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Monthly Archives: August 2019

Our last day in Amsterdam. This was a community composting bin for food wastes that was near our Airbnb. This impressive apartment building was just down the street as well.

 

More photos from Amsterdam and Delft can be found on my website.

Our first stop was Hortus Botanicus where we walked around for a couple of hours. The first shot was an insect house. Giving serious thought to making one of these at home. It look like it wouldn’t bee too difficult to make.

After the botanical gardens we decided to walk over to the NEMO Science Museum. On the way we noticed this place that was soon to be available for rent. We saw a number of these places all advertised by the same company.

The tall ship Amsterdam was anchored outside the Maritime Museum.

There were quite a few boats in the canal as we approached the science museum.

It took a while to walk to the top but the views from the top were outstanding. It was a beautiful day to be walking around Amsterdam.

Leaving the science museum we wandered across the Mr. J.J. van der Veldebrug Bridge and past the Conservatory of Amsterdam.

We encountered a Canta LX Micro Car which is designed for handicapper people. They yellow thing in the car seemed to be a steering wheel lock and it took most of the car. A little further down the canal we found the Sea Palace Restaurant.

A large collection of bikes parked near the Central Station.

I noticed this written on the Odebrug Bridge as we crossed.

We ended up walking though an area that sold a lot of pot.

 

We walked past the Floating Flower Market again. I think this may have been our third visit this trip.

We walked passed The Dam three times. Each time there seemed to be something a little different going on. This was a Falun Gong group they seemed to protest at The Dam almost every day. They are a group of people that is persecuted by the Chinese government including the killing of Falun Gong members for to harvest body parts.

Periodically there were characters dressed in costume and performers in the Dam. However, it wasn’t anything like we see in New York.

We walked over to the Anne Frank House. Unfortunately we were never able to get tickets for the tour. We also walked past Westerkerk which was a short distance from the hotel we stayed in when we first arrived in Amsterdam a week earlier.

By this time it was almost 2:30 in the afternoon and we had to catch a train to Delft in about an hour. We were also getting hungry after going all day. Finding a place to eat is probably the biggest challenge we have when traveling. It seems we can never find the just the right place. We finally ended up at a small coffee shop and had some apple pie and coffee.

We were on the Platform waiting for the 15:34 Train to Delft.

When we arrived in Delft it was a nice evening and we still had a little gas in the tank so we took a walk around town to get oriented. Lots of beautiful small canals. It reminded me a lot of Gouda.

We found this nest of Eurasian Coots in the canal behind the New Church. We checked on them every day when we were in Delft and on the last day the left the nest.

The first Little Free Library was built by Todd Bol in 2009 in Hudson Wisconsin. Hudson is just down the freeway from where we live. Now we find them all over the world.

The Molen de Roos or Windmill of the Rose on the main street in Delft.

The Old Church of Delft.

Main street in Delft. The Central Station is on the right.

An interesting piece of artwork. I’m not sure what is going on in the last photo but they were having fun.

It had been a long day. We started out around 7 a.m. and walked all over Amsterdam, followed by a train trip to Delft. We spent the evening walking around Delft and finally ended our day around 8 p.m.

 

 

We took a bus out to Sloten Windmill. As I recall it is the only working windmill in Amsterdam. We we arrived we found that they were thatching the roof.

More photos from Amsterdam can be found on my website.

We were able take a tour of the windmill but it was not working at the time because of the Thatching. We were able to climb to the top of the windmill which was very interesting. This particular windmill is still operational and is used to pump water from one level canal to another level canal.

There are also some displays of the traditional trades found in the Netherlands. Of course cheese was prominently displayed.

There was an Australian Woman visiting at the same time so we took the tour together. She had come by tram so we followed here back to the tram station and took a different way back into Amsterdam. We got off of the tram at The Dam. As we were walking around it started to rain again so we started looking for somewhere to go for shelter. We had seen Magna Plaza but didn’t know it was a shopping center so we went in and looked around. Very impressive with three floors of shops and restaurants.

It was still raining when we left so we walked over to the New Church to look around. This was also quite impressive. I’m not really into churches but they were having a photographic exhibit which I was interested in. The annual World Press Photo Exhibition 2019 is a global exhibition presenting the best visual journalism of the past year. It was really impressive.

There were a lot of pigeons in The Dam on a rainy day.

