a submarine on maneuvers from the naval base at Den Helder — the first time any of us had seen an active submarine in its native habitat.
In terms of landscape, Texel is very much like Noord-Holland. Judging by the places we visited, it’s very much geared towards tourism. The population is just under 14,000, which surprised me — I had thought it would be more. (That’s only 50% more than our village, Oostzaan.)