Lelystad - Almere

Last Sunday, the 30th of April, our youngest grandson accompanied us for four days. He proved to be a real ‘bikkel’ (a nice Dutch word for a tough one) sitting on the front of our little ship even when the weather conditions were not all that comfortable.

We left Lelystad temporarily on Monday the 1st of May at 11:15AM and entered the Larservaart because we wanted to visit the Aviodrome (https://www.aviodrome.nl/) an exciting museum about Dutch aeronautics, to be found at Lelystad Airport (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lelystad_Airport). It’s possible to moor at walking distance of the airport. We arrived at 12:22PM and decided to postpone a visit to the museum: pouring rain!

  • The Spin

    The next day our grandson and our male half walked onto the airfield and visited the museum, starting to admire some real ‘oldies’, both designed and built by a fellow countryman, being Anthony Fokker

  • Fokker Dr.I

    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Fokker). The one on the left picture is a ‘Spin’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fokker_Spin) and the one on the right a Fokker Dr.I (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fokker_Dr.I).

  • Lockheed Constellation – front

    In our humble opinion one of the most striking and prettiest aircraft ever designed. Look at its ‘cat-back shaped’ upper side and its triple rudder...

  • Lockheed Constellation – rear

    ...to name but two utterly conspicuous characteristics. For more, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Constellation.

The museum brought us back to memory-lane. This picture, with one teacher and 14 pupils was taken in 1962 during an excursion to (the old) Schiphol Airport. In front of a Lockheed Constellation, no less! Yours truly is the handsome guy on top – unrecognizable if you’d meet him today…

  • Schiphol Airport before 1967

    A model of Schiphol Airport (now Schiphol Oost) as it looked like before 1967 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amsterdam_Airport_Schiphol). The two of us visited...

  • What it looked like in 1964

    ...the airport in 1964.This is the view of the vast apron as seen from the building that is visible in the background on the left picture. (By the way, we are still together.)

  • De Havilland D.104 Dove

    As said, the two of us visited Schiphol Airport in 1964 and decided to have our first flight. A round trip was offered by Martin’s Air Charter (later Martinair, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martinair). For this purpose, a Havilland Dove (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Dove) was exploited and before entering the plane (how unimaginably exciting!!!!) we pictured her/him/it. Note the registration. Last Tuesday the same...

  • PH-MAD Martin’s Air Charter

    ...airplane was spotted -see the registration- now a bit of a ‘pièce de résistance’ at the museum. Isn’t that great? We remember being the last two (of 9(??) to enter the plane in 1964. As a consequence our female half was seated in the co-pilot's seat – the best seat by far. Afterwards her comment was: ‘the pilot is a macho, he did a lot of things in front of me while he could have done the same on his part of the dashboard’. She still remains that down-to-earth type of woman.

In or around 1984 our son and one of us (guess who) visited an airshow at Eindhoven Airport (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eindhoven_Airport) and had a round trip in a Douglas DC-3 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_DC-3) offered by Air Atlantique (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Atlantique). It was an unforgettable sensation. The changing position of the plane during takeoff and landing because of the tail-wheel, the movement during the flight, the sound, the smell – you name it.

  • Sud Aviation Caravelle

    These two pictures clearly show the difference in layout of the fligt-deck between a plane that was developed in the 50s of last century (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sud_Aviation_Caravelle) and 30 years later...

  • Fokker 100

    ...(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fokker_100). We remember to have visited a mock-up of the Caravelle during the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. (Atomium.) Almost 60 years ago. Sixty! Time flies, dear reader.

Our grandson was not all that keen on airplanes and related stuff. Unlike his granddad as you’ll understand. Nevertheless he was prepared to sit in the captain’s seat of an Antonov AN-2 Antek as if he is in full action. This plane (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-2) is of such an ugliness that it becomes a beauty again. Les extrêmes se touchent, isn’t it?

Lelystad Airport is owned by Schiphol Airport. The latter is nearing its maximum capacity, reason to expand Lelystad Airport. The works are partly visible here. As from 2018 Lelystad Airport will accommodate the Boeing 737, the Airbus A320 and the likes – mainly short haul and/or holiday flights.

Enough about aviation now. We left the same day, Tuesday, at 1:55PM and cruised for a few hours, planning to moor on the canal. The mooring-space was supposed to be just before a bridge, but there was nothing there. (Later on we discovered that a new bridge had been built, but was not integrated in our map yet. Haha.) Anyway, we found an alternative on a lake called de Vaartplas. This picture sure looks idyllic, but one of us (no guessing) had to walk around the lake, fighting the geese-sh*t on the pontoon and the undergrowth on the land. ‘Anything for the blog’, that’s our slogan!

  • Cormorant

    If ever you’d meet someone trying to convince you of the fact that all birds in The Netherlands live on top of a pole: do not believe it. Sometimes though one tends to...

  • Stork

    ...think it must be true. We have seen this when cruising up and down the Lage Vaart (low canal). The Hoge Vaart (high canal) will be tackled coming week, so stay tuned.

  • Mis-hit

    We’ve been back to Lelystad again, but you’ve seen what that looks like last week – third picture from last. On Thursday we were thrown back to just the two of us and we needed the Friday to recuperate. Saturday we left at 9:20AM, planning to be somewhere near the famous national park Oostvaardersplassen. Here’s the first opportunity to moor – the canal...

  • Bull’s eye

    ...is visible in the background. It proved to be too shallow. A pity, ‘cause it does look really inviting, doesn’t it? We had to move on a bit and go for this space on the canal itself. The engine was switched of already at noon. This is, by the way, the spot we were looking for on Tuesday but were unable to find because of the ‘extra’ bridge. Building up knowledge, that’s what it’s all about.

After unfolding our cherished folding bikes we biked into the Oostvaardersplassen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oostvaardersplassen). We spotted this (factually unmissable) herd of Konik ponies (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konik) at a considerable distance. The wind came from the east and someone told us the ponies would be closer during westerly winds. It was impressive as it was, though.

The geese are very (re)productive at present, as this picture proves. After having seen loads of Canadian Geese in the UK, France, Belgium and The Netherlands alike it is absolutely nice to see the Greylag Goose still being represented at a large scale. We just like them better than its Canadian cousin. There are loads of other species in the Oostvaardersplassen. We only saw a dark spot on top of a tree-branche in the far distance, using a strong pair of binoculars. According to the guide we were looking at a white-tailed eagle (zeearend). We believed him.

This morning we left the Oostvaardersplassen-area at 10:17AM and finally reached Almere’s built-up area. We even negociated a lock and are now on the level of the Hoge Vaart (high canal) which is 1 meter (over 3 feet) higher than the Lage Vaart (low etc.). Initially, after surviving the Markermeer, we descended 6 meters (20 feet), so we are still well below ‘sea’level. Shortly before arriving at our present mooring we saw this huge flock of cormorants, which proves that they are not always sitting on top of a pole.

  • Sunday 7th of May, 2017 - view towards the north on the outside

    We moored here, at the entrance of Almere’s Noorderplassen (northern lakes) and switched off our engine at 12:10PM. The spot is really to our liking, so we decided to use the maximum permitted stay of 3 nights. And will...

  • Sunday 7th of May, 2017 - view towards the south from inside

    ...maybe ‘smuggle’ a bit more. Our view towards the entrance of the lakes. The bridge is a moveable one, giving us the opportunity to enter the lakes. Why should we? We are happy where we are. That’s it for this week. Bye bye.