As holiday mementoes go, they were pretty unusual… four musket balls from 1672 and crumpled shells from a Lancaster bomber’s rear gun.
But then this was a pretty unusual vacation.
No villa with pool. No ensuite. No loo, come to that.
But calmness in abundance and a feeling of serenity from spending time in a Mongolian yurt.
We’re on Texel Island, largest of the Wadden isles and a 20-minute ferry ride from Holland’s northern coast.
Twelve yurts are nestled in the dunes of a rambling, well-equipped campsite in Loodsmansduin, just outside delightful Den Hoorn village.
As yurts owner Piet Laan shows us our home for a week, it feels like a real step back in time.
The 23ft-diameter canvas structure, with larch door, floor and a domed and vented roof, absolutely knocked us out. There’s a log-burning stove, electricity, a lead sink with hand-pumped water, fridge, table and chairs, two armchairs, storage chests, pots, pans, crockery, floor cushions – not to mention the Highland cowhide rug.
Four wooden beds – made by Piet, who spent 30 years as a carpenter – are surprisingly comfy.
But it’s the mood of the place that grabs you most. A serene aura washes over you and any tasks – fetching wood, lighting the stove, strolling 50 yards with your pots to the washrooms – feel anything but a chore.
The yurts are held in a spiritual reverence in Mongolia.
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March 14, 2020