Blokzijl - Elburg

Where were we again? Ah, yes, Blokzijl. At 2:00PM on the 18th of September 2017 we left, just to keep the balance of the mooring-fees in check. As we are in the ‘no-hurry-mode’ we moored a few kilometres outside Blokzijl around 20 minutes later. A new low – not meant in the negative sense, of course. The weather conditions made for a dramatic picture.

  • September 19, 2017 – 9:16AM

    After waking up the next morning we were surrounded by dense fog, preventing us to leave. Nevertheless, one or two daredevils passed us – maybe their boats are equipped with a radar-system?

  • September 19, 2017 – 10:37AM

    We stayed put, though, because (a) the possibility of a collision is far from unlikely, (b) there was a lake in front of us, enlarging the chance of getting lost and (c) it’s utterly boring without a view.

Eventually we left at 11:44AM. On the way, when cruising/crossing the Kadoelermeer (created because of the construction of the Noordoostpolder – 1936-1942) we spotted this magnificent buzzard. They never fail to impress.

Around 1:00PM we preferred to avoid the vast Zwarte Meer, created by the construction of the Noordoostpolder as well, because we feel that crossing vast lakes has an element of boorishness in it. Instead we followed a marked waterway along its south-east bank, called Scheepvaartgat, leading towards the river Goot (English: gutter/drain) a branch of the mighty river IJssel, the latter in turn being a branch of the even mightier river Rhine. The relatively narrow waterway is marked by green triangles. Outside the marks the lake sometimes has a depth of just 30 to 70 centimeters, ‘proven’ by the small reed-islands in the distance.

The river Goot was our next overnight stop – in the middle of nowhere, Kamperzeedijk being the closest little village. Our engine stopped running at 2:35PM.

Close to where we were moored we discovered this intriguing obelisk. Though a sign (see the last picture) next to our little ship informed us about the bank being ‘dangerous’ and no-one being authorized to enter the adjacent meadows we took our chances and walked up to this puzzling monument. The weather-beaten text on the obelisk itself appeared to be no longer readable for the average human being. Wikipedia helped us out – again. It is a memorial in honour of Johan Christiaan van Haersolte van Haerst (1809 - 1881). He was a commissioner of the "Naamloze maatschappij ter bevordering van landaanwinning van het Zwolsche Diep" and as such an important person, involved with the development of this area. The obelisk is a recognized Rijksmonument (an official part of the Dutch national heritage). One should therefore expect it to be better maintained than it actually is.

On we went, the next morning at 9:30AM. We passed the town of Grafhorst, situated alongside the (next) river, named Ganzendiep, around an hour later. This little town, part of nearby bigger Kampen, obviously got permission to build ‘out-of-the-box’ types of houses. Do you see the one that seems to fall over headfirst?

When leaving the Ganzendiep the Ganzensluis (geese-lock) must be negotiated before being able to enter the river IJssel. Since the Ganzendiep/Goot are part of the IJssel’s delta it seemed obvious that we would ascend. Well, that appeared to be true – just around 20 centimeters! See the (darker) wet part below inside the lock. We didn’t even notice going upwards. For people familiar with Hawkesbury Junction, connecting the Coventry- and Oxford Canal in the UK, the difference in level is comparable with the junction’s lock. It is logical, though, that the lock is situated here. First, a river can behave dangerously (we have built up some experience) and second, just below the lock a vast number of (very attractive) house-boats is situated on the river Ganzendiep.

Here’s the view from the mouth of the Ganzendiep, across the river IJssel, with historical Kampen in the background. We rounded the last red buoy, directed the bow downstream (to starboard) and resisted the temptation to visit Kampen.

One of the IJssel’s delta-arms is called the Kattendiep. We found the possibility for an overnight stay there in a dead-end side-creek inside a small island, called Ketelerband. The engine was silenced at 12:14PM. No town or village around – the most nearby (still) being Kampen. A historical ship was just sailing by on the Kattendiep when taking this picture, making the scene even more pretty.

Another glorious sunrise the next morning. This picture was taken at 8:03AM on Thursday the 21st of September. A bridge like this, spanning the river IJssel at Kampen, can create an extra element of excitement.

That same morning we left the tiny island at 9:25AM and entered the first Randmeer (see, more comprehensive in Dutch), being the Vossemeer, about one hour later. We ascended the Roggebotsluis at 11:25AM, subsequently entering the Drontermeer. There we found a mooring space called De Kleine Zwaan (the little swan) where we ended up at 12:30PM. Although a sign informs the visitor about an obligation to pay € 0,70 per night for every meter of length no-one showed up to collect a fee. We stayed there for two nights – for free.

De Kleine Zwaan was left behind on Saturday the 23th of September at 10:10AM. The weather was gorgeous, though still slightly hazy – it’s autumn, isn’t it? Here’s the stunning view that morning, with the Elburgerbrug (brug = bridge), a drawbridge, in the distance.

Though Elburg’s harbour is partly unavailable because of ongoing construction works, next to the impossibility to make a reservation (because of visitors), we were lucky to find a great mooring space at 11:15AM. Here we are, jammed in, in front of the quay at the end, where the historic boats (botters – see, only in Dutch) are moored, built and maintained. The wharf is visible in the background.

A picture, taken from our position, of Elburg’s one-kilometre long harbour. Two botters, each laden with brewers and a few beer-barrels, were approaching at 1:45PM. It was an unexpected surprise: Elburg was celebrating its 11th Bokbierdag (about this type of beer:; the barrels are delivered by botter.

  • Tradition

    The beer-barrels are shown to the audience, accompanied by historically dressed locals, drums and music. It’s an initiative of the Elburger Bier Genootschap (Elburgian Beer Society), since…

  • Bock-beer

    … …2007, hence the 11th celebration. We did have a few, in fact. Very good! The society’s name is Het Witte Paard (The White Horse), by the way. Could be the name of a British pub, couldn’t it?

Elburg’s main street was crowded, to say the least. This picture gives you an impression of the enjoyable atmosphere.

  • House

    Elburg (, once a member of the Hanseatic League, is absolutely a very pretty little town. The house that is visible...

  • Street

    ...on the left is a built-in one, part of the former city-wall. As far as the narrow street is concerned, one can take innumerable pictures like this.

  • Go away with a wink

    A few funny ones to end with. On this door it’s announced ‘Geen gezeur aan deze deur’. That rymes (in Dutch) and means ‘No moaning at this door’. It’s a little joke, though, as next to it, it says ‘Ingang om de hoek’ (= Entrance around the…

  • Be welcome with a hug

    …corner). The second one just says ‘Welkom! Leuk dat je er bent’, ‘Welcome! It’s nice you’re here.’ The first is, well, let’s say informative, while the latter is friendly at first glance. We had close to 1.000 hits last week! Thanks for following us.