Zutphen - Kampen

Our visit to Zutphen ended on Monday the 5th of September – we left at 10:07AM. As our logbook of that day ‘proves’, the weather was variable, though dry. While cruising on the river IJssel we saw a few ominous clouds. The threat was never executed.

You might remember the right bank is the bank on the right hand side when looking downstream and on the left hand side when looking upstream. The signs on the left bank are green. The sharp end of the triangle of the green sighs is on top. Therefore, the green signs are useless for nesting. Adversely, the sharp end of the red signs is at the bottom end and on top they all have this square metal sheet. Ideal for birds! Last week we showed you a picture of a storks nest on top of one of the red marking-poles on the right bank. Last Monday we had the luck to be offered an opportunity to picture a pair of storks on top of a red sign.

The city of Deventer was approached around 11:30AM. There seemed to be a possibility to moor, but only on the river itself. That’s really too turbulent because of the passing big commercial boats. Besides, one hardly can live with the idea to leave a boat behind unattended. We decided to have an overnight stop inside Deventer’s safe marina, around a mile north of the city.

When approaching the marina a large holiday-hospital-ship, named ‘Prins Willem-Alexander’ (he’s king now) from Harderwijk, overtook us. Before passing the marina and turning, thus being able to enter the marina against the current (much safer/easier) we decided to give him (sorry: her, the name is misleading) the right of way. She’s just too big to challenge her!

Our engine was switched off at 12:04PM. A few minutes less than two hours cruising – and we haven’t seen a lock for ages! Deventer’s tower, prominently visible two pictures back, is here visible in the distance – exactly in the centre.

That same afternoon we biked into Deventer, another interesting Hanseatic city. On Deventer’s Grote Kerkhof (‘Large Cemetery’) this combination of facades is to be found – among numerous others. The left building is a (former) Koekbakkerij (Cake-bakery or Confectionery), followed by a group of three homes - two of them being 'stately'.

  • Angel

    A detail here, seen on top of the entrance into the third building. An angel, obviously, but which one and what sort of music is he/she supposed to be playing? We’ll never know. Well… never, not in the foreseeable future, we fear…

  • Head

    …This is the head that is visible above the front door of the fourth building. For several reasons, especially the text on the lower part, this is an absolutely prominent cultural artifact. We lack the guts to translate the Dutch text into English…

Just a lovely view into an alleyway as seen from the Grote Kerkhof.

On another square, Grote Poot (‘Big Leg/Paw/Shank??’ – unsure, Poot might be related to a tree(trunk)) these striking, almost randomly grouped, frontages are to be seen. We do not have more details, as we visited the city only one afternoon.

Deventer pretends to domiciliate the oldest stone house of The Netherlands, called ‘De Proosdij’. This is the one, dating from 1.130 AD, party built of tuff (light coloured), partly of trachyte (dark coloured). Of course ‘normal’ bricks are used for reconstruction. The house served as a home for the provost, a representative for the bishop (Utrecht probably) and the emperor (no idea who that was in the 12th century).

  • Exterior

    It’s sheer impossible to skip Deventer’s most famous product, the Deventer Koek (‘Deventer Cake’), comparable to what Bossche Bollen are for 's-Hertogenbosch – see Week 33 – 2016. This is the exterior of themost famous shop…

  • Interior

    …and here’s a picture of the shop’s interior. It’s cake all over the place, and chocolate, and nougat, and tea and… well, more. It’s possible to have a drink inside, inevitably served together with a piece of Deventer Koek.

Deventer’s Pontsteeg (‘Ferry-alley’) was decorated by umbrellas, making for a surprising effect. There was a lot more to be seen, even admired, in Deventer but, as said before, we’ve been there for just one afternoon.

The next morning, on Tuesday the 6th of September, we started the engine at 10:30AM and left for Hattem, lying at a distance of some twenty kilometers (12,5 miles). We made a reservation for a space and arrived in Hattem’s marina at 1:10PM. When making a picture of the spot we had been assigned to we saw this text ‘Niets gaat sneller dan de jaren’ (Nothing goes faster than the years). Yes, and ‘years’ can easily be replaced by ‘hours’, ‘days’ of even ‘life’. It does all mean the same, doesn’t it?

