Today is our 25th wedding anniversary and we're celebrating it with Dutch friends.
During our first week, when we were staying in Amsterdam, we made contact with Jos, a family friend of our friend Richard Roach. Jos picked us up in his car, drove us all over central Netherlands and then treated us to dinner at his houseboat. We figured we should return the favor so we found a mooring along the Vecht river about a 2 minute walk from his house and invited him over for dinner. He'll be arriving soon with three friends. We'll see if we can seat six around the table for dinner. Luckily while we were raping and pillaging IKEA we bought dinner settings for six!
So we are under way but we've made little progress ... not a problem as we're not in a hurry. The weather hasn't been very good (windy with occasional rain) but we've managed to put a few hours in and at least we're away from the dock!
We traveled south from the lake we were on to the town of Alphen-an-de-Rijn and then up the Aarkanal to connect with the Amstel River through a sluice, or lock.
We got within walking distance of the apartment we stayed at in Amsterdam but then veered off to the east along the Wesper Trekvaart crossing the Amsterdam-Rijn canal (big, busy water but no traffic when we crossed), to the town of Weesp. (The double "e" takes on a long "a" sound and w's sound like v's so it's pronounced "Vaspe"). We spent the night along the bank with about a thousand other boats in giant thunderstorms.
We joined a long line of boats this morning, taking about an hour to get through the four lift bridges in Weesp and out onto the Vecht River. We've driven and walked along this river and it is beautiful. The guide book describes it as "Fraaie, binja stroomloze rivier van Utrecht naar Muiden, door veelal parkachtige omgeving." That's a pretty river with almost no current from Utrecht to Muiden in a parklike setting for those of you who haven't progressed beyond elementary Dutch (or who don't have an English-Dutch dictionary handy).