Locks and Windmills

Next day we bike to Hindeloopen. Luckily the sheep are behind a fence!

On the beach are many kite surfers taking advantage of the strong wind.

Hindeloopen seems to be a Dutch Venice. The village is crossed from small canals. In the small streets some sea captains houses remind of the time of glory.

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The old lock in the harbor has a ” lie bank”, where the old fishermen sit and comment the maneuvers of the incoming yachts.

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From far away the slanting church spire can be seen. What does the cornucopia and Aladin’s lamp mean?

 

 

On our Way to Workum we find an open windmill.

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The miller explains (mainly to the men) all the technical details of windmills. Till today they serve to drain the polders.

The mill pump transports 1500 cubic meter per hour, this means 1.5 million liters…

Workum impressions:

Stavoren

We camp at the shore of the Ijsselmeer right behind the dike. Our first destination is Stavoren. Unfortunately a flock of sheep claims the dike for itself….

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Stavoren is the oldest city of Friesland. For centuries it was an important trading town with connection to the countries around the Baltic Sea. In 1385 it became a member of the Hanseatic League.

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The „Vrouwtje of Stavoren“ is a legend about a wealthy merchant’s widow who is held responsible for the silting up of the harbor and the decline of the once so rich town.

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The harbor of Stavoren is now the base for sail cruise ships and hundreds of pleasure yachts.

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For the way back we choose the inland track…

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In the village of Koudrum we discover an artist workshop, where people can make their own sculptures. There are nice and not so nice ones displayed.

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The apple tart in the art café is really nice!

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An Island in Times

Schokland stands as a symbol for the constant fight of the Netherland people against the sea. The area changed between sea, land, peninsula, island, moor or polder. Towards the end of the last ice age the glaciers transported rocks form Scandinavia to the Zuidersee.

 

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When the ice dissappeared, it created a row of hills. The former island of Schokland was already inhabited in the Bronze Age. Traces of it have been found after the drainage of the polder.

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Schokland was 4 km wide and in the beginning several km long. Because of the erosion the island became smaller and more difficult to live on. The water came closer and closer and around 1400 Schokland became an island in the stormy Zuidersee. It was a wave breaker for the dikes on the main land. The inhabitants loved their island and kept their traditions.

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But island grew smaller and smaller, and the people living on it less and less. The community of Schokland was suspended on July, 1oth 1959, the inhabitants were relocated to other villages. The church built in 1834 is the only remaining building from these times.

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After the drainage of the Noordoostpolder in 1941 the island changed to land forever.

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In 1996 Schokland became UNESCO World Heritage. Till today one can see the former island rising in the very flat polder.

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Urk

On the way to the Maarkerwaarddeijk we all of sudden a big ship crossing the street. Here the canal leads across the road Now we know what a „naviduct“ is!

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The dike closes the Markermeer to the Ijsselmeer. It is 28 km long.

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Right behind on the other side we see a sign „Batavia Stadt“ and assume this is the Batavia Werft, which Yves wants to visit. It is a fashion outlet! The warf exists as well but isn’t worth a visit.

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There is an orca in the harbor of Urk. Perhaps the name „Urk“ comes from it…

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Urk is more than 1000 years old. It used to be an island. On October the 3rd 1939 the construction of the dike from Urk to Lemmer was finished and Urk was no longer an island.

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Around the lighthouse are many small fisherman’s houses, each is different from the other.

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Most of the them have a plate next to the door with the date of the Grundsteinlegung .

 

Many nice old boats anchor in the old harbor.

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The Fishermen Memorial represents a fisherman’s wife, who stares at the sea for her loved ones to return. On the plates are the names of all the fishermen who never returned home.

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The herrings can’t be fresher than this!

Hoorn or Enkhuizen

Hoorn or Enhuizen – that’s the question. Hoorn wins the competition.

We bike along the shore of the Markermeer passing windmills and lots of birds.

