Noah wrote in his diary that in Amsterdam it was just raining! We more thought it was crowded. People everywhere, but still indeed a different and vibrant city! We went through the canals in our dinghy, which seems to be the best way for us to explore the city. Kaube, a friend of Phil came for a few days, to sail with us to Haarlem, so lovely and fun 🙂
Crowded in the cockpit 😉
Reading bedtime stories
Arriving in Harlem
Harlem is wonderful. Full of bars, cafe’s, shops, in narrow streets with small old houses and flowers everywhere 😉 We rented some bikes and drove through the National park out to the ocean, to the Surfana surf festival. It was excellent, the wind was strong though, but the beach at the festival was surprisingly beautiful, though we thought it was cold (seemed like we were the only one, since everyone else was walking around in bikinis!) The festival had a good chill out atmosphere, listening to some music, having yet another ice cream.
Surfana festival, bike tour, beach and Italian dinner
Would have been a nice setting for an anchorage
Our first lifting bridge
Next day we had to say good buy to Kaube, and headed out in the canals again. We did not want to go far, but all our planned stop overs were not possible, and there were so many bridges to go through. Luckily the sun was shining and we passed a dozen of cows, windmills and sheeps on the way. Finally we found a free mooring in Leiden, where we stayed for two nights.
Next was Gouda, which is off course all about cheese. Gouda itself was very charming, though touristy, but the canals to get here are not so picturesque anymore. The way from Gouda was as well crowded with huge ships, and a ferry-bus driving with more than 30 knots (!). We had very strong winds, that seemed to funnel through the narrow canal stretches, and just made it into a harbour when it also started raining. Dessert tonight was off course cheese…