Hasselt - Nieuw-Amsterdam

After our daughter, accompanied by one of her sons, recollected her lovely dog last Monday the 7th of August we left the pretty little town of Hasselt at 2:09PM. We are planning to cruise the ‘far east’ (of the Dutch province of Drenthe). Therefore, after the now well-known Zwarte Water and Meppelerdiep, we entered the east-bound Hoogeveens(ch)e Vaart and ended up at Rogat – just in front of the first lock we’ve seen for weeks. The engine was switched off at 5:19PM.

On we went, the next day -a Tuesday- starting at 10:10AM. We can’t think of any memorable event that day and even forgot to picture our mooring-spot at Echten, where we stopped at 12:30PM. Admittedly we could have travelled some more that afternoon but it looked just too inviting – and one never knows what may lay ahead, rather: may NOT lay ahead. We are new kids on the block after all. Besides, it was for free – a rarity in our home country. After leaving the next morning we realized there was no picture. As a result we made this snapshot. We have been at the end (the beginning when we arrived), in front of a restaurant.

Departure time on the Wednesday was 9:10AM. After some waiting we entered the only lock (Nieuwe Brugluis) that day at 9:40AM. Even in The Netherlands there are some deep ones; we’re obviously ascending. This one is even 6,30 meters (close to 21 feet)!

On the way, the boater encounters numerous moveable bridges. Generally speaking it is a smooth operation – we never experienced long waiting-times and admire the organization behind all those waterways. This bridge, called ‘Krakeelbrug’ (Squabble-bridge) stood out. The name is readily recognizable in the bridge’s shape.

We arrived at Hoogeveen’s harbour, situated in a dead-end of the canal, at 11:16AM. Again, not a long day – unlike some 25 years back, when we had a first holiday on a hired (narrow)boat in the UK. Hirers generally make long days of, say, around 8 hours or even more. Again, there’s no mooring-fee. Our, later that day arriving, neighbour discovered two sockets on the outside of an adjacent building. Working sockets that is! We gratefully accepted the possibility for free electricity. That is to say: no-one came to collect any money from the two of us.

Hoogeveen offered us the opportunity to do some extensive shopping at two of our favourites: Lidl (close) and Jumbo (a brisk walk). Thus a bit deeper in the water we said goodbye to Hoogeveen the next morning, Thursday the 10th, at 9:37AM. Almost immediately after negotiating the inevitable first bridge this new constructed row of terraced houses with thatched roofs catches the eye. Terrace houses with thatched roofs? Yes, indeed. It’s a miracle that so many parties involved have been able to agree about this rather revolutionary development.

After Hoogeveen the Hoogeveenschevaart is called the Verlengde (= extended) Hoogeveenschevaart. The first striking object we saw was this beheaded, though fishing, statue with the sign ‘te koop’ (for sale) on top of it. Maybe the head was sold separately earlier.

Another funny thing we encountered on the way, being a bird riding a sheep. In the eighties we had, among other animals, sheep ourselves. Lovely animals, by the way (contrary to goats). A ‘member’ of the ‘other animals’ was a large, blue/grey coloured, rabbit. ‘Our’ rabbit loved to ride one of the sheep. The latter just continued grazing. Unfazed, like the one on this picture.

That day we even spotted a meadow full of mini-llamas, better known as alpacas. A rare sight isn’t it? This brought back memories when living on our little ship in the UK. Next to the river Thames, close to Pangbourne, there was, perhaps still is, a meadow full of alpacas. Is anybody of our readers familiar with this?

And then we arrived at Nieuw-Amsterdam (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nieuw-Amsterdam,_Netherlands). It is the initial name of New York too, by the way. Vincent van Gogh lived here during his Drenthe-period. See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drawbridge_in_Nieuw-Amsterdam, on display in the Groninger Museum (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groninger_Museum). We are moored at a distance of just 50 meters from the drawbridge and where he lived since last Thursday 3:25PM – waiting for friends to arrive here coming Monday. The picture is the view from the (now wider) drawbridge towards the east.