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We race with the sailboats.

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After a bit more than two hours and 25 km we are in Enkhuizen.

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We hadn’t planned that but now we are here. Domy finally gets the herrings she is longing for.

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And that within the view on Drommedaris, that is the most prominent sight of Enkhuizen. Why it has got its strange name, no one really knows. It used to be the southern door to the city and protected the old harbor behind.

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Enkhuizen has a station and Hoorn as well. What is nearer than going back by train? This way we can easily make a tour through Hoorn.

Some famos men came from Hoorn, like Jan Peterszoon Coen, who conquered Djakarta (former Batavia) and founded the East Indian Companie.

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Another citizen of Hoorn, Willem Schouten, rounded the southern point of America and called it “Cape Hoorn”. Abel Janszoon Tasman discovered New Zealand and — Tasmania.

Many beautiful houses are evidence of the heights of the city in the 16th century.

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The Old Scale is a restaurant today and we end our day here.

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For dinner we have … herrings!

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Medieval Fashionshow

Today we drive to Den Oever, where the 32 kilometre long road  to Friesland starts. It divides the Ijsselmeer from the open sea.

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Our next destination is Medemblik. It is the oldest city in western Friesland and exists since the 10th century. Before the construction of the dike Medemblik  was a busy trade port , today it is mostly a destination for aquatic sports.

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In the yacht harbour are some places reserved for mobile homes, it is right next to the Castel Radbout (13.century).

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Today there is a medieval spectacle with even a fashion show!

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North Sea Wind

We could feel it the night before, it is very windy and very cold! Luckily I packed our winter underwear!!! We follow the coast looking for a new place to stay – no so easy because it is the Pentecoast weekend. And we need space for three campers. Eventually we succeed and find space for us on a farm next to some tulip fields – unfortunately not blooming anymore.

The supermarket to top up our supplies is only 3 kilometers away. This doesn’t sound very far, but with the wind blowing and a heavy rain to hit us – not very pleasant.

But the fresh air and the exercise – we all sleep very well this night. Next morning the sun is out again, but it is very cold and the wind is still blowing.

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But we hop on our bikes and head for Den Helder. The bike track right behind the dike is protected and we can manage.

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Not taking attention for a moment and we get lost in the ferry harbor. When we finally find our way out we treat ourselves with a gorgeous coffee.

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Cheese Galore!

In Alkmaar Ann and David join us, they arrive with the ferry from northern England. The six of us enjoy our reunion. Once again we are an European group!

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Since centuries every Friday the cheese gets negotiated in Alkmaar.

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Early in the morning the cheese is delivered to the big market place and the „Cheese Market Master“ and the dealers control the qualtiy of the cheese wheels.

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Big holes are drilled in the nice round wheels and the quality of the cheese gets tested – sometimes even by the spectators.

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Up to 30.000 kilos or 2.200 wheels are laying on the ground. The ‚kaasdragers‘ , the ‚zetters‘, the ‚ingooiers‘ and ‚waagmeesters‘ dominate the place.

The setters stack 8 wheels on a special rack.

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The carriers bring the heavy load to the ancient scale (and back!), where it will be weighted. The 28 cheese carriers certainly don’t need any more exercise for today!

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After the cheese wheels are weighted they are brought to the other side of the place and loaded on barrows to bring them around the edge to the waiting trucks.

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It is a touristic spectacle. We assume these are the same trucks which have brought the cheese wheels in the morning. Will they go from here to the next cheese market in Gouda or Edam?

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The evening we spend in the restaurant where we celebrated the end of our tour last year. The food is excellent and we are ready to start our trip.

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Continuation of Coastal Trip along the North Sea

Our trip along the North Sea Coast will be continued! We meet up with Domy and Yves in Noordwijk. Almost exactly a year ago we ended our trip in Alkmaar – a few kilometres north. Now we look forward to the continuation.

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There are still some blooming tulip fields.

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