"" Writer's Wanderings: The Netherlands--Historic Triangle

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Netherlands--Historic Triangle

From Amsterdam it’s a forty-two minute train ride to Hoorn where we found the “Stoomtram,” the steam train. Across the tracks from the modern-day railroad station sits a quaint old station with a roundhouse that holds old steam engines, one of which was to take us to Medemblik where we would catch a boat to Enkhuisen which completes what they refer to as the historical triangle.

We were delighted to see the steam engine that pulled out of the roundhouse for service for the day. It looked exactly like Thomas, the storybook engine so popular with our grandsons. Then as we had a look around the museum area, we found that there were several other engines and cars that looked like the familiar ones in the Thomas storybooks and videos.

Climbing up to the signal house we watched as the conductor pull levers to change the tracks and put the road barriers down. All of this was explained in Dutch but was quite obvious in its function. (I’m sure he would have gone over it again in English but we didn’t ask.)

The train ride to Medemlik was about 1 ½ hours with one stop at another station and a few stops along the way where the conductor got out and actually stopped traffic the old fashioned way with a flag. The country side was beautiful. Very flat as you would expect for a place that has been reclaimed from the sea.

Arriving in Medemlik, we took a quick stroll around to enjoy the quaint town and then boarded a large steel boat that looked more utilitarian than passenger-oriented. But we were surprised when we boarded and found the inside lounge to be quite lovely with upholstered chairs and tables for dining.

Lunch was a tuna sandwich for me that was open faced. One side was the tuna salad and the other side had a beautiful arrangement of cucumber, tomato, lettuce and egg. Bob ordered a hamburger which came with a sauce on top of it. It tasted more like a veggie burger though.

The boat trip to Enkhuizen was a leisurely 90 minutes of Dutch shoreline mostly consisting of dikes. But we passed a lot of sailboats and enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine.

Enkhuizen is a town that needs to be explored more and we hope to return. Lots of interesting buildings, marinas, and sidewalk cafes we hope to see again sometime.

On the way back to Amsterdam (an hour train ride from Enkhuisen) we passed several fields of flowers in bloom. Too quickly however to capture a picture. Several fields were nothing but peonies but not in bloom. How beautiful they must be at the right time of year. Holland certainly deserves its reputation for flowers.

Other posts from the Netherlands:
Amsterdam, City of Canals
Anne Frank House
Windmills-Zaanse Schans
Corrie Ten Boom House

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