  • Tempting

    We’re always looking for a possibility to buy (white) diesel for a competing price. There’s one just opposite of where we are, so we emptied our jerrycans into our tank, borrowed a trolley from Coop (see last picture) and...

  • Reality

    ...re-filled our four 20-litre jerrycans. After finishing the job we noticed to have paid € 1.119 instead of the suggested € 1,109. Well that was careless of Amigo, but the second lowest price we have paid this season anyway.

Initially we planned to make a detour, via the Stieltjeskanaal, into the town of Coevorden (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coevorden). The name (‘Coevoorde’) means a ford-able place for cows and the likes – like Oxford. Where the Wikipedia-page states ‘city hall’ it should be ‘former town hall’; the present town hall is partly visible here – former buildings are (newly) integrated. The maxim of the town is ‘Multis Periculis Supersum’ (many dangers survived), engraved in the window that is visible between the flagpoles and the lamppost.

We changed plans and visited Coevorden not cruising but by train. It’s only a ten-minutes travel. This picture depicts the dead-end of the town’s visitors harbour, combined with the museum-/tourist-information-building – the one with the red shutters, a former arsenal

The tourist-office provided us with a booklet (€ 2,00) containing a suggestion for a town-walk and specifying several points of interest. One of the first was this pretty building ‘Marie’, an Art Nouveau/Jugendstil-style villa. It’s a shame that visiting is out of the question: privately lived in.

This is the combination castle – former town hall, now as seen from a slightly different angle, compared to the one offered by Wikipedia. The castle was owned and inhabited by the Van Coevorden family (or Van Coeverden = from Coevorden), ancestors of George Vancouver from whom Vancouver Island and the city of Vancouver, and a lot more, derive their name.

A little part of the castle’s interior, nowadays completely restored, in use as a hotel-restaurant-meeting venue and listed as a Rijksmonument. For an explanation of the latter see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rijksmonument. This gives you also the possibility to look at a list of all Rijksmonumenten in The Netherlands.

A statue of three men, called ‘De Drie Podagristen’ (The Three Podagrists). For more see https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_drie_podagristen, unfortunately, well for some of you anyway, only in Dutch. The story is too complicated to explain here in full, so the not-Dutch-speaking are dependent on Google translate. We tried and Google translate does a reasonable job indeed. (Sorry for the quality of the picture. We, well he, forgot to take our camera with us. We have been dependent of our phone!)

Our town-walk led us into the town’s park – named the Van Heutszpark. More about Van Heutsz hereunder We were impressed by these huge beech trees.

This wooden villa is to be found inside the park. It’s a so called ‘nordic house’, built almost a hundred years ago and entirely of wood, placed on a stone sort of ‘plinth’. Originally it was erected at Emlicheim, Germany, just across the (near) border. It was the house of the CEO of the straw-cardboard-factory at that place. When the factory was relocated to Coevorden the CEO relocated his house as well. The house was designed and fabricated somewhere in the Harz as a building-kit.

One of the famous people born in Coevorden is Johannes Benedictus van Heutsz (3 February 1851 – 11 juli 1924). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._B._van_Heutsz. Of course the Dutch Wikipedia gives a lot of more information: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joannes_Benedictus_van_Heutsz. Let’s say that he was not 100% undisputed. We learned about him at school; after all he is closely related to our colonial past, specifically the Dutch East Indies (Indië, now Indonesia), even more specific the Atjeh (Aceh) war. We always lose loads of time when researching someone like Van Heutsz. The restrictions of a blog keep us from digging deeper – at least here. Therefore, just an anecdote to end with. Conscription still exists in The Netherlands since 1810 (after annexation by France), but is postponed since 1997. Our male half vividly remembers that the army had (has?) the Regiment Van Heutsz. When someone appeared to be not all that bright he was told to be of ‘Van Heutsz-level’, because that regiment was known for its main task, being guard duties. The air-force, to which our male half was assigned, had (has?) the Luchtmacht Bewakings Korps/LBK (Airforce Surveillance Corps). The ones that served in the LBK were judged similarly. We are a tad older and wiser now. So we, well 50% of us, yet apologizes at long last, after over 50 years… We sincerely hope you enjoyed this blog. Bye bye.