to the Helder. TEXEL. 42. Route. 283
distance of 200 ft., at an angle of 40°. The highest tide never
reaches the summit, while the lowest still covers the foundations.
Huge bulwarks projecting several hundred fathoms into the sea at
intervals add to the stability of the structure. This remarkable
artificial coast is entirely constructed of Norwegian granite.
The traveller is recommended to take a walk on this dyke,
which extends from the Nieuwe Diep to the Fort Erfprins beyond
the Helder. Fort Kijkduin rises on the highest point of the
northern dyke. The lofty lighthouse, which may be visited by
those who have never seen a structure of the kind, commands
a fine prospect.
A fierce and sanguinary naval battle took place off this Dune on 21st
Aug., 1673, between the united English and French fleets and the Dutch
under De Ruyter 'and Van Tromp, in which the latter were victorious.
In September, 1799, an army of 10,000 English and 13,000 Russian troops,
commanded by Admiral Abercromble and the Duke of York, landed at
this point. The Russians lost their way and were totally defeated by
the French at Bergen, to the N. W. of Alkmaar, while the English were
compelled, after a skirmish at Castricum (p. 281), to yield to the supe¬
rior forces of the French and to retreat, having failed in their endeavours
to induce the Dutch to revolt against their new masters.
Opposite the Helder, and separated from the mainland by the
strait of Marsdiep , which is never choked up with sand, lies the
island of Texel. A ferryboat plies thither daily, starting at 9 a. m.
from the Nieuwe Diep, and landing at Oudeschild about 2 hrs.
later. De Burg, the capital of the island, is situated 3 M. inland.
The island, with 6400 inhab., and 73 sq. M. in extent, consists
chiefly of pasture-land, and supports about 34,000 sheep, which
sometimes yield as much as 100 tons of fine wool annually. A
highly esteemed quality of green cheese is prepared from the sheep's
milk , and the mutton itself is excellent. The northern extremity
of the island is called Eijerland ('land of eggs'), on account of the
myriads of sea-fowl which visit it. The eggs are collected in great
numbers and sent to the Amsterdam market.
Harlingen (p. 313) in Friesland may be reached by a sailing-
boat with a favourable wind in 5-6 hrs. (10-12 fl.).
43. From Amsterdam or Rotterdam to Utrecht
Railway from Amsterdam to (22 M.) Utrecht in 3/4-I1/4 nr. (fares
1 fl. 80, 1 fl. 40, 90 c). From Rotterdam to (38 M.) Utrecht in l'A-l3A hr.
(fares 2 fl. 70, 2 fl. 5, 1 fl. 35 c). From Utrecht to (35 M.) Arnhem in
I-I1/2 hr. (fares 2 fl. 90, 2 fl. 20, 1 fl. 50 c). The express fares are one-fifth
From Amsterdam to Utrecht. The immediate environs of Am¬
sterdam consist chiefly of polders (p. xxix). The most remarkable
of these, and one of the lowest in Holland, is the Diemermeer
(16 ft. below the mean sea-level), the W. side of which the train
skirts soon after quitting the station. Extensive nurseries and
kitchen-gardens, intersected by numerous canals, are also passed.