Voorburg - Woerden

Monday the 11th of Augusts 2019 meant departure day for us, as we had stayed at Voorburg for the maximum period of 3 x 24 hours. But before departing we just had to picture this bicycle – one of the millions to be found in our country, but not often looking like this particular one. The engine was started at 11:15AM.

After passing Leiden, again, we entered a new waterway, being the Oude Rijn, once a branch of the river Rijn (Rhine). Oude = ancient. Almost immediately we encountered a bridge, showing a single red light. That means that the bridge is not operated immediately, but the bridge-keeper can be contacted by VHF and asked for an opening. We duly did that and, while we were talking to the bridge-keeper he (a she would never do this) reacted by saying that a bridge showing a DOUBLE red light is blocked. While explaining this the light went from a single to a double one. The cheeky sod! We had to wait for a half hour or so, offering the opportunity to walk the dog. (For the Dutch: ‘ieder nadeel hep se voordeel’ (‘every disadvantage has its advantage’ - Johan Cruijff, inevitable speaking with an unmistakeable Amsterdam accent).

That afternoon we discovered an attractive opportunity for an overnight stop at Koudekerk aan de Rijn while cruising, not having a specific destination for the day in mind. We abruptly decided to call it a day, turned around and moored up at 3:47PM. A picture of the spot where we spent the night was omitted. Therefore we used a back-up, being excellent Google Earth. We have been alongside a grassy bank underneath the word ‘Hoogewaard’.

After walking into the village of Koudekerk aan den Rijn and doing some shopping we left the next morning at 9:45AM. Cruising through Alphen aan den Rijn was interesting, though we skipped the possibility to stay there. Sluis (= lock) Bodegraven was reached at 11:36AM. A lock nowadays not only is a rarity, this one is special because it’s not straight, there’s a sort of curve inside of it – or it’s not straight in line with the river up- and downstream. For sure there’s ‘something’. Whatever, when entering from underneath the bridge there’s a little surprise for the steers(wo)man.

This is what the lock looks as seen from the bridge. Our little ship is the third one visible. If you think this picture was made at a later time: you’re dead right!

All that for a difference in level of about 2/3 of a foot – again.

Our position in Bodegraven again, now with the lock and bridge in the background. There’s no charge for the mooring here, we obviously love that. It’s even slightly better than Voorburg, because there’s a water-supply-system, too. Both electricity and water-supply are charged for by the AanUit-system.

On Thursday the 15th of August we left Bodegraven at 9:32AM and kept cruising the river Oude Rijn towards the east. Our destination for that day was Woerden – a pleasant small city where we lived from 1994 through 2002. For more about Woerden, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woerden. Highly recommended! For the second time this week we use a Google Earth image, making it easier to comprehend Woerden’s historic shape. De river Oude Rijn flew from right to the left through the city’s centre until 1960 when, unfortunately, the river was directed around the city and the original centre-course was filled in. See the historic map of Woerden from the 16th century, a part of the information provided by Wikipedia. We are in Woerden’s harbour, visible more or less in the centre of the picture (‘Haven’).

We had the harbourmaster telephoned 4 days in advance about a space for a 60-foot ship. ‘No problem’, was the answer. Just to make sure (we expect visitors) we telephoned again 2 days before. The answer again was ‘please, do come, there’s plenty of space’. On the day of arrival, the 15th, while cruising we called again, around 10:30AM. ‘Oh no, that’s impossible, there’s no room because I expect a large boat today….’. (Not being us, by the way.) We exploded and strongly protested, explaining that we had called already two times in advance. ‘Well, OK, we’ll find you a space’, was the reaction. Our ‘reservation’ was not passed on from one harbourmaster to the other. To put it mildly, that was a clear example of not being very well organised. We ended up immediately behind the last bridge – a sharp bend to the right, next to a rather steep grassy bank. We could switch off the engine at 11:30AM.

The next morning, Friday the 16th, we made a short cruise to the opposite quay. That quay is at the same level as our gang-board. We need a gangplank nevertheless as sturdy bollards, situated in front of the quay, prevent us from mooring against the quay itself. The (narrow and slippery, rain!) gangplank is not popular by the dog and his mistress alike.

The Wikipedia-information already informed the discerned reader about Woerden being a cheese-town – like Alkmaar or Gouda. And yes!, today we visited the Kaasmarkt (Cheese Market).

‘Cheesefarm Janmaat. Discover the taste of real Boerenkaas (Farmhouse Cheese)’. Do read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boerenkaas and your general knowledge has expanded again!

Making a picture of the old fashioned butter(?) or cheese(?) churn was, errrr, irresistible. Note the cheeses in the background, the bale of straw and the children, playing the shuffleboard with small artificial cheeses(!).

There was more for sale with this market. Like stroopwafels. Yummie!

And fruit, of course. Apples. Pears. Cherries. Plums. And more from abroad.

This week’s statistics.

Engine ran during 8 hours and 0 minutes (8,0 hours) – Monday 12.08 3,8 hours, Tuesday 13.08 1,8 hours, Thursday 15.08 1,9 hours, Friday 16.08 0,5 hours.

Generator this period:  5,2 hours.

Weather: changeable throughout the week. We had to pick our moments.

Hope to see you next week again!