Thursday, May 23, 2013

Skûtsje Zonder Zorg

We are patiently waiting for the completion of the refit of our 1908 Friesian barge "Zonder Zorg". Since we left her in the hands of Scheepsbouw & Reparatie Friesland in Harlingen last October, we have been receiving frequent updates on the progress of work. We are delighted to see that the refit is nearly done and that she will be ready for us to move aboard at the beginning of June.

This ninety year old tile depicts an idyllic scene of leeboard barges making their way along the small waterways that were once the only transportation routes in isolated areas of Friesland. Except for there now being a few roads, the scene has changed little. We will soon find ourselves transported back in time on these canals, lakes and marshes. The scenery is so very different when viewed from the water; every turn has its own surprises.

Many of the old barges and brown sails are still around, restored and well-maintained, and many can be seen proudly docked in front of owners' houses. Many of the old farm houses have also been restored and are maintained in the traditional colours and thatched roofs. There are old windmills on every horizon and between them webs of small waterways, some suitable only for rowboats.

With our new King Willem-Alexander being actively engaged in international water management, there is hope that this tranquil scene will be preserved, as have been the old barges and this old tile.

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