Konyaaltı Beach at Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Parked below sea level

26% of the Netherlands is below sea level. A series of man made dykes, floodgates, and dams prevent the sea from taking over that 26% of the country. 

But sometimes the sea does take over. The last major flood in Netherlands was in 1953 when 2,500 people were killed. And there have been lots of storms through history that have killed far more people. 

Two heavy storms in the 1600's changed the landscape and killed thousands.

Yesterday we visited the former island of Schokland. This strip of land used to be surrounded by the sea until 1942 when the area was walled off and pumped out to be used as farmland.

Fields full of carrots, potatoes, and onions.
Up until 1942, this was water.

Ruth, on the (former) island of Schokland.

The farmhouses and barns that were built in the late 1940's when the land had dried enough to farm.

This is not a farmhouse. It's the light keepers house!
You can see that it sits on a higher piece of land that used to be surrounded by water.

There was a harbor on the right side for the many boats that came through the area.

An aerial view of what used to be the island.
They planted trees around the original shoreline to mark it off.

An aerial photograph of the island around 1930.

How the Netherlands has changed due to man made efforts.

Interesting stuff. Of course many people think that it's only a matter of time before the next big storm comes along that is bad enough to cause the sea to breach the dykes. And they're probably right. It doesn't seem logical to build a city below sea level. All you have to do is look at New Orleans in 2005 as an example.

We did a big grocery shop yesterday. We pulled into a parking lot of an Aldi store and noticed a Jumbo grocery store at the other side of the building. It turns out that Jumbo is a pretty good store. Can't believe we hadn't been in one up until now. Found some prices lower than Aldi or Lidl on a variety of goods, and better selection. Jumbo stores are only in the Netherlands.

We ended up at a parking area in between a couple of farmers fields. The water is right beside us, but we can't see it from where we are parked. Why? Because we are parked below sea level and there is a dyke between us and the water.

Max, parked at 14' below sea level.
GPS 52.692619, 5.952776

This morning's priority is to find a laundromat again. There is a big full service camping "resort" nearby that seems to have pretty cheap rates for dry camping. Apparently they have laundry machines, so we'll go over and check it out.

Record low deal on the Kindle Paperwhite

And in Canada...


  1. My parents remember the flood of 1953, they we 13 and 16 at the time.

    1. Yep, something like that would be hard to forget, I am sure. I hope they weren't too close to the worst areas hit during the flooding.

    2. Hmmm, I don't remember if they were directly affected, I'll have to ask again.


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