From Hilversum to Ameland
It was sunny on Friday, March 5, 2021, and since there were no further appointments in the afternoon, we took the opportunity to do a little flying. Fernando had time to come along, but Marco had other commitments. We met at the airfield in Hilversum.
René had already checked the Notams for the Netherlands and a few airfields we could go to (the Netherlands is a small country and there are only a few airfields to consider). We decided to fly to Ameland. Fernando called an acquaintance to ask if he was on Ameland, but he happened to be going there in the evening.
We departed from runway 36, and after leaving the circuit we flew north. We passed Naarden-Vesting. The Naarden fortress has been beautifully restored. Because of its strategic location, the town of Naarden was laid out as a fortress with double ramparts, a fortified moat, bastions, town gates and dozens of functional buildings as weapons storage or soldiers' quarters. It became part of the Dutch waterline; the land around the fortress was excavated so that the land was lower and thus easier to inundate.
Fernando at Hilversum airfield
Along the way, we flew over the Marker Wadden. The Marker Wadden is a large project that provides for the restoration of the nature of the Markermeer. By constructing nature islands with sand, clay and silt from the Markermeer, new nature will develop, both under and above water.
We flew over the province of Friesland further north. After flying over the Wadden Sea, we made a landing on runway 26 of Ameland Airport.
Approaching Ameland airfield
René paid the landing fee upstairs, and Fernando would order some coffee downstairs in the meantime. But alas, the coffee machine was broken, so we took a soft drink.
When we were there, coincidentally, the numbers one and two of a far right party also returned to the airfield from a short visit to Ameland to hand out flyers and to continue to Texel as passengers of two ultra-light planes. On March 17, there are national elections.
Cessna 172 at Ameland airfield
From Ameland to Hilversum
After the visit to Ameland we headed back to Hilversum. This time we flew back a little further east. We contacted Leeuwarden tower to request permission to cross the CTR, which was granted.
René walking back to the C172
Leaving Ameland to the south
We flew past Leeuwarden Air Force Base and then over the city of Leeuwarden. The Leeuwarden airbase is one of two airbases where the F-35 is based in the Netherlands. Leeuwarden is the capital of the province of Friesland, and the largest of the Frisian eleven cities.
Leeuwarden, leaning Oldehove tower
The Wouda Pumping Station at Lemmer in the province of Friesland opened in 1920. It is the largest steam-pumping station ever built and is still in operation. It represents the high point of the contribution made by Netherlands engineers and architects in protecting their people and land against the natural forces of water.
We passed the staunchly Protestant former island of Urk. Urk is often in the news, and almost without exception negatively with reports of arson, attacks on immigrants, riots, threats, etc.
D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station, Lemmer
At the Markermeer lake is the Batavialand museum, with an indoor and outdoor location. Outside there is a shipyard, with the replica ship Batavia at the pier.
The original Batavia was built in 1628 in Amsterdam and was commissioned by the Dutch East India Company. The ship was an East Indiaman, specially designed to handle the long voyage to and from the East Indies. However, on 4 June 1629, the ship perished off the West Australian coast on its maiden voyage. The Batavia ship replica was built from 1985 to 1995, using the same material and methods utilized in the early 17th century, and is now a museum ship in Lelystad.
A short time later we arrived at Hilversum. Runway 36 was still in use. After landing, we cleaned the buttons and controls, filled out the journal, and had coffee from the cafeteria near the airport entrance. Then it was time to go home again.
Batavialand museum, Lelystad
Final runway 36 Hilversum airfield