April 8, 2012 § 4 Comments
I’m always fascinated by the thought of visiting a place up north where not a lot of tourist would really go. Somewhere quiet, somewhere pretty but still has a reason for me to visit. As I found myself in Groningen (Holland) one year, I decided to make a day trip to a town up north called Pieterburen for the Zeehondencreche Lenie’t Hart. In short, it’s a town with a seal rehab. It all started when a lady began to rescue injured seals as a personal thing. Now it turned into a full-on Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre (SRRC).
I’m sure there must be a smarter way to get there, but here is what I did: I decided to take the train to Baflo, a tiny village, and catch bus to the seal rehab. Once I got off the train, I only saw residential buildings with no signs of buses……and no one was around. This couldn’t be good. My experience told me to walk into the town center and find a place with some people. That wasn’t easy when most stores was closed. I actually thought of knocking on someone’s home.
At the end, a cashier lady at a supermarket told me that I “might” be able to find a bus down the road by the edge of the town. Followed her direction, I found a bus stop sign. I had no idea how that bus schedule works with everything written in Dutch only. All I understood was the next bus should arrive in either 30 mins or 45. That’s fine, as long as those lines in Dutch didn’t mean no service on Dec 22. So I ended up having a very
windy and cold quiet moment in Baflo. Under the clear blue sky, I was looking at the green grasses on the massive flatland, while thinking of my life and future.
A white van came, it was the local bus. The old bus driver was so nice, and looked very happy that a Chinese girl travel all the way up north to see the seals. The bus ride took me though a few traditional windmill and some modern ones. Looking at fields of yellow flowers outside the window, it felt so great to be there: far away from my life in Hong Kong.
When I first walked inside the seal rehab, I read some information about the seals, and the ocean in the region. There was a film about the rescue work of the organization, in dutch. I still sat through the film, together with a bunch of Dutch kids. The content was pretty simple to guess actually. After that, I went to see the seals of course, they were really cute. Basically, after they were admitted, they went through several stage. The sicker ones were indoors, and the healthier one would get to spend some time outdoor while waiting to be released back to the ocean. I’m so glad that these adorable seals get to recover under the best care 🙂