Sneek (or in the Frisian language Snits) is one of the the best preserved of the 11 cities in Friesland. As the pictures show it was a beautiful boat ride, first through the heart of Lemmer, with three bridges then through the Princess Margariet Canal through the dairy farm country side, across several lakes. On entering the city of Sneek the canal leads across an aquaduct, this time I got to look down on the car traffic beneath instead of the odd sight from the highway of boats sailing across the motorway.
I never got to see the interior of the Dutch Reformed church. It was the turn of the Christian Reformed church. An unattractive less than a 100 year old building. I attended the 9.30 a.m. service long enough to make it to 10 o’clock mass. But I had a chance to sing my heart out with familiar songs. Can these Frisian Reformed sing!! No doubt about where my voice volume roots were laid. The Saint Willibrordus church, built in 1901, is an attractive neo-gothic structure; just around the corner from where my mother grew up. It has a very nice organ and good acoustics. But the congregation’s singing can’t hold a candle to their protestant brethren. Roelie and Jan Spanjaard came to Lemmer from Drachten to meet me and see the boat. Roelie’s father was a fisherman in Lemmer and she maintains a web site about the history of Lemmer.
I arrived in Sneek in the early evening and spend it was near midnight before I got back to the boat from a delightful visit at my cousin Siebold and his wife Tineke Hartkamp. They live in the old center of the city in an old ” brown stone” that they lovingly restored. Siebold has been the mayor of Sneek several terms. They will come to the boat for coffee and then I have several places I’d like to visit here, in particular the Frisian Maritime Museum. At 4 p.m. Holland plays Slovakia in the semi-quarter finals of the World Soccer Cup. I will probably get my orange wig and vuvuzela to watch the game at the Hartkamps. After dinner I expect to meet Henk Nauta who also lives in Sneek, he and his wife Hanny have followed the same route I plan to take next month down the Danube. Then tomorrow I’ll follow a different route back to the Ijselmeer, through Stavoren. This promises to be a treat like yesterday crossing one large lake with a dredged channel.