Ketelhaven - Belt-Schutsloot

  • Balgstuw with bridge in the background

    Ketelhaven was left behind on Monday the 22nd of May 2017 at 9:17AM, leaving the province of Flevoland at the same time. We entered on the 26th of April, so Flevoland kept us busy for almost an entire month! We had to cross the Ketelmeer as well as the Zwarte Meer. That is a lot of water we...

  • Balgstuw again, here more in detail

    ...can assure you! An interesting feature on the way was the Balgstuw near Ramspol, see (only in Dutch). In English one might possibly call it a bellows-weir. It’s an inflatable weir, a sort of little miracle when thinking about it. The weir was inflated 3 times in 2015 – a record.

We entered the province of Overijssel and, after having found a nice mooring-spot at Zwartsluis, we switched off our engine at 1:40PM. A long period of self-supportingcame to an end here: we could connect to shore-power and were able to realize a water-intake as well. Zwartsluis is supposed to be a nice and interesting little town. We did, however, not achieve a lot more than relaxing, visiting a tempting adjacent situated outside café and doing some shopping.

Zwartsluis was left behind (we’ll be back!) on the 24th at 9:17AM – yes, the same time as two days earlier, our logbook of course doesn’t lie. At 10:00AM we even negotiated a lock between the Mepperlerdiep and the Beukersgracht. It took us exactly 10 minutes to descent some 2,4 meters – according to the map, that is, we think it was less, who cares? We crossed the Belter Weide (a lake) and entered the canal Beukers-Steenwijk. There we stopped after a cruise of just 8 minutes short of two hours in the highly popular village of Giethoorn. To our astonishment there’s ample room for mooring on the canal, even equipped with sophisticated shore-power that can be (de)activated on internet, see Very convenient.

  • The opposite bank looking left

    The 25th it was Ascension Day (Hemelvaartsdag), and the weather was gorgeous.

  • The bank directly opposite of us

    This combination caused a very busy day, both on the canal and its banks.

  • The opposite bank looking right

    Family visited us later that day, so we decided to walk into the village itself.

  • Canal touring boat – front part

    Maybe for a split second we considered a journey by boat in Giethoorn.

  • Canal touring boat – rear part

    We abandoned the idea altogether after seeing this – and learning about waiting-times.

  • A couple of individual hire boats

    It was that busy on Giethoorn’s narrow canals that the disturbance of the…

  • Open canal touring boat

    …water was similar to that on the ‘real’ canal – where we were moored. Our…

  • More individual hire boats

    …decision not to rent whichever type Giethoorn-boat remained unchanged.

  • Lovely house (I)

    Wherever one looks inside this fairytale-like village, the houses are all adorable. It is, however, unavoidable to ask oneself how it would be to own such a house and live...

  • Lovely house (II) Tourists in hurdles! It’s one big open-air-museum. Every possible language is to be heard. So, no, we prefer being a tourist in Giethoorn over being a local.

A former farm, “’t Olde Maat Uus”, named after Hendrik Maat, the last owner (dialect, Olde (oude) = old, Uus (huis) = house) is almost completely refurbished and now Giethoorn’s very, very interesting museum.

  • A genuine DC next to the…

    Daily life was partly lived in the same area where the (tiny) cattle was stabled. Inside that area we spotted this charming toilet, obviously being a DC, as opposed to a WC. The chamber pot fits exactly in the opening - there’s even a little extra room for the pot’s handle. The chamber pot obviously was emptied into a larger bucket and after that the ditch next to the farm offered an effective solution. The few cows...

  • …cows place in the winter

    ...lived in the same space, which must have had a positive effect on the temperature – not to mention the smell. Looking at this layout the thought that a full bucket was emptied in what is called in Dutch the ‘groep’; being the ditch behind the cows. We were unable to find a translation in English for the word ‘groep’ (pronunciation like the dubble o in Betty Boop). We now stop, toilets are a never-ending subject for boaters – sorry.

  • Microwave precursor

    This intriguing thing captured our attention, as we had no idea what it is, errr was. Well this was for the food of the men working on the land. The food was half-cooked at home, then the (exactly fitting) pans were placed inside this box, the box was closed, the food was brought to the men, became hot and cooked on the way and was, subsequently, ready to eat at arrival.

  • Thatcher at work

    The farmers, rather peasants over a 100 years ago (no offence meant), made extra money by growing reed that is suitable for thatching roofs. This picture gives an idea of the tools used and the way the reed was placed to create a thatched roof. See the next two pictures.

  • Rear part of the museum’s thatched roof

    There’s not a lot of comment needed here. We deeply admire the skills of the craftsmen that are still able to deliver a genuine...