While we were walking though The Dam we could hear a lot of chanting coming from the area of the National Monument. When we went over to check it out we discovered That the local football team was playing an English team and the the fans were already getting liquored up at some local pubs. The police were all over the place in force.

A street cleaner and a shot of Queers Cafe.

We then wandered over to one of the canals and looked at the house boats. along the canal. Not sure I would want to live in some of them.

It started raining again and so we decided to hop a tram and ride it to the end of the line. On the way back the sun came out so we got off at Oosterpark to look around. It was a beautiful little park.

There were lots of Blue Herons around along with some Egyptian Geese.

There were also lots of people jogging and exercising.

We caught another tram but soon realized we were going the wrong way had to get off and catch yet another tram back to Central Station.

 

The next morning we decided to walk down to Central Station following one of the canals. As we passed the building next to ours we notice this interesting composting bin.

More photos from Amsterdam can be found on my website.

This was the bus stop where we could catch the bus to Central Station. On this particular day we decided to walk to Central Station. It was a challenge to get from the sidewalk to the bus stop because of all of the bike traffic.

As we walked along the street we noticed the were laying cable of some type. The second shot shows where they have repaired their work area. There does seem to be some advantage to using bricks because you can just reuse them again.

When we arrived at the Central Station we stopped to add some money to our transportation pass. The pass allowed us to take local and intercity trains so it was convenient to have. We stopped at the Rijksmuseum. We are not much for museums but did enjoy seeing the library since we are both former librarians. We also toured the Resistance Museum. This was really interesting and we spent quite a bit of time there.

It was raining off and on so we spent some time riding trams around town looking at the sites and getting the lay of the land. The colors on this house were rather interesting.

We walked past The Dam and the National Monument. This was several days after Remembrance Day and the memorial wreaths were still up. We also happen to encounter the Rembrandt Statue.

We ended up back at Central Station where we caught a bus back to our Airbnb.

 

This was going to be our last day on the boat. When we left Breukelen we noticed a women’s rowing team out early in the morning. There were some beautiful houses along the canal as we reached the outskirts of town.

More photos from the canal trip can be found on my website.

After a short distance we reached the outskirts of Loenen aan de Vecht. At this point it was a cool but beautiful day out.

We had just pulled over to have lunch when a hail storm hit. It hailed for about 15 minutes and then was nice out again. As we cruised pas Mijndense Sluis  we noticed several Locaboats come out into the canal. They headed toward one of the bridges but it soon became clear that they didn’t know how to get the bridges to go up. They decided to follow us for a ways to try and figure out how things worked. Locks were always interesting. Some places you could push a button to alert the bridge minder that you wanted to go through, other places you had to honk your horn and still other places there was a phone number to call.

We then sailed back to Mijndense Sluis where we found a number of boats lined up to go through the locks. This was the most boats that we had encountered on the trip. I did see some photos of what it is like at the locks during the summer and it looked to be a zoo. Crusing on the canals in the summer would be an even more leisurely trip than we had.

It was only a short distance to the Locaboat Base from the locks.

It looks like a beautiful day out but shortly after docking the boat we has another intense hail storm. The entire deck was covered in hail. Yet in an another hour it was a beautiful evening out. The frozen six crew had a nice parting dinner at the restaurant at the boat docks.

The next morning we turned in the keys to the boat and the group caught a taxi to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Dave and Sara caught a train to France, Lisa and Jim caught a flight to Stockholm and Linda and Phil stored their luggage and caught a bus to Keukenhof to see the tulip displays.

 

It was a beautiful morning when we left Montfoort. We were the only boat on the Canal except for a kayaker that follower us for quite a ways. It looked like he was riding our wake.

We cruised past Marnemoende where we stayed the second night. It looked like folks were camping in little shelters along the shoreline.

Beautiful scenery as we cruised through farm country. The gardens looked to be well ahead of where they would be in Wisconsin.

In IJsselstein we encountered the same bridge operator still cranking away at the drawbridge.

Beautiful well maintained houses along the canal. Things looked a lot different because the weather was quite nice.

Leaving IJsselstein we cruised toward Nieuwegein. As we entered Nieuwegein we noticed these interesting 3d paintings on several buildings.

Crew of the Delft.

 

We headed for the docks on the left where we planned to stop for lunch. This is probably a good time to point out a key problem with canal boating in the Netherlands. The bridges and locks typically don’t open until 9:30 a.m. so it is hard to get an early start. They close for one and a half hours at lunch time. This is why we stopped in Nieuwegein because the bridges ahead were closed. In the evening they close once again for one and a half hours for dinner. It really is hard to make good progress.

