Or read from here
|Five metre deep lock at Friese Sluis|
The Netherlands has 6 000 kilometres of navigable waterways, which given the size of the country is a LOT. The story of land reclaiming and the polders is fascinating. When we locked down from the IJsselmeer at Lemmer and back up again at Urk, you are in a lock that is 5 metres deep. You realise that you should be underwater. No wonder Dutch people do not pooh pooh global warming theories.
|En route in Noordoospolder|
As the reclaimed land has dried over the years, it has contracted and shrunk. You have contracting
|Emmeloord to Urk|
|Market in Emmeloord|
As an aspirant vegan I really don't like murdering insects, but the waterways are breeding grounds for all sorts of things that find their way onto a boat. I had to keep our bin far out on the deck so flies wouldn't come in. We kept the door closed after sunset and put up screens on the ports and hatches to keep mosquitoes out. Overnight, spiders would weave webs on our boat. Every morning boat owners, mostly men, wash and sweep their boats with buckets of water from the canals to
|Traditional Dutch boat|
After tying up in Urk, we headed to the local cafe/pub for a sun downer Afflingem TRIPLE beer. We not sure what the difference is between a single, double and triple beer. Lighter to darker or weaker to stronger? No idea, but triples always taste better and we like to think we're getting more of whatever it is.
Urk is at pains to preserve it's history as a fishing island. It
|Beach at Urk|
We originally only planned one night in Urk,
|Lighthouse in Urk|
What was poignant - was the Fisherman Memorial. Next to a statue of a local woman are the names of people who never came home. Some as young as 8 years old and as recent as 2010. Just wandering the streets is a fabulous way to see the preserved fishing houses of old. And the new - old - homes.
More to come shortly.