Amersfoort (III)

Between the ships that are moored here for the winter some spaces are popular with fishermen and herons alike – as proven by this picture. We did not witness a feeding-session but are convinced the fishermen create lazy herons by their habit to feed undersized fish to the herons instead of putting them back into the water. Possibly they -the little fish- are too damaged to replace though, who knows? Anyway, the herons are the lucky ones. (They -the herons- are astonishing sh*t-producers, by the way!)

  • Still summer

    This picture dates from the 3rd of October, when a group of children, a mix of locals and foreign, cruised the river by using self-built rafts. Note the colour of the trees…

  • Autumn strikes

    …and the same trees on the 29th of October, so some 3½ weeks later. We absolutely love autumn because of its colours.

And now ladies and gentlemen… we proudly present our new winter-covers to all of you! Around the wheelhouse as well as on top of the two dog-boxes (‘koekoeks’). As you can see our view is not obscured, since we now have high quality plastic windows on the outside of the existing ones. It approaches the effect of double glazing as far as the wheelhouse is concerned and protects all the wooden parts – which is especially nice as far as the dog-boxes are concerned. We need tentroof-shaped covers, because the front dog-box is the emergency-escape from the underneath situated bedroom. A tight cover would make it impossible to escape, if the occasion would arise. Hopefully not.

  • This

    Not far from where we are moored a former course of the river Eem (the part we are in is dug out) nowadays is a beautiful marsh where one can have a walk.

  • Can

    This is what it looks like. We had a walk in a part of it last Sunday, the 23rd of October and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Make

    Another example we must show to you and…

  • Us

    …one more. Sun and autumn, a perfect combination.

  • Feel

    Because we cannot get enough of it here’s a fifth one…

  • Good

    …followed by a sixth one – it must be an even number for blog’s sake!

Our very good friends Barry & Sylvia visited us on Thursday the 27th. On a former occasion, we booked for a tour by boat to view the city of Amersfoort. It was new to our visitors and they liked it very much – as we did again. The guide for the tour is preparing for the task that is awaiting him. (We are looking at the front of the -open- boat.)

This is the view when leaving the tunnel-like bridge, as shown in the distance by the former picture. The Piet Mondriaan-museum is visible on the right-hand side, where the vertical red flag flows. The museum is a former school where Piet Mondriaan’s father was the headmaster; a part of the building served as family-home. Especially abroad his family name is often spelled Mondrian.

  • We know what this is

    The last picture already showed a little statue in the canal-wall. Here’s one of a woman that was occupied by handling butter. Story tells that she used to lick her fingers, an obvious explanation of her voluptuous shape.

  • We do not

    Another example of a statue in the canal-wall. We forgot its meaning, but are sure it’s far more pious than the first one.

  • Front of large house

    After having passed the Mondriaan-museum the former, first, city-wall becomes visible – in fact no longer visible, as a second one was built farther out because of the city’s expansion. The house on the left-hand side of this picture once was (partly) part of the first wall, which is still visible when looking closely to the frayed wall next to the waterside.

  • Garden of large house

    It has been a house of a well-to-do family, proven by this tree in their back garden. It’s a red oak, known for the fact that nothing thrives underneath of it. Well, there was no need for that: a rich family could buy all they need at the market. Why grow your own vegetables when you’re rich?

The white house that was already visible in the background two pictures back shows a sign of richness as well: toilets. They’re visible here on the outside. Mind you though: the upper storey housed the servants and self-evidently did not have a luxury toilet.

  • Monnikendampoort (detail)

    A part of the second, outer, city wall is formed by the ‘Monnikendampoort’. This is a detail of it.

  • The same (smaller detail)

    This sign is already visible on the left picture. It commemorates the level of the water inside Amersfoort in 1916, being 3,3 meters (11 feet) above NAP (= the ‘normal’ level of the water). In those days the Zuiderzee still existed and was able to bite severely when tide and wind conspired.

The foundations of the inner, demolished, city-wall were used to build houses on, properly named ‘Muurwoningen’ (Wall Houses). These houses could, of course, not be deep because of the existing foundations. Therefore, they are all strikingly wide. Because Amersfoort did not have its own brick-making factory, any builder-to-be needed to have/bring his/her own bricks – and subsequently be a well-off individual. (Related Dutch word and expression: ‘steenrijk’ and ‘je steentje bijdragen’.)

  • The art of bricklaying (I)

    First example of one of the ‘Muurwoningen’. Autumn enhances the picture enormously…

  • The art of bricklaying (II)

    …and a second one. The city contains a load of beautiful, interesting buildings.

Amersfoort’s pride, being the Onze Lieve Vrouwetoren, around 98 meters (325 feet). It’s the third highest in The Netherlands, after De Dom, Utrecht and another one who’s whereabouts we have forgotten. (We have limited internet-access at present.) Mind you: this impressive tower is the zero point of the Dutch land-registry system.

  • Choir

    In long gone days the vicar of this church was utterly long-winded. Therefore, the choir left the church after he started his sermon and walked into a nearby pub. Except for one: the youngest. He had to leave the church towards the end of the sermon, cross a bridge nearby and notify his older...

  • ...and pub

    ...colleagues in the pub. His reward was a drink, waiting for him behind a little hatch that could be reached from the outside. (The single tree is the one opposite the church – to give you an idea of the lay-out of the spot.) So far for some of the many things on offer during the interesting boat-tour.

Yesterday, Saturday the 29th of October, it was again a lovely day. Sunny, autumn colours, three hot air balloons in the sky (are you able to spot them?) and last but not least a noisy fair on the opposite bank.

Fair next to the Eemhaven, Amersfoort

In case someone wonders what is meant by ‘noisy’ we offer this short video to you. Fortunately it all stops around 10:30PM. Hope to meet you next month, Sunday the 28th of November to be exact.