After lunch we had some time to kill because the bridge was not staffed yet so we walked over to De Lantaern Voormalig Klooster to look around.

When we returned to the boat the bridge had opened up and there were quite a few boats heading in both directions. The docks overlooked a beautiful park area.

Once the boat traffic slowed down we pulled out and headed toward the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal.

We had one more bridge and one more lock before the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal.

The weather was still good but was changing quickly.

This was one of the more exciting times on the trip. One minute it was sunny and the next minute it was hailing hard. This was the only time on the trip that Captain Dave drove the boat from the inside wheel normally he was on the flying bridge. At one point we had two barges passing us and another coming toward us. We were forced over to the side of the canal. To add to the problems, with everyone inside the windows were fogging up and Captain Dave couldn’t see where he was going. To make matters worse when we reached the turn off point for Maarssen we had to navigate a narrow entry. At that point the waves from the large barges were rocking the boat. Captain Dave made a decision to gun the boat and we shot through the narrow opening narrowly missing the pilings along the entry.

Needless to say the Captain and crew were relieved to get off of the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal.

The Cruise through Maarssen was very nice with sun and some nice clouds in the sky.

We went through a rural area meeting a number of cruise boats before reaching Breukelen which is where we would spend the night.

It was a nice evening as we entered Breukelen. Some very nice houses on the outskirts of town.

 

The crew had a well deserved drink before dinner after a long and sometimes difficult day.

After dinner the group walked into town stopping at a couple of churches. We noticed there were quite a few people around but we weren’t sure what was going on.

When we reached the town square we could hear drums and then saw a procession moving through the town square toward the church. Turns out that this was Remembrance Day in the Netherlands commemorating those who died in wars.

Wreaths were placed at a memorial in front of the church.

The group then continued on to a cemetery honoring the war dead. We joined the procession and stayed for the very moving service.

We then walked back to the church and more closely examined the memorial out in front.

By this time it was sunset so we walked back along the canal to our boat. We did have a little excitement during the night. A drunk came on board the boat and sat down to have a smoke. Captain Dave asked him to leave.

 

 

The next morning we started our return journey to the Locaboat Base in Loosdrecht.  It was a beautiful morning out as we sailed out of Gouda. we had to transit several pair of locks before we made it out into the canal to Haastrecht.

More photos from the canal trip can be found on my website.

We would be seeing everything in reverse as we retraced our steps. That wasn’t the original plan but we wouldn’t find a another route to get to the boat base. Some canals were closed and others we were advised not to use. It appears that the boat companies have arrangements with some bridge and lock operators and not with others.

I had noticed this house when we passed several days ago. At that time it didn’t have a roof on it. What intrigued me was the fact that the interior walls seemed to be drywalled before the roof was put on. In our country the roof would be on and the house completely enclosed before the drywall team arrived.

When we arrived in Haastrecht we found the bridge was not working. Linda and I got off and wandered around town taking a few photos.

As we were walking through town we passed the bridge and it looked like the repairs had been made. We were able to get across the bridge before it went up but couldn’t make it back to the boat. Captain Dave already had the boat out in the canal. The bridge repair resulted in a line of boats waiting to get through and he wanted to be first in line. They pulled in close to shore and we had to jump onto the boat. I discovered I’m not as limber as I was 50 years ago.

I noticed the farmer spreading liquid manure onto the fields. In this country it is commonly spread on top on the ground. This spreader placed it into the ground to prevent runoff. We had seem the same thing in Sweden last summer.

Dogs like to chase things and when the only thing to chase is a boat they chase boats.

As we arrived in Oudewater Sara had to pay the toll to the bridge keeper.

We tied up in Oudewater for lunch before heading to Montfoort where we planned to spend the night.

A lone cow watching the boats go by.

Lots of sheep along the canal. Once again the fruit trees are trained to grow in a particular direction making them easy to take care of and harvest.

As we entered Montfoort there were some really nice houses.

After docking the boat we went looking for a bus stop. We were a little lost and stopped at the windmill to ask directions but it wasn’t open.

When we arrived in Gouda a teacher, of Sara’s at the University of Minnesota Duluth made contact on Facebook and indicated that she was now living not far from Gouda. She drove over to visit the boat when we were in Gouda and she joined the boat trip for the day. She treated us all to drinks a a local pub. It looked like the locals were wondering what was going on with all these strange people in their bar. Given the excellent transportation system in the Netherlands she was able to easily take a bus back to Gouda.

