Netherlands inland waterway trip – Battling up the River Waal and Arnhem

Channel buoy on the Waal River

15th and 16th September 2014.

Before leaving Nijmegen, we popped up to the Monday market for some fresh veggies.

Then got going just after 10.00 hours.

And headed upstream on the mighty Waal River.

I had been dreading this bit of the trip, having read all about the strong current in our waterway guide.

On the Waal River

It must have been flowing about 3 to 3.5 knots.
The channel marker buys looked like they were motoring through the water at speed!

There was a lot of commercial barge traffic to deal with.

Fortunately along this stretch of the river there was a buoyed channel on the side of the main channel for small boats to use, so we did not have to keep dodging the barges.

It took us 2 and a half hours to battle up the 15 kms – average speed of 6 kms per hour.

Map of the Great Rivers

Once we reached where the Waal meets the Bovenrijn (Upper Rhine River) we turned downstream into the Pannerdenskanaal towards Arnhem.

I have included a picture of the map of this area of the rivers, to put it all in context.

Signpost at intersection

Now going downstream, we covered the 15 kms to Arnhem in just over an hour.

The marina at Arnhem was the Roei and Zeilboot Vereniging Jason (R and ZV Jason).

We had been advise to phone ahead for a mooring, which we did, and when we arrived the harbour master and assistant were ready to give us a hand getting into the tight box mooring.

Mooring cost here was 14 Euro per night, with electricity at 0.50 Euro cents. There was wifi, though not very good signal at the boat, but it was fine if we went up to the clubhouse.

John Frost Bridge – Battle of Arnhem

The town centre was quite a walk away, so as it was already quite late in the afternoon we stayed on board for a lazy evening.

Next morning we headed up to explore the town. Arnhem of course is known for the infamous Battle of Arnhem where the British were defeated.

This was a part of Operation Market Garden, which involved the landing of airborn troops, the securing of several bridges, and hopefully the defeat of Germany and the end of the war.

Nelson Mandela Bridge

As history tells us, this all went wrong.

The bridge has been rebuilt and is now named the John Frost bridge after the British commander.

A bit further along the river is another bridge now called the Nelson Mandela Bridge.

There is a lot of history to see in Arnhem and we first visited the VVV (Tourist Information) to find out where to go.

Arnhem Town Hall – Old and new section

The Historische Kelders house all the archives, but unfortunately was closed for renovation.

The other similar place was the Rozet where we spent a while looking at the many historical artifacts from the war times.

Next was the Eusebiuskerk, also under renovation, but there is a glass lift that takes you up to the top of the 93 metre tower where you can see across into Germany.

Arnhem – 70th anniversary of the battle

Lastly we visited the Information Centre for the Battle of Arnhem, located at the John Frost Bridge, where, using pictorial accounts, they portray the events of the batttle from the perspective of all side – British, German and Polish.

Very moving!

Well worth a visit.

As with Nijmegen, Arnhem was heavily bombed so there is a lot of new building among the restored places.

After all that walking – another restful evening back on board.

R and ZV Jason at Arnhem


Distance       30 kms
Locks           0
Bridges         2 fixed
Motoring Time   3.9 hrs

Next – Down the Geldersche Ijssel.

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