Hattem is really a gem of a little town. This is the entrance towards its centre, instantly catching the eye after leaving the marina and crossing the road. The old, renovated, houses are just lovely. Dijkpoort (‘Dyke-gate’) is the gateway’s name.

On the inside of the Dijkpoort, and immediately next to it, the white Vroedvrouwenhuisje (‘Midwife’s Litle House’) is to be found. It was the house the town’s midwife was living. The town paid her to assist poor families during childbirths.

'Bij ons in de Jordaan' (Hattem)

The atmosphere at the towns central square is genuinely inviting with its terraces and exhilarated by playing the carillon. It was even ‘Bij Ons In De Jordaan’ (‘With Us In The Jordaan’, the Jordaan being a famous working class neighbourhood in Amsterdam, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordaan) played in Hattem, Gelderland, not even near Amsterdam!

  • Heath

    We mounted our folding bikes on Wednesday, planning to pedal to the Wezepse Heide (Wezepse Heath – near the town of Wezep). This is what we saw of the flowering heath…

  • Forest

    …and this was the picture after turning 180°. One of us is not all that keen to use the bike for distances of over, say, a few miles. These views were, however, a real compensation.

On Thursday the 8th of September we left Hattem at 11:05AM. After a few miles of cruising we passed the city of Zwolle – and skipped it. We were warned about the negative atmosphere at Zwolle’s town moorings… Maybe next time, who can tell? There’s a lot to visit anyway, we are really new kids on the block. (‘Tourists in our own country’, as our female half puts it.) Next to Zwolle three bridges span the river, offering this picture when looking back.

Shortly after having left Zwolle behind we met three oncoming commercial ships. Two on the ‘normal’ side (on the right hand for them, at the left bank to make things more complicated), the third one on his left hand side, being the right bank. The latter was showing a blue board – because he was planning to enter the Zwolle-IJsselkanaal situated on the right bank of the river IJssel. So we casually moved to the centre of the river – and once again survived.

e already published this picture elsewhere – certainly noticed by some of you. It is too nice to skip it as far as this blog is concerned because we think this is the ultimate representation of The Netherlands. We see a river, its bank, meadowland, cows, flat country, a farm and a few trees and a dyke. On top of that the weather is gorgeous. Sheer bliss!

  • Koornmarktspoort

    Kampen, our present hometown, was passed on the river around 12:45PM. The most striking feature of Kampen’s riverfront is the oldest town-gate, the Koornmarktspoort (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koornmarktpoort, surprisingly without the letter s in it). A lot more about all Kampen’s gates is to be found using the link http://www.koornmarktspoort.nl/, unfortunately only in Dutch.

  • Bruine vloot

    Just a little further up downstream there’s Kampen’s Bruine Vloot (‘Brown Fleet’) moored, consisting of beautiful old sailing ships with two or three masts. Four of them are visible here. It is really impressive to see them sailing towards of returning from the IJsselmeer – the former Zuiderzee.

We switched off our engine at 1:10PM in Kampen’s Buitenhaven (southern part) and booked initially for one night, planning to travel on the next day towards Elburg. It proved to be impossible to go there during the weekend because of the Botterdagen Elburg (http://www.botterdagenelburg.nl/). So we extended the period in Kampen with an extra three nights. This is what it looked like today, after a few botters returned from Elburg and have an overnight stop at Kampen. For more information about the botter-type, a small traditional fishing-ship, see https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botter. Only in Dutch, so Google Translate might help you out!

Kampen was only briefly explored on Thursday afternoon. We cycled on Friday, left relatively early on Saturday to visit a birthday party of a very good friend and only returned today after 2:00PM. There are, therefore, only very limited pictures of Kampen. Only one, to be honest – being this one of a pretty view of one of Kampen’s hidden little streets.

Autumn is unmistakably on its way, though another short(?) heatwave is expected during the week to come. Two signs of what is awaiting us are already noticeable: spiders and fog. Here’s the first picture of a foggy morning, made on Saturday the 10th of September 2016, obscuring the river from view. This is it for the last week. Bye bye.