Amersfoort (IV)

This is the name of the city inside whose borders we’re moored for the winter. The city is situated in the north-east of the Utrecht province and its second-largest city – after its capital, named Utrecht as well. The city contains over 150.000 inhabitants. Its name derives from ‘Amer’ a river formerly named Amer (now: Eem) and ‘Voorde’, a fordable part of the river. Threfore ‘voorde’ has the same meaning as ‘ford’ in English (Oxford, Bedford etc.). Amersfoort was granted city rights in AD1259. For more see

  • Kei (boulder)

    This piece of granite, during one of the ice-ages pushed to the moors surrounding Amersfoort from Scandinavia, was already mentioned in 1545 in an official state-document during Charles V’s reign. In 1661 it was dragged to Amersfoort’s Pig-market by 400 citizens and buried there in 1674. Excavated in 1903 it was placed on top of the present pedestal in 1954. The nickname for Amersfoort, Keistad (Boulder-city), originates in this boulder, ‘De Amersfoortse Kei’ (The Amersfoort Boulder). The boulder was, controlled by a notary, weighed in 1990. Result: 7,157 tonnes. Converted in stone (very appropriate indeed!): 1127 (and a negligible bit more - not all conversion-sites provide the same result!).

  • Standbeeld (statue)

    This statue is visible in the background of the boulder-picture. It is called ‘Op Schoot in Amersfoort’ (Sitting on someone’s lap in Amersfoort). To be honest we had passed both the boulder and the statue – and never noticed the boulder. Shame on us! One tends to think that this represents someone trying to lift the boulder. Not. Our (weak) excuse: we are always fully concentrated on entering a coffee-shop -yes, a real one!- called ‘Bagels & Beans’, partly visible in the background between the boulder and the statue on the first picture.

Winter has arrived. This picture was made in the morning of the 8th of November after a first frosty night. Our new covers execute their jobs flawlessly.

  • Autumn firmament

    The wintery conditions make sometimes for stunning views. This is what was visible at sunset on the 22nd of November, 6:00PM sharp.

  • Autumn colours

    Would you believe that the reality was even more stunning than what is shown by these pictures?

  • View to the north

    The main topic for this time: Sinterklaas’ ( incoming on Saturday the 12th of November. We had to abandon our mooring space temporarily, together with 5 other ships – thus creating an open space for disembarking Sinterklaas and a load of Zwarte Pieten (

  • View to the south

    We found a space some 200 meters downstream, just inside the port, thus making the bridge open unnecessary. It’s still fairly quiet here. That will change within minutes.

The arrival of the first and second Zwarte Piet was straightforward spectacular, especially the first one. How on earth did he do that?? Of course we are familiar with the water scooter. We know they make huge waves!

Only less than a minute later we realized what the first Zwarte Piet was capable of. The crowd, of course especially the kids, loved it.

A small flotilla of boats, carrying an army of Zwarte Pieten, entered the port. This is just one of the tinier ones.

This Zwarte Piet, seemingly of the female gender, deserves special attention. He/she was outstanding, both in appearance as well as merriment.

At last, the man himself –Sinterklaas- arrived amidst colour, noise, music and gifts. Especially the kids loved it.

The view from our own ship of the crowded port of Amersfoort. A huge audience on both banks of the river Eem. (Note the grey (party-)boat on the right-hand side. Alas this boat plays an unfortunate part in the sad story with the next-to-last picture.)

  • Where’s the man?

    Two picture, giving a good impression of the huge popularity of Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet in The Netherlands. Amersfoort Sinterklaasstad (stad = town). The protagonist himself...

  • He’s here! visible in the centre of the right picture. The ship in the foreground is moored at ‘our’ space. We did, of course, not object. The kids are all very excited – see the opposite bank.

This morning the devastating news emerged that after a celebration using the party boat last night a 25-year old man was stabbed to death on the quay, opposite from where we are moored. The assumed attacker, seemingly a 51-year old uncle, was put behind bars. That was on the quay where hundreds of young kids where cheering because of Sinterklaas only weeks ago. Some contrast! © AD.

The last Sunday of coming December is the 25th. We’re sure you do not blame us for not creating the December-blog page on that particular day. It will be postponed for one week. We wish you all Merry Christmas! © Unknown.