The last few meters and I am back at the canoe center. Hahaha, I got out of the boat with hurting muscles. I am not that used to canoeing! But I had a great day! And some wonderful memories of this trip :-)
And off it goes.... the Blue Heron thought I got a little bit too close for its liking and flew away. I hope you enjoyed reading this page and maybe got a little bit enthousiastic to take a canoe trip as well.
One of my favourite birds : the Blue Heron. I just love seeing them, they are so prehistoric in a way. It's very common to see a blue heron fishing on the side of the canal, waiting for hours patiently to catch a fish. Since I was a little kid I loved watching them and I can remember sitting on the other side of the canal watching them staring into the water. When you get close with a canoe though they will fly away. This picture was taken just before it took off.
It is time to go back.The way back is against the wind, so much harder to paddle. Phew, tiring! At castle Ekenstein (see previous tips) they sell icecream, so I decided to stop at the landing-stage of the castle. I got out of my canoe and crossed the street to the castle and got myself some delicious icecream :-)
Crossing another bridge in the city center. Hahaha, I wonder who the tourists are, we, or the people on the bridge? I did feel like a tourist attraction though, paddling through the canals of Appingedam. Quite a few people were stopping for a moment to see me passing by.
Life on the canals in Appingdam is quiet, as you can see from this lazy cat. It's a totally different world than the hustle and bustle in a city like Amsterdam. This is a quiet rural area, and in my opinion, a beautiful place to visit. Don't be in a hurry though and takes things easy. Just relax, paddle in your canoe and enjoy a beautiful lazy day.
Another look at the hanging kitchens. They look so picturesque! I've been here so often as a kid and I never realized how unique they are. But returning many years later and having another look at it made me realize that they are very special and make Appingedam a great place to visit.
Seagoing ships moored on the quays of the "Delf" where freight was loaded and unloaded. Trade was mainly with northern Germany and the area around the "Oostzee". Several loading and unloading berths can still be seen be seen the "Solwerderstraat" and the "Damsterdiep". The old medieval structure of the town and many old houses or warehouses have remained. When the importance as a sea port receded, many warehouses were converted to residences. Silent withnesses of this are the "hanging kitchens" above the "Damsterdiep" which originated owing to a lack of space since the buildings were, at the front, directly on the street and, at the back, directly on the water.
Around the 12th Century, a settlement arose from sailors, merchants and craftsment at the crossing between the rivers "Apt" and "Delf". A document from 1224 first mentions the name Appingedam. Due to its favourable position, it quickly developed into an important merchant- en market centre and capital of het District "Fivelingo".
One thing I like a lot about Appingedam these days is that every effort has been taken to restore the historic centre of Appingedam to its full glory. I can't remember it looked as good when I went to school here. But now, many years later, the city centre looks very picturesque, especially from the canals! Dozens of houses have been thoroughly restored and streets and their surroundings have been adjusted. Almost one kilometre (0,6 mile) of the old quay wall has been restored in its original state.
It's not the first bridge I have to go under, but it is the last bridge before the old city center. The older bridges are much lower though than the newer ones and that makes it a little bit harder to paddle. But the view after that is really rewarding. I love this part of Appingedam, it's so picturesque.
When you enter Appingedam it takes quite a while before you get to the old city center. But on the way you will pass these houseboats. Don't think you can only see those in Amsterdam! They are in smaller cities like Appingedam as well!
I think this is such a fun picture, the sheep staring at me from their pasture. I feel kind of tiny in my little canoe looking up at them :-) Great to see those little lambs as well, it really gives the feeling of springtime!
I love seeing the Grebe, they are so much fun to watch. They are excellent swimmers and they love to dive under water. One moment you see them swimming and the next minute... underneath the water. Hahaha, it's always fun to see where they will turn up again on the surface of the water. It makes them very hard to photograph though! Hahaha, you point your camera and oops.... they're disappeared under water again, LOL
But not all of the coots were so eager to let their picture be taken. Like this coot for instance, which was all hidden away in the long grass. You are able to see a lot of coots when you canoe on the Damsterdiep, but you do have to keep an eye out for them. When they see you come close, they try to hide. Luckily I had a good zoom lens, so I could take their picture anyway without disturbing them too much.