Our Barge, Odysseus

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Our First Visitors

Saturday morning Cathy Jo went off to the market and I stayed behind to clean up the boat. John and Patti had called from Brussels Friday night to say they would arrive sometime Saturday. We assumed that meant in the afternoon but I got a call about 11 am that they were in Amsterdam and wanted to know where we were. After a couple of phone calls for directions, I met them at the ferry and we had our first visitors. It was great to see them again; after all, they were the ones who got us into this barge thing in the first place! And they pronounced the guest cabin bunks very comfortable, for those of you interested.

For those of you unfamiliar with the back story, we first met the Hardmans way back in the 80's when we lived aboard our sailboat Arrow and they owned a wooden sailboat, Freya. After several years, they moved back to Texas but we kept in touch. Four years ago they bought Capri (see the link to the right) and last spring we spent 10 days with them in the Burgundy region of France. We were hooked! We came back from France, sold the house and now own Odysseus.

We spent the afternoon wandering around Amsterdam, Patti's favorite city.

You just never know what you'll see on the streets of the city. This guy was just sitting in his Cadillac Eldorado on a bridge over a canal with an Italian opera aria blasting out of his radio.

The following day it was more wandering about the city and then over to Uitmarkt (pronounced "outmarkt") which is the kickoff to Amsterdam's winter cultural season. There are booths with information on all of the museums, concert schedules, theater and music events, art exhibitions; just about anything happening anywhere in the country for the next 9 months. There were also several stages with live music and several art exhibits. As we crossed the river from Java Island, just one of the venues scattered throughout Amsterdam, this was the view back.

We couldn't let the Hardmans leave without a boat ride so Monday morning it was off down the Noordzeekanal for a trip back to Haarlem.

We've already been here a couple of times, once by train and later by boat so we were able to give them the grand tour.

I think we've seen about twenty paintings of this Haarlem bridge but none of them have Odysseus in them!

The highlight of this visit, however, was a full concert on the Muller organ in the Grote Kerk. You may remember when we last visited we missed the concert by a day but attended an Evensong Service to hear the organ. This time we got a 90 minute Bach organ mass. What an instrument!

Wednesday morning, John and Patti had to hit the road; they had some stops to make along the way back to France and their return to the states was just days away. We decided to try to get some painting done before we returned to the marina where the boat will lie for the winter so we headed back to Kaagiland and the island where we spent a couple of days about a month ago.

The calendar may still say August but fall is definitely in the air. The temperature really drops at night and when the sun goes behind a cloud (which it does often) the long sleeves come out. Sometimes we forget we're at the same latitude as Newfoundland. We'll try to get some work done anyway. We can see the end of this years adventure approaching.


vance said...

Hurry home... Jr is waiting. You need to make him lot"s of money. Your having way too mutch fun. John say"s (hi;)Let"s break some piling's and give away fuel for T-shirts. Safe Journey's..... V

Don and Cathy Jo said...

Oh much too soon I'll be there to torment you all. It is, after all, my right as an American to bitch! And I've never broken a piling in my life. Running lites, yes, pilings, no!