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.
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.
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.
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.
|One of the other sheds in the park|
|A delightful skipper with lots of stories to tell|
|Anne and I caught up with life in the bows with the|
ever delightful Woody
|The snail moored up at Zoutkamp|
|Oll, the skipper in control|
|Koos, the skipper's mate|
|Sunset at Electra|