Boating in Holland – Part 5

Read about this trip from the beginning by clicking on – this link.

Patrick went and found the Delft  havenmeester (harbour master) and paid €16.00 for the night.


Turns out there is/was a grand plan to upgrade the marina in Delft. The havenmeetser showed him the plan. But the whole deal went flat when the economy took a down-turn. The marina facilities were below the local restaurant. Unfortunately the water wasn’t hot here either.

Our time was winding down. We kept getting waylayed in places and feared we would never get done. So the next day we got going toward Leiden. A 25 kilometre trip with 20 bridges and one lock. We could pass under the fixed bridges but we would not pass under the beweeg (moving) bridges without lowering our mast and awnings. Even then, we would still not have gotten under most of the bridges. Kanaalbrug and Reineveltbrug did not respond to our VHF requests to open

En route to Leiden

which stressed us out no end. The bridges are supposedly monitored via video surveillance. It took a while but they EVENTUALLY opened. Perhaps because other boats phoned?

Waiting for bridges made our travel time longer. Our big fear is always that we won’t get a mooring. After Delft that was a more than reasonable fear.

We see so few other nationalities on the Dutch waterways. My guess is 98% of the flags flown on boats are

Kandelaar brug stayed firmly down

Dutch. One percent of boats have the German flag and the other 1% a  mix of everyone else. We saw a few Danish, Swiss and the odd UK flag. We saw 1 x Ozzie flag, 1 x USA flag, 1 x Canadian flag and 1 x Swedish flag. This is over 6 months during 2013 and 2014. Clearly everyone goes to Amsterdam. Which is such a huge pity. I mentioned earlier that Gouda was probably nicer than Amsterdam. But after seeing Delft, I would say Delft was even nicer.

Coming in toward Leiden we passed two marinas which had no free passanten (places). If we didn’t get a space in Leiden proper we were going to be

Dutch sloep or dinghy

in trouble. Fortunately Leiden has plenty mooring space. Thank God! A super friendly havenmeester and really helpful boaty folk helped us tie up in the box passanten which are tricky to negotiate. Relief!

The facilities were good. No Wifi unfortunately. (The Dutch call it wiffy) But unlimited hot water and electricity via tokens. The weather was fabulous. They were having a heatwave. The Dutch never let a ray of sunlight go amiss. There were barest of bodies on display on the boats as people lay basking in the sun. The marina is next to pubs, cafes and restaurants. It was a Thursday

Doing a self guided walk in Leiden

night. Holland is dead Sunday to Tuesday. Even Amsterdam. Dead, dead, dead. But from Wednesday to Saturday they sure make up. We could hear people laughing and revelry until well past 12pm. Even as late at 2am people were singing with all their might on the quay and in passing sloep (dinghy) boats.

We read the brochures the havenmeester gave us and found a Leiden City Walk for €3.00 per person at 11.30am. Seemed like a great idea, so we went to the Tourism Office and guess what? The tour guide did not speak English. I have to say

Precarious mooring in Leiden

that is the first time in my life I have encountered a group tour guide who does not speak English. And also the first I’ve heard of a Dutch person in a city who can’t speak English. Might explain why so few people travel past Amsterdam.

We bought a book with the walking tour and followed the walk ourselves. With a lunch stop included, the walk took us 3 hours.

Afterwards I stopped in at De Tuinen, a local health shop chain, to get something for my allergies which were driving me bonkers. I battle as I am not immune to the local pollens.

Box style moorings in Leiden

We had been lucky with fabulous weather but the minute we untied our boat to get going – the heavens opened. We drove in pouring rain to Kaag Eiland. We made such good time that we got lost. My other half was looking at the wrong part of the map for bearings. He finally figured it out and we tied up in the rain at Kaagdorp haven (harbour). They have Wifi but our boat was so far from the signal I had to sit at the very back of the boat in the flipping rain to get one bar of signal. Which kept dropping anyway. That’s how it is on the waterways. Sigh!

Homes near Marina in Leiden

Kaag Eiland has no supermarket. A boat comes along and sells provisions to the locals. We missed it unfortunately. Holland was playing a game in the Soccer Cup so we showered early and headed up to the local bar. We got to the pub too early so had a German beer and watched the Belgium vs Argentine game. Then went back to our boat for supper. My other half and I used up the spare time catching up on comms, logs, saving photos and the usual stuff.

Cuisine this end of the world is not exactly vegan. Or vegetarian for that matter. The kind of thing they had on the menu was bitterballen (meat balls). Usually some type of crumbed fried meat balls with frites (French fries). Or maybe a cheese, egg and ham sandwich called an Uitsmijter. Desert or sweet is almost always Appelgebak (apple pie) with Slagroom (whipped

Dutch menu

cream). The Dutch love strong coffee. Even the tiniest boat will have some kind of coffee making device. It’s not uncommon to smell the aroma of coffee in the morning at the marinas. We prefer to self cater on our boat given our narrow dietary choices.

Continue reading about this trip – by clicking here.

For more on other places we have visited, go to the top of this page and open – My Holidays and Trips.

And now for something completely different. I’ve started a new raw vegan blog. Find it – here. I already have an established eco fashion blog called –
Greenie Dresses for Less. I’m juggling three blogs!!

I will be back soon.


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