July 7

Back to waterways adventures. After spending the day in Naarden, I moored in the harbour of a little island in the Gooimeer. The wind was up and I wanted serious shelter, and not an urban marina mooring. I found the ideal location. A quiet night, and then a speed run to Utrecht on the Amsterdam-Rijn canal. Think waterways freeway: no lift bridges, obstructions, and as straight as a waterway can be. Lots of commercial traffic, but lined on each side with a double row of trees.

a canal 'superhighway'

a canal ‘superhighway’

My first Dutch castle beside the canal in Muiden

I then spent two days exploring Utrecht: a very interesting university city. The cathedral is a centerpoint here as well, though the building is a bit eccentric. The nave (largest part), fell down in a big storm in the 1500’s and was never replaced. The tower remains, but separated by a square and some replacement buildings. The remainder of the church is very weird: high gothic and immense- but truncated. The entrance to the nave was bricked off, and now supports a large organ. When I went in, there was a choir rehearsing for a concert- and singing one of my favourite choral works “Cantique de St. Jean Racine” by Faure. A VERY different sound with 80 voices in this building, and in Dutch.

someone who has travelled with me on my journeys specifically appreciates the floral displays: the Netherlands is the best!

someone who has travelled with me on my journeys specifically appreciates the floral displays: the Netherlands have the best!

Some boat work, and then pottering along on the little canal to Gouda. There was a delay for about 30minutes while a diver attached a hoist to a piece of metal that he was removing from the canal, and then on I went. This canal has the most vivid displays of multi-coloured hydrangeas, all in bloom.

Then on to Rotterdam, where I met a former student who overcame all the hassles of my stagecraft program to become a lead lighting hand on the Diana Krall tour. It was great to chat about his adventures and life events (married, two boys, and a very successful career in touring with artists like Michael Buble, (and Justin Bieber, but no one can choose all their music!).


an apartment building in the center of Rotterdam. Either someone forgot to finish the center, or there was a catastrophic collapse… the people living in the center of the arch have windows on their floors.


instead of trains, or cars, in the Netherlands, they have boats and water

We walked the city, finding interesting architecture. We also found this toys set: in Canada, trains, or perhaps race cars, in the Netherlands, canal sets. Just think of the fun your kids or grandkids could have with all the water!


About Ed Mortimer

I'm a retired school teacher, now living on my Dutch cruiser in France. I'm touring as much of the canals and river systems as I can. This blog describes what I do and where I've been. I did spend 5 years on first a narrowboat, and then this boat, in Britain.
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