Medemblik

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The last day of our European odyssey. We’d spent the day before at one of those swimming pools where nobody actually swims because they’re too busy swooping down slides, messing about with inflatables, or waiting for the wave or current machines to perform their magic again. Not usually my cup of tea, but the kids enthusiasm was infectious and we all had a great time.

Now we’d had to leave our accommodation quite early, but didn’t need to board the ferry until late afternoon. Time to squeeze in a little more sight-seeing.

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We’d already visited Medemblik a few times, mainly for groceries. We’d also been for a meal – Trip Advisor had recommended a bar as the best place for vegan food locally. When we arrived it was to discover that the only vegan option was a Caesar salad. Without the chicken. Or the parmesan. Or the dressing, which contains anchovies. So – a bowl of lettuce. For sixteen Euros. Fortunately, the Italian restaurant next door was much more accommodating.

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As you can see, Medemblik has a castle.

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It also has a marina and a complex of harbours and lots and lots of boats, which made me very happy.

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Many of the boats were leaving the harbours for the IJsselmeer, which seemed like quite a complex process, requiring some careful manoeuvring and a plenty of consideration for other sailors.

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Frankly, I could have watched the boats going in and out all day.

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Holland really does seem to be absolutely criss-crossed by canals. Both of the properties we rented in the Netherlands neighboured small canals. It also felt as though almost everybody had a boat of some kind.

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This prevalence of waterways and passion for boats means that driving anywhere requires a fair deal of patience, as lifting bridges seem to be the norm, even on very major roads.

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I have a feeling that this rather odd building might have housed some sort of gallery or museum.

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A sculpture to honour the sailors and fishermen of Medemblik’s past.

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One last trip-advisor outbreak of muppetry to report: too tight-fisted to book breakfast on the ferry, we took a convoluted route through South Shields to a recommended vegan cafe to find that not only was it not vegan, but that it didn’t even exist. After another interminable drive, the second recommendation provided an excellent vegan breakfast, I’m told. At lunchtime. Better yet, the boys and I found a storming greasy spoon just around the corner without any online assistance.

That being said, not all online advice is bogus, and I can heartily recommend the area around Medemblik and Enkhuizen.

Medemblik

9 thoughts on “Medemblik

  1. Wonder how much of your valuable time has been spent on Vegan quests of some form or other 😂😂
    THO likes Enkhuizen and if it’s anything like Medemblik then we’ll worth a visit. Any town built on water is ok by me. Probably said this many times but you’d love Venice, once you learn how to avoid the crowds anyway which is easy

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I’ll add Venice to my bucket list then.
      I have no desire to start adding up the time I’ve spent on Wild Goose chases of various descriptions, I think it might be a depressing exercise!

  2. THO says:

    Love Enkhuizen and surrounding area. C has been going there all her life. Have spent many a happy hour watching the boats coming and going. Great jazz festival in June, which regrettably suspect won’t be running this year.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Is the jazz festival actually dedicated to jazz, or is it a music festival which used to feature jazz? I ask because we saw jazz festivals advertised in a few places last summer, but I had the impression that the music on offer wasn’t necessarily jazz.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bit of a mix tbh, although the Dutch are really into trad / Dixieland jazz and the Enkhuizen festival definitely has its fair share of “proper” jazz. This band ( https://youtu.be/-JpCtD3ttfc ) are based in Enkhuizen and tour in the UK most years, although you would probably really have to be into your jazz to seek them out.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I can cope with that sort of jazz! Lancaster has an annual jazz festival. One year, a good friend, who is a musician and very into his jazz, encouraged me to go to a few gigs with him. I remember we saw Stan Tracey, whom I found a bit ‘challenging’.
      Lancaster also has a separate music festival which is bloody marvellous. I hope this year’s event is not spoiled by you know what.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I don’t completely understand the appeal of boats – I’ve done a little bit of sailing, but I’m not sure that’s it – but I am fascinated by them barges, yachts, launches, frigates whatever.

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