Recently we decided to do a tour around the IJsselmeer. In this blog we report on the second part of our experiences, namely: Friesland. Flevoland and North Holland are discussed in part 1 and part 3, respectively.
Part 2 Tour around the IJsselmeer: Friesland
Day 4 On to Ljouwert (continuation)
Since we had already visited the beautiful IJsselmeer coast of Friesland during a previous trip with Lemmer, Stavoren, Workum, Hindeloopen and Makkum, all very worthwhile, we now opted for a more rural route along the Tjeukermeer and made a shopping and lunch walk through Joure.
Every Dutch coffee drinker knows the Douwe Egberts brand. In 1753, the father of Douwe Egberts, Egbert Douwes, started a business in colonial merchandise on the Midstraat in Joure, which has grown into the famous coffee roaster.
Via Terherne we arrived in our fairly new hotel on the south side of Leeuwarden, so Ljouwert for the Frisians. Again, everything was correct Coronaproof at the reception and restaurant. After a copious meal we went for a tour through the Alde Feanen near Earnewald.
National Park De Alde Feanen is one of the showpieces of nature conservation organization It Fryske Gea. This unique nature reserve is a low moor area of almost 2500 hectares and consists of a very varied landscape including lakes, reed lands and swamp forests.
Day 5 Walking in the start and finish city of the Elfstedentocht
After breakfast, which was neatly prepared in a buffet style, it was time to visit the provincial capital. We thoroughly traversed the city center, after we had parked the car in the vicinity of the Emmaplein. A walking route of about 10 km led us past many beautiful facades, monumental buildings, shopping streets and churches. On the way we enjoyed a delicious lunch on a terrace on the canal, giving our energy level a nice boost. Some highlights of our route were: Blokhuispoort, now Cultural Center and hostel, once a prison, Sint Bonifaciuskerk with the highest church tower in Friesland (85 meters), Prinsentuin, De Oldehove, the 1.99 meter unbalanced tower and various Guest houses and courtyards. Leeuwarden is the birthplace of Mata Hari and M.C. Escher in whose birth house now the ceramic museum is located. Another striking building is the Waag.
There was already a Waag (weighing house) in Leeuwarden around 1483. It must have been east of the current one. This building was built around 1595, in the Renaissance style. De Waag has always been the center of trade. The merchants were obliged to have their merchandise weighed at the city weigh house, a public weigh house. In Leeuwarden mainly butter was traded, so the weighing house was known as a butter weighing house. The Waag on the Nieuwestad was in use until 1880. From that year on, weighing took place in the new Beurs and waag building on Beursplein.
We found Leeuwarden a pleasant, relaxed city with beautiful old buildings interspersed with gardens and with a varied range of shops. The inner man has no reason to complain here either. During our excellent evening dinner at the hotel, we looked back on a well spent, pleasant and informative day.
Day 6 Franeker, Dokkum and Bartlehiem
The Planetarium of Eise Eisinga has been on our list for a while and today was the day. After a relaxed breakfast we went to the former University city, Franeker. Parking was done quickly and for free.
In view of the Corona rules, access to the Planetarium was only possible after pre-booking tickets for a specific time slot. Time slots usually give us a rushed feeling and we try to avoid that as much as possible; after all it is vacation. The night before we had been browsing the internet and it seemed that we could get a ticket the next day.
At the door of the planetarium we easily reserved tickets with our phone for less than fifteen minutes later. Waiting is not a punishment, because the surroundings of the Planetarium are very picturesque. Stately buildings border the idyllic water and the Raadhuisplein.
The planetarium was built between 1774 and 1781 in his own home by Eise Eisinga, a wool comber with an extraordinary interest in mathematics and astronomy. Powered by a pendulum clock, the astronomical timepiece, since its completion, indicates the current position of the planets via the blue ceiling dial, making it the oldest working planetarium in the world. The reason for the construction of this ingenious, scaled solar system was that Eisinga wanted to counter the commotion about the end of the earth caused by Pastor Alta.
After this interesting visit we had enough food for thought, but Friesland has many more special places, we wanted to see some of them. One of them is Dokkum, a famous final staging point of the Elfstedentocht and the city of Boniface’s assassination.
This originally English missionary was killed by canes during his missionary tour around 754. His first Frisian mission failed in 716, after which he was active in present-day Germany for many years before attempting to win Friesland again. In 1934, the Roman Catholic pilgrimage chapel, Boniface Chapel, was built on ancient foundations in the form of a kind of Roman amphitheater. It is surrounded by a small park and in 1962 a statue was unveiled for him by Princess Beatrix.
Meanwhile, the inner man started to grunt a bit and after first hitting our noses at a restaurant in the city center, we were welcome in a beautiful new-looking Chinese restaurant a bit more on the city’s outskirts. Without a reservation we easily got a table and the service and food were excellent. The Corona rules were also respected neatly.
In the past we could not resist watching television when an Elfstedentocht was on. In our experience, the bridge of Bartlehiem is world famous and of course we wanted to take a look there.
The skaters have to go twice from Bartlehiem to Dokkum. The first time on the way from Franeker to Dokkum and the second time back towards the finish. They are then only 10 kilometers away from the finish on the Bonkevaart in Leeuwarden.
Not far from Bartlehiem we found a real Eleven Cities monument, the so-called Tile Bridge. We could even find the tile of our King and that of Bart Veldkamp and Henk Angenent.
The bridge contains more than 7,000 blue-glazed tiles with images, names and dates of the participants. From a greater distance, the portraits form a new image of skaters riding behind each other. The bridge, Canterlandse bridge over the Murk, forms an arch of honor for the participants. This bridge is the last one before the finish of this impressive skating tour.
Day 7 Afsluitdijk, Alkmaar and beach
The day started drizzly and we slowly drove over the Afsluitdijk to Noord-Holland. Construction of the 32.5 km long Afsluitdijk started in 1927. An important role in the realization of the Zuiderzee works was played by Engineer Cornelis Lely, whose statue you will encounter on the dike. The road section is on the “inside”, which means that you cannot see the Wadden Sea from the moving car. Major maintenance is currently underway. Cyclists and pedestrians can now only cross the dike by bus.
Join us in the third and last province of our trip and read ….. Part 3 Tour around the IJsselmeer: Noord-Holland