Our last full day in Amsterdam – tomorrow at midday we board our cruise ship and head off to Norway – was another day of sightseeing, hopping on and off the buses and canal boats. No rest for the wicked here …
This morning we arrived in Amsterdam, and after breakfast headed out into the countryside, to the picturesque village of Zaanse Schans, a scenic tour through the reclaimed land within the dykes – by far the highest points in the otherwise flat landscape that is The Netherlands- and a visit to the famous cheese-making village of Edam. The afternoon was free time, which we spent on a short walk through the area between the harbour and central station and the main square. Finally, a bit more culture before our last night on Scenic Jewel.
Life on the French rivers and canals is slow. And the barge Waterman is also slow – and a real challenge to steer in a straight line. But Ian tells me I’ll get used to it – and I’ll certainly get more muscles from the exercise of wrestling the wheel.
The locks are only open from 9AM to 7PM – with an hour off for lunch between 12 and 1! We cooked eggs and bacon for our lunch while waiting in a lock for the eclusier to return from his dejeuner.
We left Mailly-le-Ville just before 9AM, and eventually arrived at Vermenton, in a small side branch river, at about 2:30PM, having covered an astounding 12km and 8 locks. Here’s a sample of Vermenton – mostly closed on Monday, as is almost everything in France.