Walking in Groningen. Day 5: Noordpolderzijl to Pieterburen, 13 km. Map.

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Today our plan was to walk 25 kilometers from Uithuizen to Pieterburen. The weather turned and our feet were killing us, so we decided to cheat a little and start halfway at Noordpolderzijl. Because there isn't a bus to this end-of-the-world place, so we had to take a taxi.

Noordpolderzijl (yes, a ‘zijl’ (sluice) again) is the smallest seaharbour of the Netherlands. As a special attraction, it is in direct connection with the Waddensea, under influence of the tide. Most of the time there isn't any water in it.

On the picture, the water is just over its highest point. You can see the bottom of the harbour on the left, so large boats will not go to Noordpolderzijl. They don’t miss much: there is one farm, one café and (yes!) a monument.

When we start our walk at Noordpolderzijl, it's drizzling a little. No problem, last year we've been in Ireland, so we are used to a bit of rain. After a while, we really get in the mood and start to 'sing' a few songs about rain. We should not have done that, now it begins to pour down on us. Completely soaked, but still in a good mood, we arrive at Pieterburen, the end of todays trip. We smile at some tourists who can't appreciate this weather as much as we do (gna gna).

The Pieterpad starts here


Pieterburen has two major attractions for tourists. First: the Pieterpad starts here, the first and longest Dutch Long Distance Footpath. Second: the seals-rescue-centre. Seals in distress (mainly young seals, abandoned by their mothers), are brought here and taken care for until they are big enough to be released into the Waddensea.



Lesser known attractions of Pieterburen are the coffee- and shop-museum, and the chicken, entertaining the visitors of the cafetaria. "I’d like half a chicken, please." Probably because Pieterburen also is the place to go if you want to go Wadlopen, it has several more attractions you wouldn't expect in a remote village like this.

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