  • Front part of the museum’s thatched roof

    ...creation like this. Having said this, we know from our UK-era that the Brits are more than able to play their part if thatching is involved.

  • Pre-washing and heating dirty laundry

    We are just old enough to remember how doing the laundry by hand took up some serious time from our parents, rather: mothers (red, split hands).

  • Rinsing, mangling and pressing clean laundry

    Cooking the laundry by using a paraffin stove! Using washtubs (for us too!)! All by hand. It’s unimaginable nowadays that this was still done, say, some 65/70 years ago. Nostalgia!

Life was lived inside the kitchen, the only heated room. This picture (yes, a sub-standard one, we regret it) shows the stove for heating and cooking and the easy chair, next to his pipe rack, both for the ‘paterfamilias’.

  • Front room (stove)

    This room was only used on birthdays or in case of visitors. A sort of (copper) kettle was integrated Inside the stove in order to have hot water available all the time.

  • Front room (tiles)

    See the astonishing tiling on this picture. Although poor, this can only be described with the word ‘rich’. People slept here as well. See therefore the next set of pictures.

  • Bedstee (partly opened)

    The name ‘bedstee/bedstede’ is best translated by box-bed or even cupboard-bed. See It was, at least in The Netherlands, not unusual -until, say, some 80/90 years ago- to use one or more. There are three of them in the farm, now museum. It made the...

  • Bedstee (interior)

    ...need for bedrooms unessential. The bed was shorter than nowadays which is normal, because people tend to sleep in the half upright position. Contrary to the daily clothing of the farming community -always dreary coloured- the fabrics used inside the bedstee were brightly coloured.

As from the first of May, after the yearly spring-cleaning (‘grote schoonmaak’) was done, the cooking and eating was done inside this (freestanding) bakehouse (‘stookhok’) (boiler room?), instead of inside the kitchen. That way the house remained clean.

Enough about the really intriguing museum now. Next to the museum was a stork’s nest, which is not all that unusual, but this one contained three stork’s-chicken. All three of them are looking (staring?) towards the north, most likely because they can see one of their parents foraging in a meadow at a distance of about a kilometer onto which they have an unobstructed view. We have indeed seen a parent in that meadow, so their behavior was completely plausible.

Returning stork-parent from unexpected direction

We wanted to see a parent returning to feed the three chickens and concentrated on an approaching one from the north, thus able to make a video of him/her landing. All of a sudden another parent, likely to be the second, approached from the south and landed before we were able to ‘catch’ him/her still in flight, followed by the landing. This video shows, right at the beginning, for a split second the folding away of the wings after landing and then the feeding-feast begins. We had, after visiting the museum, to wait probably for half an hour before one of the parents condescended to do us the favour to start making the video. While waiting in front of the museum we heard parents (human ones), in all imaginable languages, suggesting visiting the museum. After that we have heard children, in all possible languages too, refusing. Kids! Young ones are ab-so-lu-te-ly not interested in any museum with presumably old stuff.

We turned our back on Giethoorn on Friday the 26th of May. A price of € 20,00 a day, electricity not included, is not what we want all too often. Departure time 1:09PM, enjoying nods of approval -our female half that is- from the crowd on the bank. Well crowd, several gongoozlers anyway. The weather is gorgeous already for an entire week offering us the opportunity to make this picture of a load of sailing-addicts on the Beulaker Weide – as you’ll understand a lake, only navigable for us when we follow the path of red and green buoys; the rest is too shallow.

  • The brown fleet (I)

    We saw this beauty last Friday on the Belter Weide (another lake, see before) and the second...

  • The brown fleet (II) today, Sunday the 28th, when passing us on the Beukersgracht. One just has to picture them.

And this is us, moored since last Friday 2:05PM on the Beukersgracht, after an exhausting cruise of 56 minutes from Giethoorn. We discovered the name of the place, being Belt-Schutsloot. One’s never too old to learn! There’s even a snack-bar situated on the opposite side of the road the picture was taken from. To call it bliss is an exaggeration; it does come in handy though. Sometimes. Oh, the name of the snack-bar? De Snelle Hap (‘The Quick Bite’ or ‘The Fast Mouthful’).

  • An old, converted tugboat

    This is just to show you what sort of floating things can be admired in The Netherlands. Take our word for it: the possibilities are endless. Everyone is having a good time.

  • A floating jacuzzi-shaped ‘thing’

    Inevitably it makes one smile when looking at all the things people do when messing around with boats – or floating things if you like. Phew, that was a lot! Until next week.