> Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 15:45:40 +0200
> From: frank.spellenberg@...
> Subject: I've experienced Aquarius
> I've spent a one-week-holiday in the Netherlands on the island of
> Schiermonnikoog. On this island no cars (with a few exeptions)
> are allowed,
> we had no phone in our house and it seems that time stands still. 1000
> islanders take care on 6000 tourists. But the island is not overcrowded.
> There is a large, broad and clean beach, a unique nature and miles of
> bicyle paths. The atmosphere is very inspiring. I spent hours
> lying in the
> sun and thinking on this and that.
> After this experience I'm sure that Aquarius will be one of the most
> inspiring places on Earth.
My aunt took me to Mackinaw Island in Michigan...not sure which lake it's on
or where it is exactly. It's probably not as tranquil as Schiermonnikoog,
but no cars, no phones, no modern buildings... only electricity reminded you
that you were in civilization. All the architecture is old Victorian style,
except up on the hill where it's all very old military stuff, I don't
remember the age but pre-Civil War comes to mind. Wandering around in the
serene wooded hills, walking beside graves that were ten generations past,
riding bicycles around the perimeter of the island, investigating strange
insects and marine life along the shores and beaches... Fudge and tourism
are the two economic staples for the island. The island's Girl Scout camp
carries on the military traditions of flag ceremony, taps, and community
service. Many people own secluded summer homes there. The old hotel, I
think it's the Grand Hotel, is semi-formal every evening after 5pm, even
around the grounds (women must wear dresses, men must wear suits). Horse
and buggy is another great means of transportation around the island. The
island closes down in the worst months of winter.
These islands are a good example of tiny, isolated, well-run communities. I
wonder if next summer I could spend a few months there getting to know the
insider point of view, talking with shop owners, the mayor, the Scouts, the
residents, the utilities people, the hotel managers and owners, the
tourists, the tour companies, the ferry operators, the resident naturalists,
the historians, the bell hops.... what would I learn?
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