2015 European waterway cruise – Netherlands – Enkhuizen to Alkmaar

Leaving Enkhuizen

We left Einkhuizen on the Monday.

The weather was much better and we had a good trip round to Medemblik on the Ijsselmeer.

Excellent sailing weather so there were loads of yachts and boats out.

Just off Medemblik there are 3 demarcated dinghy racing areas, all packed with brightly coloured sails darting in all directions.

Dinghy racing on the Ijsselmeer

Medemblik itself is a tiny town and we had no plans to stop there.

It was merely the entry place back into the inland canals and across the Wieringermeer polder.

The polders and the Dutch water management never cease to amaze us.

Passing through Medemblik

Once through Medemblik we locked down through 2 locks – a total of 5 metres!

The polders are reclaimed parts of the Zuiderzee, and this particular one is used
predominantly for agriculture.

Took about 2 hours to cross, after which we locked up 5 metres again, but in one lock.

Locking up 5 metres

It was by now already mid afternoon and we made an overnight wild stop at Kolhorn.

Normally the so-called wild stops are free,
but this time a harbour master appeared and we had to pay a mooring fee.

Distance-wise we could probably have got to Alkmaar, but we might have been too late
to get a mooring place.

Wild stop near Kolhorn

That is the one hugely important factor in cruising these waters, particularly at this time of year –

The marinas or mooring places fill up quickly,
and one needs to be at a berth by mid to late afternoon.

One of many low bridges

Next day we continued along the Omval-Kolhorn Kanaal tp Alkmaar.

This route had a lot of very low bridges. – We had the radar arch folded down all the way, and the other canopies down on one or two occasions.

Gave Karen a few scary moments as we slipped under the bridges with only cms to spare.

Alkmaar architecture

We arrived at Alkmaar mid afternoon and did get a berth.

The lady harbour master offered us a berth in the inner harbour, but we opted to stay on the canal berth.

Turned out to be a good choice! –

The inner harbour was lined with pubs and restaurants, there was much festivity well into the night, and we would not have have slept a wink.

Shangri La in Alkmaar

Alkmaar was a lovely place and we stayed 2 nights.

It is a typical medieval Dutch town and seems to have been spared the devastation of the war so all the old buildings are intact.

There is a new and modern part of the town. There are 2 museums of interest to us – the Beatles Museum and the Beer Museum.

In the Beer Museum

We opted to take in the beer museum.

Very interesting video presentations along with many examples of the old brewing equipment on display.

Inner canals of Alkmaar

Afterwards we enjoyed a reduced price local beer at the pub, sitting on a floating platform and watching the passing boat traffic on the inner canals.

A great day out.

Next – on to Amsterdam.

Stadsaal – Alkmaar

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