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Utrecht and beyond
October 6, 2008
Pete's Pics > Utrecht and beyond
 
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Maz, cosseted in her comfy cabin


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A pint of Guinness later and she was rarin' for dinner


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Having dragged her from the ferry and put her on the train the next morning I think she was pining for her cozy cabin


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And now to Harderwijk. This used to be beside the Zuiderzee until the government moved the sea and replaced it with a lake, Lake IJsselmeer


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This was accomplished by closing off a 2000 square mile area of the Zuiderzee apart from one small passage to the ocean and allowing the river IJsselmeer to flush out the sea water and replace it with fresh


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Done under the banner of public safety this decision changed Harderwijk from a prosperous fishing village to a tenuous tourist spot. Score one for the government!


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Bicycles abound in the Netherlands. Outside of the train station in Gouda we saw a two acre parking lot overwhelmed with geriatric two wheelers. Notice on the little launch here that the bicycle goes along for the ride. The blue mountain in the background is the Dolphinarium which is Harderwijk's list of attraction


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Boats of every ilk were moored in the erstwhile fishing harbor


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When I spied this beauty I was immediately stricken. Marian, the killjoy, thought it a mite small


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Don't know what these are for, but they did look cute


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While leering at the boats, a windmill appeared in the background. Actually, we think it had been there all the time - just kept a low profile


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Often erroneously thought to be Dutch helicopters, many windmills were originally used in land drainage management and were therefore intimately and literally involved in building the country


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There are over 1100 functional windmills in the Netherlands at this time but, curiously, they are generally fairly primitive. In England for example, tail fans are used to direct the mainsails to the wind and shuttered mainsails are used to modulate output. In Holland the mills are turned into the wind by hand and ofttimes, sails are simple canvas assemblies


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This mill is functional but is not in daily use


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Tours of the "works" are available


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In one corner there was a Dutch shoe store


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Following a week of deplorable Netherland hotels - they may not be good, but they certainly aren't cheap - we dropped off the little car in Rotterdam and took the train back to Hook of Holland. We explored "The Hook" and found the "Harwich" pub there


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Marian promptly disappeared and was found propping up the bar, gulping down her Stella Artois


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Nicely appointed pub - draft beer and all


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In common with most English pubs, a lot of bric-a-brac is on display with little security but seldom does anything "disappear"


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When we were kids in England, anything that was unusual, quirky or just outside of our experience was often referred to as a Dutch whatever-it-was, apparently a holdover from the 17th century when the Dutch and the Brits were at each others throats. So here is a Dutch pool table - only three balls and no pockets!


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Even so, these fellows played on as if they understood the whole thing


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Just along the street was this cafe. Although the temperature was pretty brisk, people struggle to sit out on the sidewalk simply because smoking is still permitted there


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The only other sight of interest in town was the Dorpskerk church along the main street


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Property prices are not attractive even in a forlorn place like the Hook. This little pad is about $600,000.00


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Seen at a greengrocers were these "Chernobyl" cabbages. They were HUGE - several times the size of the pineapples in front of them
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