Boating in Holland - Part 4

Boating in Holland - Part 4

Mini world museum Rotterdam
This journey starts - in this post.

Another late start the next day. No surprise. Our friends packed up and we walked with them to the tram station. We also went to the central station. They went on to Zandfoort and we went to Mini World to finally see the model railway layout.

Mini World is - without doubt - the best model railway I have ever seen. The attention to detail defies belief. They recreate areas of Holland from sections of Rotterdam's Europort, to polders, to farms, to pre-war and post-war architecture. And they recreate modern day scenes such as a music festival, an archaeological dig with dinosaur bones and a beach with a nudie section. They even have emegency scenes such as a building on fire and a plane crashed into a roof. The lights dim about every 20
River Maas Rotterdam
minutes and you get night-time activities. It's well worth seeing just for spotting the fun bits.

Back at our boat we got cracking with laundry. Fortunately Veerhaven had a launderette. We had four full loads. A wash costs €2.50 and a dry costs €2.50. Much cheaper than most other laundrettes. While that was going on we caught up on comms, our diaries and logs, sizing and saving photos and all the stuff we probably don't actually need, but like to record.

Picasso statue Rotterdam
We opted to stay yet another day in Rotterdam. There is a helluva lot to see and do and on checking the tourist map we realised we wanted more time. So after a late and lazy start to the day, we went walk-about. Why does it always rain when we want to explore a place on foot? This time we walked along the waterfront and veered toward Binnenrotte area where there are lots of eateries. We stocked up at Marqt, one of our favourite eco friendly food stores. Then we walked the other way along the waterfront to Het Park and the Euromast. We passed on going up the Euromast which was €9.50. But there is lots going on there. Have a meal, stay the night, go abseiling or just admire the view.

Rotterdam is so completely different to Amsterdam. It was hit
Euromast from Het Park Rotterdam
hard during the war and has lots of newer and taller buildings. It's the most culturally mixed city in The Netherlands. The current mayor is a practicing Muslim. I really liked Rotterdam and could have stayed another day but we had to keep going. Rotterdam was the most expensive marina to date. We paid €24.00 per night. The cheapest we've paid was €10.00.

Our favourite store - everything is organic
The next trip was to Delft. What a beautiful place. But my goodness the marina is awful. They are busy spending a small fortune upgrading the train station, yet there is space for only 7 boats in the marina. All 7 spaces were full by the time we got there, not surprisingly. We went back and found 4 more parking places on a
busy road outside the marina. There were 2 spare so we took one. No facilities. No services. Half the problem with Delft is big passenger ships hog what little space there is for pleasure boats. And then for some reason they don't allow mooring on about 70% of the actual space within the marina.

Delft is a gorgeous place. A student town, so it has a fun feel. They have preserved their old buildings and kept as much of the history as possible. It has lots of green trees and waterways with lilies in
Belgian beers in Delft
bloom. There is also an IKEA about 2 kilometres from the city centre on a bus route. Very handy since we needed a few more things for our boat and so made sure we stopped by IKEA. We also had a bargain lunch at IKEA and stocked up on our favourite Swedish foods.

Our road side stop outside Delft wasn't great. For some reason our boat water was cold. Icy showers for both of us. We had big barges belting past on the one side of our boat and cars and lorries on the other. The following day we decided to give up on Delft and head for Leiden. As we were going through Delft we saw an open space. We instantly changed our minds and grabbed the parking place. The marina rules say you can only berth for 24 hours but we weren't sure people
Delftware in Delft
would adhere to them. We tied up and went exploring again. We had a lunch at Bagels and Beans - one of our favourite fast food chains in The Netherlands.

I had invited a friend for supper, so we shopped up at Eko Plaza - our other favourite organic food store - and went back to the boat to make a meal. I got horribly carried away and ended up making a 4 course dinner. We had veggie rice paper wraps
Stadhuis Delft
with peanut soy dipping sauce. Next was a curried carrot and butternut soup. Main course was mushroom and tomato wholewheat pasta with a celery, pea and potato salad and crispy fried tempeh. For desert I made ginger honeyed apricots with soy yogurt and caramelised sugar crumble.

Read Part 5 by clicking - here.

For more on other places we have visited, go to the top of this page and open - My Holidays and Trips.

I will be back soon.


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