Netherlands waterway cruise – on to Vianen
At the end of the last post, we had left Utrecht.
I omitted to mention then that we had to lock
down through Noordesluis to enter the Amsterdam-Rijn Kanaal.
The Amsterdam-Rijn Kanaal is very wide, and very busy.
We only travelled along it for about a
kilometre, but I was quite pleased to branch off into the Lek Kanaal, although there was still a
fair amount of commercial traffic here.
After a short distance we locked up again, through the huge Prinses Beatrixsluis.
Then, along the River Lek for about half a kilometre, after which we turned off into the Merwedekanaal.
|Groote Rivieren or Great Rivers|
That’s quite a few rivers and canals I have mentioned in a short time.
Probably a good time to do a bit of geography.
This central area of the Netherlands is usually called the Great Rivers’area.
The navigation charts are Great Rivers East, Middle and West.
The three main rivers are the Maas, which has it’s source in France and passes through Belgium on it’s way to Netherlands, the Waal, the main connection to Germany, and the Rhine, which becomes the Neder Rijn and then the Lek in Netherlands,
They all ultimately end in the North Sea in the Delta Region of Netherlands.
|Vianen town centre|
And of course there are numerous inter-connecting tributaries and canals.
See picture above entitled Groot Rivieren.
Almost immediately into Merwedekanaal we came to Grotesluis.
|Random art piece in Vianen|
We had a fairly easy passage through all these last three locks, with not more than 20 minutes waiting time.
After Grotesluis we turned off into the disused arm of the canal where the Vianen public moorings were located.
|Old water pump in Vianen|
I had never heard of Vianen till we planned this trip, nor would I rush to put it on my ‘must go to’ list, but it was a convenient stopping place, and our cruising guide had given it a good write up.
The public mooring jetty was very good, although it apparently used to be free.
Now there is a
parking metre style pay point where you pay by credit card for your stay. It cost Euro 17 – a bit steep seeing there are no ablutions or facilities, but it did include un-metered electricity (walstroom) and fresh water, and was very close to the town.
|Vianen ancient walls (in need of support)|
Vianen is one of the original old walled towns which abound in the Netherlands.
Surprisingly it boasted a VVV (Tourist Info) where we got a walking guide and made a short walk around the town and walls. Despite the fact it was raining!
Later the rain eased off and we decided to chance having a braai (barbeque) for supper.
|Vianen by night|
It all went off well. Veggie sausages, salmon steaks for the non vegetarians, a huge green salad, helped along with some organic red wine from Alber Hein.
This shop has become our favourite Netherlands supermarket!
One of the things I love best about our boating is the evening meals on the back deck!
Stats – from Utrechct to Vianen
Distance 13 Km
Bridges 24 (21 fixed and 3 BB)
Motoring time 2.6 hours