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So let’s go inland a ways and look around.  I actually want to make the point that even in the smaller interior cities the water connection is strong.

See Amsterdam on the left? Slightly northeast all the way across the map, you see a city called Zwolle.  To drive from Amsterdam to Zwolle is about 60 miles.  And that “island” you see in between the two cities is actually reclaimed land, a polder that used to be the bottom on the Zuider Zee.  That particular polder is called Flevoland, but I digress.

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Today’s post focuses on Zwolle, a city about the same size as Leiden.  Its name actually comes from the same word that in English is “swollen.” But more on that later.  Once again, notice the moat, i.e., water and therefore boats.

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All kinds of boats, and incentives for tourist-attracting traditional boats lining the moat.

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Enclosed by the moat was once a walled city.  Here’s a remnant of the wall;  notice the reddish-hulled vessel under the flags to the right.

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Below is looking through the arch which is visible on the left side of the photo above.  The tower in the wall holds . . . what else, an Italian restaurant.  A throwback to the Romans who managed to get behind enemy lines back in in “barbarian” times?   That’s a joke.

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Let’s jump across the moat and see this from the outside.  That boat is called “de verhalenboot,” which translates as “the story boat.”  Here’s a googletranslated version of their site.  They have a matching tender.

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Here, notice the “story boat” in the center?  To the left is the “pannenkoeken boot,”  i.e., a restaurant boat noted for its pancakes.  I posted about them in Amsterdam two years ago here.

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I.e., lots of specialized vessels, starting with freight carrier repurposed as houseboats,

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as well as modern houseboats fitted onto barges.

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Note the grand piano to the left of this gray/white vessel?

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There’s the piano again to the extreme right.  It’s landside of Thor, cultuurschip.  Here’s the googletranslated version of their webpage; their 2016 season just started.  This is Zwolle’s version of the sixth boro’s barge music, here and here. To orient you, that’s the “story boat” just beyond the vessel to Thor‘s stern.

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So there’s pancakes, stories, music . . . and a pink “love you long time” craft that for 13 euros, gets you a guide, a drink, snacks, and a ride around the moat.

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Here’s more of their flotilla and their translated page.  Dutch and English are not that different:  translate this as “cook boat.”

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And as you travel around the moat, you see lots of old buildings like this one, lots here with

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names in painted (?) terra-cotta.

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In the center of town, there’s the “keep,” technically, Sassenpoort.

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Of course, my nose is really for workboats, Harm and Harm 2, small tankers for the local Shell distributor.

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Here, you see the sail maker’s shop, also selling “water sports articles” and built into the old city wall.  And here’s my holy grail . . . the 1942 small tug named Kees.   Kees is a very common name for males in Dutch.

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As is true for over-the-road trucks in the US, many Dutch vessels carry owner info on a placard forward of the wheelhouse.

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A similar but more primitive looking vessel here is Ceuvel.  Other than that this boat was likely built in an area of Amsterdam called Ceuvel, I know nothing.

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Let’s end here today with a shot of her from the stern.

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More photos tomorrow from another small city in NL, this region of water as seen here and here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’d love to hear from the owners of any of these vessels and/or see building plans.

 

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