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Exodus from Zwolle

The trip back from Zwolle to Zwartsluis was pretty uneventful, except for the fact we left on a Sunday, and the bridge operator must have overslept, as us, and the 16 or so other boats trying to leave Zwolle had to hang about for nearly half an hour before the bridges opened.

The choice of title for this post was very deliberate.

Finding Direction! There are 2 aspects to this –

Approaching Meppel

Firstly we have finally set out on a trip in Shangri La, with a specific direction and destination – a circular route of north Holland, returning eventually to Zwartsluis.

Secondly, the blog is getting direction. I did not think it would take so long to get going, and have something to blog about.

For nearly a year now the blog has sort of hibernated, but finally has a purpose.

Shangri La in Meppel

Future posts will cover the sections of the waterways we travel, as well as any technical aspects about boating in general, and specific things we do to improve Shangri La, all of which will hopefully be interesting and entertaining to readers.

So, finally on Wednesday 14th August, we set out on our trip of northern Holland – first stop Meppel.

This was a short and easy run along the Meppelerdiep ( a whole 5 nautical miles) – no bridges or locks to negotiate.

Meppel public marina – full

Meppel still has a container depot on the outskirts, so we passed a couple of large barges heading south.

We moored up at the outer public marina. Good thing we arrived early (just before lunch time) as it was busy and soon all vacant berths were taken.

Cost was Euro 11 per night.

Showers and electricity available at 0.50c a shot.

Electricity was expensive, as the 0.50c – didn’t seem to last very long at all.

Meppel inner harbour

We could have taken the boat through a lock and into the inner harbour area, which was very picturesque, but also rather full.

We were there for Meppel Thursday, when there is a market and all sorts of festivities in the town centre.

We did a huge fresh fruit and veg shop up!
And bought a few kitchen items from the second hand goods market.

Second hand market

We made a brief visit to the restored mill, which is still operating, run by volunteers, and grinding flour.

Although we are trying to cut down on the carbs, we couldn’t resist buying a kilo of wholewheat flour.

Meppel boasts a printing museum, but we were too late to get in as it closed at 1700.

Meppel working mill

There was one marine supply shop close by.

We are still hoping to find the right replacement mosquito/fly screens for a couple of the ports, but they didn’t have them.

We will try again in Groningen.

Although Meppel is a cute town, we had our fill by Friday, and continued on our way.

Next up – Meppel to Groningen.

Bon voyage.

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