 

At this point in the boat trip it was clear that we could go no further without risking the possibility we would interfere with our travel plans for the remaining portion of our travels. My wife and I headed out early in the morning because today was the the Gouda Cheese market. It was a beautiful morning and not a cloud in the sky.

More photos from the canal trip can be found on my website.

Yesterday when we were at the town square it was empty but it was market day and there were stalls all around the town square.

In the center of the square was the cheese market. It wasn’t actually a cheese market but a recreation of what the Gouda cheese market was like. We really came to love Gouda cheese.

My wife and I were interested in going to Keukenhof to see the tulips. We thought we might make the train trip from Gouda so we walked over to the train station to purchase a transportation card. A transportation card would allow us to ride all forms of transportation in the Netherlands. Since we were going to be staying in the Netherlands for another couple of weeks we thought it would be handy to have. There were some interesting sights along the way.

This was the main shopping street in Gouda and it was not crowded this early in the day.

As is normally the case the train station was packed with bikes.

We then walked back to the Cheese Market to meet up with the rest of the group. By the time we made it back it had started to rain so we decided not to try and go to Keukenhof.

The group went their separate ways with Sara and Dave looking for food for lunch. We stopped to watch the band playing.

The food on the boat was paid for using a common pool on money. Although Sara and Dave did most of the shopping for the food anyone could purchase food for the group. Our contribution for the day was Poffertjes.

After purchasing the Pofferties and a pair of Dutch shoes we started working our way back to the boat for lunch.

As a former librarian I’ve never figured out the little free library thing but we not see it all over the world.

We had a great lunch waiting for us when we returned to the boat.It was raining out so the group hung around the boat after lunch. Dave and Linda compared there shoe purchases.

Toward the middle afternoon it quit raining so the group headed off to find a coffee shop. They stopped to examine another Stumble Stones House.

We ended up at the Doppio Espresso.

After coffee the group went their separate ways. Linda and I decided to wander the streets of Gouda. Our first stop was Nieuwe-Marktpassage.

We managed to find some strange things as we wandered the streets.

Strangely this is one of the few bicycle shops that I recall seeing in all of our wanderings. I would have thought there would have been repair shops on almost every corner.

The rain had dissapeared and it turned into a beautiful late afternoon and evening. The views along the canals were outstanding.

This seems to show the Dutch emphasis on managing nature.

It was getting late in the afternoon and we headed back to the boat for dinner. Sara was already in the galley working on it. Another great meal.

At dinner Dave mentioned he had found a family of Eurasian Coots with babies so Linda and I headed off to look for them. It took a while and we had almost given up when I noticed a Coot down one of the canals. We went down to take a look and found them. I really didn’t expect the canal trip to be a birding expedition but it turned out that we saw a lot of birds and many of them with young.

 

In the morning we cruised through a relatively rural area with some large fields.

More photos from the canal trip can be found on my website.

There were lots of sheep, goats and cows. It appears the Dutch rotate rotate cows and sheep on the pasture land.

These seemed to be some type of fruit trees. The Dutch seem have mastered the art of bending nature to their needs. In the rural areas the houses were build near roads that were back from the canal with fields between the houses and the canal. As we would near a city things seemed to be reversed with the houses on the canal.

After cruising for about 30 minutes we reached the small town of Montfoort. There was a small backup of boats waiting for the bridge in Montfoort to open. During the trip we did not encounter all that many boats. From some of the photos I looked at the summer is a different story. Some of the bridges had digital displays showing the wait times to get under a bridge or through a lock.

I’m not quite sure what this picture implies.

After leaving Montfoort we cruised through more rural areas before reaching Oudewater. As we came into Oudewater we encountered a bridge where the operator dangled a shoe over the canal so Sara place our toll payment in it. This was the only bridge we encountered that use this method for collecting payments.

We docked in Oudewater. Lots of flowers out as we walked along the canal. As you can see everyone is wearing their winter gear even though it was spring.

Our first stop was St Michael’s Church. We were given a tour by a local guide. The last photo is of a door which was placed in the church in remembrance of the Jews that were killed in the Holocaust.

