Thursday, December 15, 2016

Guidebook research XIV: Southwest Friesland & Hindelopen

Another hot day and I'm riding to Hindelopen, old harbor on the IJsselmeer, my final destination for guidebook research.

West of Sneek it's just fields of cows--the black ones with the white band in the middle--swamp and reeds. Due to a detour I somehow missed the quaint old village of Ijlst--once the center of the shipbuilding timber trade, as noted in Sneek's Shipping Museum.
(original date of this entry: July 2, 2015)

On the way to kp 38/Oudega is an observation post for abundant birdlife in the waterway beyond railroad track. Many ducks resting on sandbars and white and black birds swooping around. Oudega (Frisian name: Aldegea) is a little watersports playground on the Aldegaaster Brekken, one of a series of connected lakes. They've got a bunch of stand-up kayaks for rent.

Doris-mooltsje mill, under renovation
Now round the north side of the lake toward kp 15. Nice open expanse of water and an old windmill, the Doris Mooltsje. It is a rare example of a spinnenkop, a hollow post windmill used for drainage, dating from 1790. After a long period of disuse, it was restored to working order in 1998.

Sneek to Hindelopen (red bit by train)

15 -> 16
Skirting the lake west, beautiful wetlands with plenty of waterfowl. Then basic farm fields viewed through shimmering heat. At 12:30 it's too hot, and I had to stop at Workum to catch the train a mere one stop to Hindelopen. The train runs once an hour and I have to wait about 14 minutes. The ride took all of five minutes. 6 on the outside. 

West Friesland: Arriva Train to Hindelopen

I wasn't really into Hindelopen. Too hot and the two listed accommodations were shut anyway. I went to one of the two listed museums. As one of the towns on the Elfstedentocht, the 11-city route taken by skaters when it's cold enough for the waterways to freeze, it has a skating museum. But mid-summer such a notion seems distant indeed, and the woman running the ticket counter looked bored and bitter. She probably doesn't even like skating. I spoke to the dude in the tourist office, an aging hippie who also seemed worn down by the heat. It's funny that in a country where you're shivering most of the time, when it finally warms up people get cranky and irritable.

Hot Hindelopen

After lunch and look around, I headed south along the IJsselmeer (LF22) to Stavoren, retracing a ride in reverse that I'd taken five years earlier. Stavoren has a substantial harbor. The ferry from there to Enkhuizen is not especially popular. With good reason: you can get to the same destination cheaper by train, though it probably isn't much cheaper. I find it a bit of a thrill to continue my journey this way -- though probably unintelligently had a herring and milkshake beforehand. 

Did not even get slightly ill on the crossing. Now that I've touched down in Noord Holland, it's a quick train ride from Enkhuizen to Amsterdam. Research is done.

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