Thursday, 4 March 2021

The River Vecht, part 2

Part of the mural in the tunnel underneath the motorway
As I told you in January, I have found a route which will take me into Germany, along the River Vecht. I wanted to do the second instalment last week, but alas, the head intervened. So, this week it was. Written down and all in my agenda, only severe rain or another headache would stop me. 

Escape from the motorway
The head was okay today and the rain that was due to come in the morning never really materialised, so I packed my bag, got onto a bus and made my way to the point where I finished last time. I was literally going to pick up where I left the route.

The first bit led me along the motorway, but more importantly along a large cemetery. They were working on building more terraces for the Chinese part of it, so there was some heavy machinery interfering with nice photos. I tried though. 

First view of the river, downstream
Then, after only a kilometer or so, I got my first proper glance of the river. I cross this river every day if I have to work, so it's not unknown, but the route I took this time was. I got to the main path again that led me over the dike protecting those who live along the river from high water. I got off the dike again, then on again. Keeping the river in my sights.

I met some beautiful cattle on my way, and I saw plenty of birds. I then had to cross the river, which wasn't as I had pictured this walk in my head. I thought I would stay on one side of the river and would only cross on my third leg. 

The fish stairs
This crossing was a bit different though. Yes, there was a lock, yes there seemed to be a sluice gate, but also, there were fish stairs. I had heard of them, but for some reason didn't think I would see them. The fish stairs are shallow steps to allow fish to swim upriver without having to pass the lock or the sluice and endangering their lives. 

Artist: Paul van Laere
I also met a handsome little chap called 'Hannes of Dalfsen'. A young seal of six weeks old that had escaped from his zoo home in Germany and swum downstream for an adventure. He was captured here and a sculpture was made of him. Not sure what happened to him afterwards, the sign did not say.

The face is actually a bird house
From there I was on the other side of the river and I continued through farm land towards the village/town of Dalfsen. I knew I was going to the railway station to take the train back and could see it from quite far off. I still had about 2 km to go by then though!

Right next to the train station is a large piece of art called 'The Floating Rock' made by Bas Maters. It looks like an old column piece that carries a large boulder. Getting closer to the installation, you can see a hole in the roof of the boulder that looks as if the column has been sawn from it. But, it's not an old column piece and the boulder is not a boulder either. The whole thing is made from concrete and steel.

If you look closely to the right of the column, you can see the hole.
By the end of the walk, my legs felt like jelly, I had a blister on each of my little toes and I was glad to be able to sit down after nearly 13 km. The train arrived after only 6 minutes and when I got back to Zwolle, the bus home left within a minute of me getting on it. 

The mill in the center of Dalfsen
The next leg will be a bit longer though: about 15/16 km, as public transport is my way of getting back to either my car or home and not all villages boast a train station or even a bus stop. It will have to wait until more facilities (read café with toilet) are open again, so probably summer time. That way I can also train up a bit.


  1. Hi Mara what pretty art and sculptures and Windmills and baby cow! Floating rock talk about balance. LOL When you have those makes walking pass until you get blisters.
    Hugs Cecilia

  2. I’m impressed. That’s a long walk.

  3. Hari OM
    Mara, what a delightful place to walk, with so much of varying interest - I adore the Floatin Rock sculpture, very much the sort of thing I enjoy observing. Well done again - hope the toes don't smart for too long and now we live in anticipation of travelling further along the river with you!!! YAM xx

    1. I had seen that Floating Rock every time I drove past with the bus (there is a regular route), so was very pleased to be able to actually see it a bit more up close this time.
      The toes were fine, but I do need some more socks I think...


  4. Thanks for taking us along on your walk. We enjoyed your commentary on all the sights and the pictures that went along with it. Now we're looking forward to the next leg of your adventure.

  5. Wow! That was quite an ambitious walk! Interesting sights along the way too!

  6. Wow that was a beautiful walk and also lots to see ! Did smuggle yourself from Holland to Germany with closed borders ?? It seemed to me that you criss crossed secretely the border, lol ! Anyway we all have or don't have the virus borders are stupid !

  7. Wow what a great walk and great photos. You go girl?
    Sorry about your migraine issues. What is starting them?


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!