The Kindness of Strangers

By another miracle of not really planning anything, our arrival in Enkhuizen coincided with a weekend of ‘open houses’, allowing access to buildings not usually open to the public.

We parked in the large marina carpark and negotiated with the machine for a camping ticket for the weekend before heading off to explore. It seemed a prosperous place, kris crossed by many canals and it was boats formed the lifeblood of the town. Large Dutch barges lined the marina and beautifully maintained steam tugs were moored on more protected quays. Modern yachts and motorboats filled all the remaining space on the water.

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We joined the queue heading into an unusual looking building. We weren’t sure what it was, but it had a nice clock tower and the bells were ringing in the belfry. Following the crowd up the narrow staircase we were rewarded with a cramped concert performed on the most unlikely looking of musical instruments. Ropes ran in all directions, linking keys to bells, all under control of a solitary musician. He played his contraption with gusto, earning a round of applause after each energetic rendition.

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During our afternoon’s wanderings we’d gained a couple of neighbours. The carpark had been busy with camper vans and motorhomes when we’d arrived, but there were more now and our quiet corner was not so quiet any more. On one side, another Westfalia (as is written in Westfalia law) and on the other an unusual and old Mercedes, inhabited by a hirsute old boy and his grandkids.

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He wondered if we might have some matches, he’d come away for the weekend without any, explaining that it was his late wife who’d always taken care of such things, but now forgetting things just added to the adventure.

We gave him a spare box of matches and chatted for a while, taking the opportunity to ask about the nearby Zuiderzeemuseum, a large open air museum on the far side of the bay dedicated to recording life around the Zuiderzee (the southern sea) in bygone times. He was incredibly enthusiastic about it, often taking his grandkids to visit the place.

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Later that evening, as we cooked our dinner there was a knock at the window. Our new friend was stood there with plates of freshly cooked pizzas for us. There was no question about it, what we had on the stove could be reheated after our visit to the museum tomorrow.

He was right about the museum, it was definitely worth visiting and we spent the whole day wandering around a world that no longer exists.

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6 thoughts on “The Kindness of Strangers

    • Yes, pretty isn’t it. That one will be a channel marker, They’re all over the place – great country to visit for boat fans šŸ™‚ The Zuiderzeemuseum also includes an indoor maritime museum, lots of lovely old boats in there, although difficult to get good pictures of them.

  1. That’s the best thing about motorhoming: finding like-minded and kind people, always willing to lend a helping hand to someone in need. Lovely photos. Enkhuizen sounds like a place we might enjoy visiting. Thank you for sharing. šŸ™‚

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