Jutphaas (north Nieuwegein) - Maarssen (south Stichtse Vecht)

Jutphaas (north Nieuwegein) was finally left behind on Wednesday the 8th of September at 9:55AM after 7(!!) nights. We are reflected here in the windows of a building next to the first bridge (‘Doorslagbrug’) – when we had to wait for its opening. There’s a display attached to this bridge, informing approaching boats about the waiting time. Very convenient. The second bridge we approached, on the Merwedekanaal, showed ‘out of use’ (double red). After informing by telephone we learned that the closure was only temporarily, because of a road-accident. We had to wait only for some 10 minutes.

  • Sunny

    Our little ship as seen from (more or less) the west with one of Maarssen’s towers in the background. As is proven by the parasol, the reading female half of our crew and the dog the weather on that day (Wednesday 5:13 PM after arrival ...

  • Rainy

    ...at 12:35PM) was gorgeous. A few days later, on Friday the 10th, finally some light showers provided cooling, as shown by the second picture, taken (more or less) from the south/east on the opposite bank.

  • Goudestein, riverside

    As told before, alongside the pretty river Vecht several impressive, beautifully maintained, buildings are to be found. This one is called ‘Goudestein’ (untranslatable, for us that is). A board in front of the building explains: ‘Goudestein was built in 1754 on the site of an earlier country house of the same name. It is a rare example of a still complete country estate on the Vecht with the house itself, a park, a coach house with servants' residence, (the former outside Silversteijn), a bakery, an orangery and a pond.

  • Goudestein, rearside

    The garden is largely in English landscape style. Various stinzen plants bloom in the spring (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinsenplant. Use Google Translate please, if interested, ed.). At the front and rear of the garden are two beautiful 18th century entrance gates. The park is freely accessible.... (The sign provides much more information, but we'll leave it at this for now.) Underneath the beautiful little statue inside the park the text reads: ‘ In honor of all who put justice and liberty above their lives’.

This charming little bridge connects the river Vecht with the small waterways of ‘Goudestein’. The explanatory board mentions: ‘The little bridge was high enough to pass’. Tiny boats at that time!

  • Bolenstein, outside the gate

    A second building, also the last one this time, to which we pay attention is the Ridderhofstad 'Bolenstein' (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolenstein - by now you are aware of Google Translate.) Also here is an explanatory sign posted at the entrance. Part of the text reads: 'Around 1340 Dirk de Bole founded the castle, consisting only of a residential tower. It has been renovated and expanded several times. The house was elevated...

  • Bolenstein, peeping through the gate

    ... to a ridderhofstad (translation?, ed.) in 1538. This was a fortified house whose resident's family had belonged to the nobility for generations. The advantage of this was exemption from tax on real estate. Later owners also obtained membership of the States of Utrecht. In 1917, the house was given its current rectangular floor plan. A vaulted cellar and walls of one meter thick are reminiscent of the 14th century residential tower...' We’ll stick to this for now.

Bolenstein’s current theehuis (tea house). Just lovely.

The little river Vecht within Maarssen’s centre – as seen from the Evert Stokbrug (brug = bridge). The explanatory text on the sign, which you see on the left of the photo, reads: "Flooding of the Vecht in 1928". 'The Vecht flows peacefully beneath you. But it used to be different and there were frequent floods. The last major flood can be seen in this photo from November 1928. The entire Vecht region was flooded. In Maarssen, too, the water reached the front doors and streets and sidewalks were no longer visible. Until the 12th century there were many floods because the Vecht was still in open connection with the Rhine . There was also potential for flooding from the Zuiderzee. Western storms could push the water up to Utrecht. The construction of locks at Utrecht and Muiden, at the beginning and end of the Vecht, did improve the situation, but this was not always sufficient. Only after the construction of the Afsluitdijk, in 1932, the danger of flooding had really passed. Nowadays the water level of the Vecht is regulated by a pumping station at IJmuiden (!!, ed.). This pumps the water into the North Sea via the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal.'

We had planned to leave on Saturday the 11th. But it was brought to our attention that in the evening, after being canceled for the two previous years, the Vechtse Vaarparade (a giant boat-parade) would take place. An event that we certainly wouldn't want to miss. So we decided to stay. The popularity of the parade is evident from this photo. All available mooring spaces were occupied by the end of the afternoon by spectators-to-be.

Our view to the front of our little ship. Most (moored) boats were festively lit.

Elvis

This was one of the first participants. Start: around 10:15PM – end: around 12:30AM.

Illuminated balloons - and a multitude of passengers.

Floating fountain

Very imaginative.

Romantic light.

Even the FC Utrecht supporters' association had set up its own boat. See the giant ball. The noise was almost equal to a full stadium! (FC Utrecht, our favourite!!) The boat behind FC Utrecht’s even transported a full live band.

Poor dog

This, perhaps unnecessarily, again gives an impression of what we saw – and, not to forget, heard. We saw many surprises and were treated to sometimes deafening noise. The expression on our dog’s face says it all. He really wanted to flee. The poor animal.

This week’s statistics.

The sign says: ‘This trail is for walkers. Cycling is never allowed here. Would you please respect that? Thanks to and from Miep Schilt.' Of course some kind of illiterate has parked his/her bicycle against it. The bike had been there for three days this morning.

Engine ran during 2 hours and 42 minutes. Almost only on Wednesday – 12 minutes on Thursday when we moved a short distance to be able to ‘see’ satellite Astra 3.

Generator: not, shore-power all the time. 

Weather: still mainly a very enjoyable Indian summer. The rain on Friday was negligible.

Hope to see you next week again!