Emmer-Compascuum - Zwolle (Veenpark included)

Monday the 20th of August 2018. Emmer-Compascuum was left at 9:17AM. We cruised only 1½ hours and moored at Barger-Compascuum’s Sint Jozefvaart at 10:47AM, in front of another barge, named ‘Rachel’. This mooring space is situated adjacent to the open-air museum ‘Veenpark’, a museum mainly dedicated to the history of peat-extraction in this region.

During the afternoon we visited this highly interesting and entertaining museum extensively. Our first interest was drawn by the sod-houses where the poverty-stricken families lived in.

  • Sod-house interior (I)

    One can only look on in amazement when realizing how minimal comfort as well as...

  • Sod-house interior (II)

    ...entertainment possibilities must have been. It was a life of only working and sleeping.

  • School

    The school existed of only one classroom for all ages.

  • Nursery rhyme

    A nursery rhyme brought back our own childhood with a singing mother..

‘The peat-hump of Rooie Geert’. Another interesting item was a pile of peat presumably destined for heating/cooking. It was, in reality, a hideaway during WWII, created by the couple Geert (‘rooie Geert’, because of his ginger hair) en Lide Saelman. They took a great risk. Genuine heroes!

The interior of a peat-worker’s home, now inside more recognisable housing – not being a sod-house.

An old-fashioned forge, equipment for horseshoeing included.

  • Grocery store

    We bought ‘spekkies’ (untranslatable) for him and ‘drop’ (liquorice) for her.

  • Local candy

    ‘Drentse Kniene Keutels’ = ‘Drenthe’s Rabbit Dung’. Perfectly edible we’re told.

  • Toilet (I)

    The left one was seen in the sod-house.

  • Toilet (II)

    The right one in a bridge-keepers cottage.

  • Tourist train

    Before continuing our walk throughout the museum we participated in a journey towards a peat extracting area. By little train that was, also because of the distance. It was a bumpy ride, not at all comparable to a real train – but funny so much the...

  • Track and bridge

    ...more. The not-so-level track is seen on the second picture, after passing the bridge over the canal. The bridge goes up again immediately after passing, thus preventing people to enter the museum without paying (we did initially).

  • Rail-track, still in use

    Although bumpy and in need of some maintenance, the old rail-track carried us slowly but surely in the peat extraction area’s direction. On the...

  • Rail-track, now overgrown

    ...way we noticed tracks that obviously were in use during the heydays of the peat-era. Noticing the size of the trunks that must be some years back!

  • Peat (I)

    A layer of peat, still mined. Maybe only for the museum’s visitors? The first picture shows the tools as used by the workers; the second one the difference between a just extracted piece of peat and its considerably reduced volume after...

  • Peat (II)

    ...drying. Peat only could be mined between the end of April and around the 21st of June because its high level of dampness, combined with frostiness, before the end of April and the time needed to dry after (around) the longest day.

I'm the boss

After returning from the interesting explanation about peat extracting we planned to visit some more buildings. Before that we heard a rooster crow after every 20 second or so. We were able to video one of his crows – and proud of it!

  • Clog making (I)

    Clogs are mainly made of poplar wood. The left picture shows a piece of wood, already recognisable as a future clog. On the right picture the piece of wood is on the verge of being mechanically hollowed. The machine follows the shape of the template-clog in the centre. As you can see there are...

  • Clog making (II)

    ...two possibilities to clamp a pre-processed piece of poplar wood – a clog-in-the-making. One’s for a right foot clog, the other one for…. (You guessed it.) There was so much more to see and to write about, but the space in a weekly blog is limited, so we have to leave it for now. This was only the Monday!!

  • 21.08.2018, 7:13AM

    Before leaving Barger-Compascuum we noticed the autumn announcing itself. It was a long time ago that we’ve seen morning-fog.

  • 21.08.2018, 9:59AM

    Later on we cruised the Koning Willem-Alexanderkanaal (only 6 years in use). A part of it looks like a former nature reserve. Beautiful!

Nieuw-Amsterdam, where Vincent van Gogh once lived, was reached after 4 hours and 25 minutes of cruising, at 1:15PM. It’s a spot with all possible facilities, like shops, electricity and water. We’ve written more extensively about it last year already. Our second dog-box was oiled here, among other necessary little jobs.

Two nights/days later, therefore on the 23th of August, we left Nieuw-Amsterdam at 9:38AM. We could pass the first two bridges unhindered but had to wait in front of the third one – a train-lift-bridge. This picture shows why.

On Thursday the 23rd we realized a new ‘record’: we moored at Baarlo just before 7:00PM, so cruised for amply over 9 hours. First we tried Zwartsluis, but that was completely ‘sold out’, forcing us to return to Baarlo, some 12 extra kilometres. The mooring space is situated just in front of a lock and it’s impossible to step onto the shore. That’s why this pic doesn’t represent our little ship in full. The picture-maker was too hen-hearted to be on the required distance by walking on top of the construction between ship and land. (No, it's not what you think, there was not a single drop of alcohol involved.)

When still at Baarlo we felt dumbfounded when a huge container-ship passed that was navigated from the front! The colossus showed a relevant name: Uniqueship.

On Friday-morning at 9:14AM Baarlo was left. We passed Zwartsluis again and entered the river Zwarte Water, going upstream in the direction of Hasselt/Zwolle. A glorious day and glorious cruise alike, that’s what it was. Here’s the view back when cruising on the river. The lift-bridge at Zwartsluis, leading onto the Meppelerdiep, is visible in the centre distance.

One always feels a bit anxious when arriving in Zwolle’s centre. Would there be a space for a ship of our size? There are dedicated spaces for boats ‘over 12 meters’, but it is our experience that those spaces most of the time are occupied by shorter boats, seemingly owned by plain brainless pricks. (We got that from our chest…!) This time, however, we miraculously noticed an empty pontoon and without any hesitation took possession of it and stopped the engine at 11:44AM. Not even a quarter of an hour later two other ships arrived and we generously allowed one of them to breast up with us. That’s how we are. Of course our slightly resentful male half, helping the temporary neighbours while mooring, took the opportunity to point out that he knows for a fact that a cruiser like this one would never invite us when we would be in reversed positions. A blank look was his reward…. (For the Dutch insiders: our neighbours' flag indicates their membership of KNMC. Well, well…)

Today, Saturday the 25th of August a sponsor-swim around the old inner-city of Zwolle was organised by ‘City Swim Zwolle’ with the sympathetic goal of raising money for cancer-research. The start- and finish-line were close to where we are moored – see the hoisting crane on this and the former picture. (The same crane indeed.) It’s the sixth edition, last year raising over € 16.000,00.

Three of the heroes in action. At the starting point we read on a notice-board that the water temperature was 20.6°C. Hmmmm.

An illustration of today’s weather. Sometimes a severe shower, immediately followed by a blue sky, decorated with large white clouds. The sun has not left us. Not yet anyway. Bye for now.


27.08.2018 15:41


Heel interessant het Veenpark. Al wel andere turfsteekspots bezocht, maar nog nooit deze!

28.08.2018 17:13

Diny & Simon

Dus toch nog maar eens doen - bij gelegenheid. De moeite waard!