Aalsmeer – Voorburg (Leiden and Delft both included)

On Monday the 5th of August we left the pleasant, though facility-less, mooring spot at Aalsmeer, next to Schiphol International Airport, at 9:45AM. After tackling the remaining part of the Ringvaart van de Haarlemmermeerpolder, Dieperpoel, Norremeer, Kagerplassen, Zweiland en de Zijl we ended up along the Zijlkade of Leiden with a view towards one of its two (Dutch Wikipedia, or three (English Wikipedia) remaining city-gates – in this case the Zijlpoort (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zijlpoort_(Leiden)). The engine was switched off at 1:55AM. (Poor dog.)

Next to us were initially four big boats moored, all of them offering boat-holidays by bike. Therefore, they are better described by: ‘biking-holidays with a cruising B&B accommodation’. One of the striking details are the bikes, provided by the organisation and army-like set up. They are all the same, except for the position of the saddle. Each one is provided with a label, mentioning the name of the user. Don’t grab the first one just at random or you’re in deep trouble!

When entering the city by passing the Zijlpoort it says on top of the gate ‘Haec libertatis ergo’. Like us, even Google Translate seemingly tripped over the ‘ergo’. (This liberty ….????) It’s a well-known word, but how to translate the three words into one understandable (little) sentence? Help!

Miss Blanche Virginia cigarettes. Nostalgia! The 50’s! Still prominent visible in Leiden.

Guess what? Leiden has a dedicated Pindakaaswinkel! The owner obviously is still capable of making a living from it. Pindakaas = peanut-butter, literally translated peanut-cheese. Not only do they sell the stuff itself, but t-shirts, bags, baby-bodysuits etc. as well.

We could not resist the temptation to picture the most unoriginal name for a pizzeria. It’s easy to remember, on the other hand.

We vacated this interesting, bustling university-city (twinned with Oxford, among others) two days later, on Wednesday the 7th of August a 9:35AM. Our destination: Delft, another tourist highlight. On the way we were confronted with a lock, almost a rarity in super-flat The Netherlands. It was a typical shaped one in Leidschendam. The difference in level was almost unnoticeable – we estimated it at 20 cm (2/3 of a foot) at most.

Delft’s former harbour is now its marina. The marina is situated in a bend, making breasting up a most welcome solution; the city is a popular destination. The harbour-master directed us to a temporary waiting pontoon. Temporary, because of the reconstruction of a bridge around the corner to the right. Our engine stopped running at 1:55PM. Again: poor dog!

A picture of Het Prinsenhof (https://prinsenhof-delft.nl/en) in the foreground -where Willem van Oranje (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_the_Silent) in 1584 was assassinated- with the tower of De Oude Kerk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oude_Kerk_(Delft))in the background. Entombed inside the latter, among others, are Piet Hein (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet_Pieterszoon_Hein), Maarten Tromp (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maarten_Tromp) and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonie_van_Leeuwenhoek). De Dutch royals are entombed inside De Nieuwe Kerk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nieuwe_Kerk_(Delft)). The latter was built mainly in the 15th century, the first mostly in the 14th (hence the names).

Another famous Dutchman, whom was born and died in the city of Delft, entombed inside De Oude Kerk is the painter Johannes Vermeer (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Vermeer). Who is not familiar with his paintings ‘Het Melkmeisje’ (The Milkmaid), ‘Meisje met de Parel’ (Girl with a Pearl Earring), ‘Gezicht op Delft’ (View of Delft), ‘Het Straatje’ (The Little Street) etc. The list is almost endless. Note the same (sort of) window he uses when painting an interior.

After two days in Delft, finished with a most enjoyable family-dinner, we took the opposite direction on Friday the 9th of August at 7:35AM. The construction-works on the aforementioned bridge only allowed pleasure-boats to pass before 8:00AM, between 11:00AM and noon and between 3:00 and 4:00PM, that’s why we decide to take the early possibility. It turned out we were the only boat, errr little ship. All the bridges we encountered -some 10- were ‘automatically’ opened, without us using VHF canal 18. We were followed closely on camera by the bridge-operating team, present on an unknown (for us) office. Luxury! After 1 hour and 16 minutes of cruising we noted the attractive mooring-space at Voorburg being partly free, in contrast to three days before. As one can see, one of the visiting boats is even breasted up to another. It’s that popular.

The municipality of Leidschendam-Voorburg offers this space for a maximum of three days for free, partly explaining its popularity. We decided to stay the full permitted period, because (1) we are in no hurry, (2) there’s a huge adjacent park for walking the dog, (3) we create the weekly blog and do some correspondence usually on the Sunday and (4) it’s cheap. Some of you readers might think that (4) should be (1). That is, however, of course not how we are…

This week’s statistics.

Engine ran during 9 hours and 48 minutes (14,9 hours) – Monday 05.08 4,2 hours, Wednesday 07.08 4,4 hours, Friday 09.08 1,2 hours.

Generator this period:  zero, nought, nil, zilch hours.

Weather: mixed: sometimes (pretty) warm, also cloudy with showers and an almost dangerous storm on Saturday.

Hope to see you next week again!