Germany

Crossing the Afsluitdijk: A Blustery Storm Off the North Sea at Our Backs


Wednesday, June 23rd, 2004: Hamburg, Germany

N 53
E 010
Amsterdam to Hamburg: 498 kilometres

The weather is not promising – a major storm is supposed to blow in off the North Sea today. A good driving day – except that we are planning to drive over the Afsluitdijk, and if the storm gets too bad, the road over the dike will be closed. The Afsluitdijk is the 30 kilometre-long dike that the Dutch built in the 1930s – and which created the Ijsselmeer, a freshwater lake where the Zuider Zee used to be – to prevent future flooding of their lowlands, including Amsterdam. We consider our options, and decide to take the risk – if the road is closed, it is only about 100 kilometres back to Amsterdam and the overland road, and we have enough time that we can do it if necessary.

Our luck holds – we get across the dike with only a “high winds” warning. But soon after we get across, the storm hits in full fury. It comes and goes, heavy wind and rain when it is upon us. So heavy, in fact, that we pull over to the side a couple of times, and sit out the deluge.

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