Bovensmilde - Smilde (via Assen)

Bovensmilde was left on Monday the 10th of July, 10:01AM (yes, sharp). We could switch off the engine already at 11:31AM after arriving in one of Assen’s waterways, called De Vaart (vaart = canal), adjacent to the city’s centre. The next video will show the last, wider, part of this waterway – where we are able to turn. During the turning-maneuver a cruiser tried to ‘steal’ our targeted space, although (1) our intentions must have been very clear and (2) there were several spaces for (smaller) cruisers left, unlike for (bigger) barges. One of us made it overly clear to ‘buzz off’. They did - reluctantly.

Hebbes – Hebbezz

A short video, just to give you an overall view of the position we have enjoyed for four days. And we discovered another Hebbes (well, Hebbezz) too! By the way, the space between our little ship and the large one -a ‘pannenkoeken-boot’ (pancaces-boat)- can only be used for taking in water. In case someone wonders why we couldn’t moor there.

Already visible with the picture and video before this one we were moored in front of a trio (Vaart N.Z. 26, 28 and 30) of beautiful, early 19th century typical Assen-type houses.

  • Nieuw Echten

    House-wise speaking -but not only that!- Assen was a revelation to us. Until a few days back we only knew of the bare existence of this provincial capital – and that the Dutch TT is a yearly happening ( To…

  • Zonnehoek

    …discover more we performed a city-walk. Without a guide, so we could take a break anytime we wanted! These two stunning houses are still to be found at the Vaart N.Z., so with the visiting boats in front of them. (N.Z. is Noord Zijde = North Side).

  • Cemetery entrance

    The city walk guided us fairly quickly to the Asserbos (Asserwood) and the Noorderbegraafplaats (Northern…

  • Eternal sun-drenched rest

    …Cemetery), in use since the 1st of January 1823. We never manage to skip a historic cemetary.

  • Child

    There was a special part for passed away children. That’s always heartbreaking. This child, named ?..ella, died in 1885, at the age of only 3 years. All that’s left of her is this part of her gravestone.

  • Adult

    Loads of us hope to be a 100 – if only in reasonable good shape. This woman has made it; even her supposed husband did well. They might have been married for, say, over 65 years. Imagine that!

We stayed fairly long at the cemetery – it’s just so restful and forces one to contemplate and slow down. Life goes on, nevertheless, so we continued our walk. What one sees here is the result of a new housing development in the 19th century. Not bad. Not bad at all.

  • ‘t Groote Holt

    Here are a few examples of what is referred to as the Assen ‘palaces’. For ‘t Groote Holt see and for Oakland Regrettably both only in Dutch. The Dutch politician Van Hogendorp (

  • Oakland

    …through Audrey Hepburn’s Dutch mother he is her great-great-great-grandfather) once visited Assen and was told about the many ‘palaces’ he’d see. His comment: ‘Someone told me beforehand that I’d find a city of palaces at Assen. That is true, to the extent that a handsome house in The Hague is entitled to be called a palace in Drenthe.’ (Assen is the capital of the province of Drenthe.)

A detail here of the perfectly symmetric Jozefkerk (kerk = church, you’ll no doubt understand about Jozef), built between 1846 en 1848 – see the year in Roman figures. It is a designated ‘waterstaatskerk’. For an interesting explanation of this phenomenon see It’s a real pity that this is only available in Dutch. Maybe Google Translate can do the trick for you. The building reminded us strongly of the building style we saw when visiting New England in 2009.

  • Brink (1)

    The very centre of Assen is called Brink, a Dutch equivalent for Green. Assen’s Brink is surrounded by aristocratic as well as…

  • Brink (2)

    …more unpretentious buildings. We would not feel punished at all when forced to live inside the unpretentious one!

Before we left we had to visit the Drents Museum ( If only because several of our family implored us not to skip it. The initial impression of the museum from the outside is it being a small one. Don’t be misled – one’s led to (a) adjacent building(s) underground(!) and can easy lose one’s way or miss a part without realizing. Perhaps we did but we liked very much what we managed to see.

One of the current expositions is about The Great Liao. It’s too complicated to explain the history through this weekly blog. For the history-lovers among our readers, see and

Panoramic view

The exposition was arranged in a sort of ‘Panorama Mesdag’-way (, meaning a 360 degree vista of the landscape where the Khitan-people lived over a millennium ago. The floor covering, obviously especially designed for this exposition, blended in very well. All the colours, combined with the mirrors, almost caused a feeling of destabilization.

A second exposition was dedicated to the works of Jan Sluijters (1881 – 1957, He was the winner of the Dutch ‘Prix de Rome’ in 1904 and the ‘Grand Prix’ at the Paris’ World Fair ‘Urbanisme 47’ in, yep, 1947.

The third exposition showed numerous drawings of Jans Muskee – website They are provocative at times, so we have chosen a modest one, called ‘Marcel en Eve’ for an example. Apart from the qualification we already used it’s imaginative (of course) enigmatic (He! Hello! Hi!) and funny (‘Caritas’). We appreciated it very much, but it was, understandably, too much for a visiting young girl: she looked (away) and disappeared immediately.


Sometimes the sun abandons us. Wednesday the 12th it rained cats and dogs in Assen – only in the morning, after midday the sun came back. It made a deafening noise in the wheelhouse.

As mentioned before we stayed at Assen for four days. On Friday the 14th we left at 1:50PM and again reached Smilde (this time on the Drentsche Hoofdvaart) at 3:50PM. No locks yet, only some 10 bridges (9 of them lift-bridges) had to be passed. This is where we still are today, Sunday the 16th of July 2017. We are planning to explore pastures new tomorrow. That’s it for this week. Bye.