DUTCH BACKWATERS – the Schermer

Danger, danger! Fluisterboot approaching!

Danger- fluisterboot alert!

The Netherlands has more people per square kilometre than almost any country on earth, though they’ve spread themselves out so sensibly that it only feels crowded when there’s a royal abdication or a football final.

Sprinkled between the Dutch people are places that feel delightfully deserted. The village of Driehuizen, just north-west of Amsterdam in the Schermer district, has more than three houses, but not many more.

As Dutch as it gets.

As Dutch as it gets.

Driehuizen, North Holland

Driehuizen, North Holland

Whisperboats waiting for sea dogs like us.

Whisperboats waiting for sea dogs like us.

Friends took us out on the water in a ‘fluisterboot’ – ‘whisper boat’ – an electrically-powered dinghy that (once we’d mastered the basics) slid slowly and silently between the reeds, sneaking up on geese and cows.

Geese are overbreeding, and culling is needed, but these barnacle geese are protected.

Grey geese are overbreeding and culling is needed, but these barnacle geese are protected.

Not much to see, and that's the appeal.

There’s not much to see and that’s the appeal.

We love the feel of the area. You just unhitch a boat and sail it off, leaving your money in the box later if there’s nobody around.

The local school has only four classes. The school year was coming to an end, so a group of students and teachers in pirate costumes had ridden to Driehuizen on their bikes, commandeered some boats and taken to the water.

The school year was nearly over, so we met some pirates on an end -of- year voyage.

An end-of-year raiding party.

It can get muddy around Driehuizen school.

Apparently it can get muddy around Driehuizen school.

There are plans to merge the Schermer with the neighbouring town of Alkmaar in 2014, despite resistance from residents. We can only hope that it’s not the beginning of an incursion of Alkmaar’s suburbs into this beautiful backwater.

Long may it stay this way!

Long may it stay this way!

12 Comments

Filed under Holland

12 responses to “DUTCH BACKWATERS – the Schermer

  1. I really like that wellington boots picture!

  2. Thanks Andrew. I was naturally delighted to spot that one too.

  3. How lovely and calm Richard. Bet you feel like staying longer.

  4. Jeannette

    Holland op zijn mooist, graag met een beetje zon.

  5. Nice post, fine pics and a “Wind in the Willows” feeling to the text.

  6. Hazel Jeannes

    These photos are possibly your best to date, thank you. Long may it sty as is.

  7. Seems an amazingly tranquil spot…love the photos.

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