Trip Start Aug 06, 2008
33Trip End Dec 18, 2008
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Where I stayed
The overcast skies dotted with seagulls and damp breeze made for an uninviting introduction to the tourism-dependant island. Our driver's cool reception did little to encourage us either as we boarded a bus operating one of Texel's two bus lines
After settling in a six-person room in our recently-completed hostel, Travis and I marched into Den Burg, mistakenly assuming that the island's largest town would be active on a Thursday night near the end of the tourist season. Instead we found empty streets, restaurants beyond our budgets with most of their tablecloths still white and a few decidedly local pubs with unwelcoming prices and patrons. We found every youth of Texel at the release of the Batman movie in the town's center theater, the only excitement Den Burg enjoyed that evening.
We eventually settled on a very cheap local grocer/eatery for a sandwich. Our primitive Dutch apparently led the vendor to believe we were French, which gave us a laugh before we corrected him and brought the brief conversation back to the fluent English we've come to expect everywhere in the Netherlands.
Continuing our meandering through the sleepy town, we saw the particular rows of townhouses, bicycles and compact cars that have come to define Dutch living for us. Everything perfectly planned and well kept; everyone living comfortably but not ostentatiously. Bikes are parked a certain way on a specific section of each house, every garden maintains a precision only the Dutch could love and streets are sketched out to provide maximum for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Doubling the number of patrons at a nearly deserted tavern, Travis and I enjoyed a couple of Texels' local brew of the island's name and played a few games of pool, entertained by the free karaoke performance provided by the gruff locals to 80's American classics.