Monday, October 05, 2015

Wandering with the snails in Groningen

I hadn't actually realised it's been more than a week since I wrote my last post. I don't know where the time has gone, but it's flown away, if not by. Last week was a busy one, I know, as I had two new courses starting on top of the ones I was already busy with. At my stage of winding down a career rather than up, this type of work intensity doesn't come without effects, and one of those is that I get a bit scattier than usual.

Luckily, Saturday brought some welcome relaxation even though we had to drive 250kms to find it. We were in Rotterdam already, so I suggested to Koos that we drive north to visit our dear friends, Anne and Oll. They have sort of settled in a marina at Electra near Groningen as they are now the proud owners of their very own shed there - for this, read euphemisim for a rather nice holiday chalet with a garden. They got it as somewhere for Oll to work, a bit more space for them both (the Snail, being a narrowboat, is just that - narrow) and the possibility of renting it out in the summer. 

That said, it's quite out of the way when it's out of season, and so we thought it would be nice to visit them while things are quiet.

After a three hour drive, we found them in a lovely rural spot. The shed has a perfect view and it's really very appealing. We chatted a while, had some coffee, did a tour of the park and met one of their neighbours who lives on a large barge in the same marina. It just so happened Koos knew him too, so we had a good chat with this delightful, smiling skipper.

One of the other sheds in the park
A delightful skipper with lots of stories to tell

And then someone had the bright idea of going for a mini cruise. It was either Anne or Oll as neither of them likes to pass up the opportunity to go out when they can...they miss their more itinerant lifestyle. And of course so do I, so there was no arguing with that idea.



Anne and I caught up with life in the bows with the
ever delightful Woody
 It was a glorious day and unbelievably still with no wind at all. We motored several kilometres west until we arrived at Zoutkamp. The sun was warm, the sky as blue as it gets and Anne and I sat in the bows soaking up the peace. In fact we went on a bit further than that, and turned around, but it was there we stopped for a meal of fish and chips (kibbeling en patat) and a walk round this rather pretty fishing town. Then we cruised slowly back to Electra.

Zoutkamp

The snail moored up at Zoutkamp

Oll, the skipper in control

Koos, the skipper's mate

Sunset at Electra
Sadly, we couldn't stay longer and Koos and I had to hop in the car to make the three hour journey back to Rotterdam. 500 kms for a day seems like a lot, but it was a very special one and one we'll remember it well during these colder autumn days.

22 comments:

  1. as usual, lovely pics and an evocative description of a special day. xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh what a lovely day - one of the best, and well worth the drive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was, dear Jo. There's nothing so good as messing about on boats...

      Delete
  3. Hi Val - seems an ideal day ... doing journeys like that occasionally are so good for the soul - yes you will have happy memories. What a wonderful looking area .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Hilary. It did us a lot of good. And being in great company does too. A special day all round!

      Delete
  4. Hello Val, it sounds like a very special day with friends, going cruising on the waterways, stopping for my favourite treat of fish and chips. A long drive, but a pretty location for the holiday chalet. Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The long drive was definitely worth it for both the company and the cruise, Patricia :)

      Delete
  5. What a splendid day out you and Koos had meeting all of those interesting people, having a boat trip on a snail - fascinating eh ?
    When I first saw the word snail I immediately though of escargot, then remembered that you are a veggie :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funnily enough, the narrowboat has "Less Cargo Carrying Co" as its signage, Mel :) But, yes, the boat world is full of interesting people, isn't it?

      Delete
  6. How gorgeous to have a waterside shed! perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  7. We are very lucky that you felt we were worthy of that very long drive here and back in a day. It was indeed a special time. Thank you. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And we were even luckier that you considered us worthy of a trip out on the Snail! Thank you too, dearest Anne 'n . xxx

      Delete
  8. In your last post you were back home and now you're off gallivanting again. It looks lovely and well worth the drive to spend time with friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, Anne. It was just a day, but you're right!

      Delete
  9. Fabulous photos and a great sounding day :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like a perfect day and, as always, stunning photos too. I'm sorry we didn't see Wandering Snail and your friends at Electra but can't help wonder if we didn't see her cruise past us in Dokkum. Perhaps! We'll keep a look out next time we are up that way and will shout Hello! if we do see them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I thought you might have bumped into them at some point, Veronica!

      Delete
  11. Hi Vallypee, we met Anne and Oll in Maasbracht sailing with friends on another narrowboat(Puzzler). Like to visit them by boat(Sambucca) Can you pass adres/phone-number please :-)
    Lots of thanks in advance.
    Cees (sambucca@sambucca.nl)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Passed on, Cees! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete

Apologies for switching on comment moderation, but this is to make sure everyone can comment without jumping through captcha hoops!