We visited the Museum de Heksenwaag better known as the Witches Weight House Museum. In the middle ages witches were thought to be light so they would be thrown into the water and if they were light enough to float they would be a witch if they sank they would not be a witch. Either way they were dead. A variation was to bring them to a weight house. In most cases the weight houses were rigged and many innocents were burned or drowned. The weigh house in Oudewater was a bit different, as it was said to have been approved as a fair weighing site by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Thanks to the this, no one is thought to have gone to the stake from its scales. Witches wanted to be weighed in Oudewater and witch weighing became a thriving business. Today each person weighed on the scale receives a certificate indicating they are not a witch.

 

The Museum de Heksenwaag happened to next to the town market. It was here we fell in live with stroopwaffels. Little did we know that when we returned home we would find stroopwaffel smoothies at McDonald’s.

 

Nice photo bomb.

After the market we walked around Oudewater a bit before heading back to the boat.

From Oudewater we cruised to Gouda which was our final destination of the day. It took all day to make the trip which would have taken an hour and a half by bike. If I were a biker I would certainly  consider making a bike trip to the Netherlands. Bike trails go everywhere and the country is so small you could cover a lot of it in a couple of weeks. We encountered a windmill Just outside the city.

As were going through the locks the lock operators dog came over and jumped onto the boat. He was a very friendly dog and we would have been happy to take him with us.

The locks at Gouda were a bit different than most of the locks we used. Rather than swinging out they allowed water to pass through them and then were lifted up when a boat exited.

Several shots of scenes along the canal as we cruised into downtown Gouda.

We tided the Delft up just a short distance from the main square in town. We had water and electricity available and there were showers at a restaurant a short way down the canal.

   These were a set of Stumbling Stones we found in Gouda. The Stumbling Stone project was started by the German artist Gunter Deming in 1992. It’s goal was to commemorate individuals where they worked or lived before they fell victim to Nazi terror. The idea originated from the fact that when Jewish cemeteries were destroyed throughout Nazi Germany  the gravestones were often repurposed as sidewalk paving stones. The person’s name and dates of birth, deportation and death are recorded on each stone. The stones are placed at the individual’s last known place of freely chosen residence or work, with the intention to “trip up the passer-by” and draw attention to the memorial. they are indeed a powerful reminder of what happened.

The stones were placed in front of this building.

Gouda has beautiful canals throughout the city.

On our tour of the city we visited the market and returned to our boat for a nice meal before turning in. Captain Dave enjoyed a nightcap.

We were up and ready to go on the first leg of our journey. As it turned out we left Maarssen around 9 a.m. for Utrecht and arrived in Utrecht around 1 p.m. In other words it took us 4 hours to make a trip that can be made by bike in 23 minutes. We realized that cruising the canals was going to be a leisurely adventure. It would be quite the contrast to our normal frantic activity.

More photos from the canal trip can be found on my website.

The previous night we noticed the entire canal was lined with cars. By the time we passed the area in the morning some of them were gone. We couldn’t imagine attempting to parallel park a car next to the canal. It would take me one try and the car would be in the water.

Once again we cruised past some nice homes along the canal.

We hadn’t gone very far when we had to enter the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal. I’m told it is one of the busiest canals in the world. We were a small boat on at large canal with lots of large boat and barge traffic. As we neared Utrecht the area around the canal became much more industrialized.

We had to make a quick dash across the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal into a smaller canal which provided access to Utrecht.

We tied up to the docks downtown and then looked for a place where we could buy lunch. We found a great place with great food. After lunch we walked over to Nicolaïker to look around. It was an impressive church but didn’t seem to be open to the public.

One of the small canals in Utrecht.

As we were boarding the boat I noticed a number of construction barges cruising by and more tied up to the far dock.

There were a variety of houseboats tied up along the canal.

As an avid bird photographer I had to photograph this Egyptian Goose paddling along beside the boat.

Once again we had to cross the Amsterdam Rijnkanaal . Always an exciting challenge.

After cruising across the  Amsterdam Rijnkanaal  we had to tie up to go through another lock. .

Continuing on we soon came to Nieuwegein with it’s narrow canal.

Another lift bridge. This time we chased a wedding party off the bridge.

Couldn’t help photographing these Greylag Geese along the canal.

We passed Natuurkwartier  which appeared to be a small nature center. The kids were having a great time on the rocks with the goats.

At Natuurkwartier we encountered our first windmill on the trip.

We passed through IJsselstein which was a beautiful little town.

In IJsselstein we encountered the only hand cranked lift bridge on the trip. Shortly after passing under the bridge we encountered another bridge several hundred yards down the canal. We had to wait for some time to get under the bridge. Turned out the same person controlled both bridges so this fellow had to lower the bridge, hop on his bike to get to the next bridge to open it.

