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From Groningen we set off for Appingedam, apparently a beautiful old town. We got stuck waiting for bridges and lost at least 2 hours. But once going, the speed limit of 13 kilometres an hour allowed us to make good time. Yet another wide awake harbour master was waiting for us as we came thought the bridge. Appingedam did not disappoint. It has a brand new marina and is a well maintained historical town. The usual stores Albert Heijn (supermarket), Hema (everything) can be found in the main street. Another attraction are the 'hanging kitchens'. They are extensions to old buildings to create a cooking area.
We arrived just in time for the Sea Shanty Festival. Now I need to say this, we didn't purposely plan tofollow each and every single festival in every last town. But it was hard to miss them. Either it was sheer fluke, or August is the month for festivals.
And this particular festival was happening right next to the marina. A mix of different groups of singers rotated venues, even riding up and down the canals, singing sea shanties. Acapella, good old fashioned - "Hey Ho and up she rises" and oompah bands went on for most of our time in Appingedam. We would have moved on sooner were it not for my other half being incapacitated. A person can only take so much mirth.
Hanging kitchens in Appingedam
The boaters in the marina got festive and hung up all their flags plus added bunting. Also known as "dressing overall" in boat speak, creating a festive vibe in the marina. A few boats even had coloured lights draped over their boats at night.
The fresh water supply in Appingedam had a health warning for Legionnaire's Disease next to the tap. In Dutch only. You need to run all the water out the hose before topping up your tanks and again after. This procedure prevents contamination. We originally wanted to turn down the heating on our boat but the engineer at our home marina advised us not to. He said hot water killed off salmonella which is another lurgie to consider. Who knew?
Skew buildings in Appingedam
One last bit of wise advice we were given, was to ensure we used a 60'C wash at the laundries. Or risk contaminating our clothes/linen from possible bugs from other people's laundry. Every marina we encountered had a laundry. Usually one washing machine and one dryer. Sometimes two. The machines used tokens, purchased from the marina office. Quite a few machines dispensed soap so washing powder was not necessary. It usually cost around €5 for a wash and a dry, sometimes more. All the machines were in great working order. People tend to remove your washing and place it in a basket if your cycle has ended and they want to use the machine. Some kind person folded my laundry straight from the dryer so well
Public lanudry at marina in Leeuwarden
it looked like it had been ironed.The ablution facilities were also usually in good nick. But not all the facilities had toilet paper or hand soap. We got into the habit of always taking our own just in case.I found the showers cut off too quickly and I needed at least two, sometimes three coins to wash my hair, shave and have a good fat scrub up.
I guess every nation has a misery guts. Or two. We met a pair of Dutch moaners in Appingedam. This couple berthed next to us. We exchanged polite greetings. All good. So we thought.We turned on our generator so we could use our stove to warm up some food and the husband charged up to our boat and told us to turn our engine off. He was allergic to fumes. Lord alone knows how he
Back of our boat after a laundry session
survived all the boat engines on the canals and in the marinas. Such an unreasonable request really should have been ignored but we didn't want to get into an altercation. So we ate salad and fresh food in Appingedam which could only have been good for us.
From Appingedam we planned to take the Van Starkenborgh Canal and then the Princes Magriet Canal toward Friesland. A friendly crowd in the boat ahead suggested we rather go via the Riet Diep which they said was less industrialised, had less barges - which have right of way, and was more scenic. And it was. We found a peaceful public mooring in the middle of no-where. There weren't even cows or sheep about. I made a mushroom and courgette curry which we ate with a €3.99 Albert Heijn organic Syrah. And watched the setting sun. Heaven!