Blokzijl - Zwolle

Back to Blokzijl for a short moment. We arrived in this picturesque village on Friday the 2nd of June and were unable to continue cruising because of health-issues. Not life threatening but nevertheless. Eventually 50% of our crew was, after first being taken to Meppel, last Friday hospitalized in Zwolle. So the other 50% cruised on Friday the 9th, starting 8:41AM, from Blokzijl in the direction of Zwolle. The weather is fairly described by the word ‘horrible’, as proven by this picture. Admittedly the windscreen wiper was stopped for a split second, just to be able to take a picture of the (lack of) view after doing that.

Since there was a lot of rain and grey colour all around, it was impossible to give any impression of the beautiful surroundings – now totally hidden. So we limited ourselves to some animals we spotted on the way. Here’s a bunch of cormorants to start with. We’re always amazed about the richness of the underwater-world, capable of preserving itself, next to feeding cormorants – and other animals, for instance like us human beings.

When nearing Zwolle, after some 4 cruising hours, the weather slightly improved, revealing this herd of one of our favourite animals, being sheep.

Zwolle was reached under much better circumstances than earlier that morning. Heavens were finally completely out of water, we suppose. It is not easy to find a space for a type of boat other than the ubiquitous cruiser. And the few spaces for vessels over 12 meters appear to be occupied by, yes, cruisers. Lucky us, a moored tug-boat, had no objection of us going abreast. We could switch off the engine at 2:38PM – after single-handed cruising for over 5¾ hours. The tug left the next morning after which it looks like shown by this picture. Well, looked, because another boat behind ours on this picture breasted up to ours today. Harbourmaster’s orders. Zwolle is popular – and rightfully so.

We have been unable to explore the city for obvious reasons. One feature though, the Zwolsche Halve Marathon (see:, better in Dutch – even the 2017-results incorporated) drew our attention on Saturday the 10th of June. It is a big happening, especially when the weather is gorgeous, completely different from the previous day! This crowded outside café, beautifully illuminated by the setting sun, provides a clear indication of the vivacious atmosphere that evening/night.

A few impressions now of what was on offer that night. Or what attracted our eyes if you wish. Didn’t the ginger-haired, well, plain red-haired, lady stand out here?

Music all over the place was to be heard. This band took a break. We not only noticed the (always conspicuous) tuba, but the fact that it seems -repeat: seems- to belong to a female musician as well. The laughing girl, with the tattooed left underarm and the thumb-up, perfectly represents the overall cheerful mood.

A funny thing was this timer, meant to inform the contesters about the elapsed time. Alas, the thing did not work. Switch off the brain and run – that’s the only condition one has to put oneself into. A sort of self-hypnosis really.

Zwolsche Halve Marathon

Here’s a twenty-five seconds video of the atmosphere at Zwolle’s Botermarkt (Butter Market) / Rodetorenplein (Red Tower Square) on Saturday the 10th of June 2017. The crowd was merry and the band loud and monotonous. Nobody cared – let’s have a party!!

It’s fair to say that times have changed seriously lately. Not for the better one tends to add. We’ve seen a truck blocking the entrance onto the track, obviously referring to the horrible Nice- and Berlin-disasters – among others. The entire evening this chopper was on guard not even all that high above the huge crowd. This was all unheard of until just a few years ago. Everything seems to be shifting lately…

The Saturday was finished off by visiting a well-known fast-food chain. No cooking! In case you’re interested we inform you about our number: 35. After receiving the unhealthy (so they say) food we stumbled out asap. Coming back to the picture before this one we have to admit that being in a large crowd makes one think….. That’s sad, isn’t it? Hopefully we will be able to leave this pretty city in a day or two. You’ll be informed next week. This was it for now.