Our destination for the day was Marina Marnemoende Hollandse IJssel where we would tie up for the night. This was a full fledged marina with water available to fill up the boat, electricity and hot showers.

Couldn’t help but take a photo of this Great Crested Grebe that was nesting next to the docks.

Sara was the cook on our trip. Wonderful food I manage to gain a couple of pound. One night she made way too much pasta. I think we ate pasta for the next couple of meals but it was different each time.

A toast to the trip. It was at this gathering that we determined that we were not going to make the our goal of cruising  from Loosdrecht in on the canals in a circle rout that would roughly take us to Utrecht, Gouda, Leiden, Amsterdam and back to Loosdrecht. Captain Dave plotted our days progress on the map using his Swiss army knife and and determined that we would not even come close to making the entire trip. We talked with some other folks who had done the trip in a week but their sole goal was to make it around the loop. They didn’t stop for any sightseeing. Today’s journey covered about 22 Kilometers which would have taken about 1 hour and 15 minutes on a bike. I’m using biking as an illustration because there were bike paths along most of the canals.

The sleeping accommodations were comfortable but we needed extra blankets because it was very cool during the cruise.

The bathroom was small but we did have hot water and a sort of a full room shower. The most disturbing thing was finding out that the boat did not have a holding tank. Human waste was chopped up and dumped into the canal. What was even more disturbing was the number of children’s slides and floating toys seen along the canal. I can’t imagine swimming in the canal in the summer when the boat traffic must be huge.

 

 

The next morning my wife and I were up early and had an expensive, but great breakfast at the Hotel Mercier. We had the morning to ourselves so we headed out on a walking tour of Amsterdam. This is a shot from our hotel as we were leaving.

More photos from the canal trip can be found on my website.

As I mentioned in my earlier blog we arrived in Amsterdam the day after Kings Day which is a huge celebration in the Netherlands. The streets had a lot of trash around. Early in the morning the trash collectors were out. Amazing how the trash trucks negotiate the narrow streets.

We notice there were public pissers placed all over town. This truck was going around and picking them up. I’m not sure what the women do. There also was, what appeared to be, a septic truck working the streets.

We walked down to Westerkerk which was near our hotel. From there we walked along the canal to Anne Frank House.

We then decided to find the Floating Flower Market. There didn’t appear to be a lot of flowers but there were a lot of bulbs.

Walking along the canals we stopped at the Dam before heading down to Central Station.

After spending the morning walking around Amsterdam we returned to our hotel and met up with the rest of the group. We had a taxi scheduled for noon which would take us to the Locaboat Base in Loosdrecht where we would pick up our boat. The goal was to sail the boat, on the canals from Loosdrecht in a circle route that would roughly take us to Utrecht, Gouda, Leiden, Amsterdam and back to Loosdrecht. As I mentioned earlier this was an attempt by Savvy Nomads to determine whether they wanted to add this trip to the boat tours they offer. There were many unknowns and we were along for the adventure.

This boat was to be our home for the next week. It was late in the afternoon when we started our adventure. The Locaboat folks insisted on giving us a demonstration of how to operate the boat in spite off the fact that Dave had sailed similar boats many times. Dave and Sara biked into town to pick up some supplies while I waited at the boat.

While we waited I walked around taking bird photos. There were a number of Common Wood-Pigeons around so I tried to photograph one.

We had only gone a short distance on the boat when we encountered our first locks and draw bridge at Mijndense Sluis Loenen aan de Vecht. To say they had a nice racket going is an understatement. The Locks and drawbridge is the only way to reach the canals from the Locaboat Base. As I recall they charge five Euros to transit to the canal. This a shot of Sara getting ready to tie off while we waited for the locks to open.

This seemed to be a fairly well to do area. Most of the houseboats were quite fancy and some of the homes looked like mansions to me.

This is a small boat we encountered as we approached Maarssen where we would tie up for the night. The Savvy Nomads were used to traveling in rural France and being able to tie up just about anywhere. In the Netherlands there were designated places where you were allowed to tie up.

We tied up for the night. There was electrical service at the docks but we couldn’t figure out how to use it. There was a help number but when we called it was all in Dutch. That evening we walked around town looking for a bakery where we could purchase some fresh bread in the morning. Maarssen seemed to be a sleepy little town with not much going on in the evening.