Monday, 11 April 2016

Beside the Zuider Zee!

But first, a word from our sponsors!

 Unashamed Plug 

The GoTimetable app for Seaton is now available   FREE  at the Google Play Store. Initially the app is only available for Android devices but iPhone and Laptop versions will follow soon.

Your phone may have an "Play Store" icon on it.
If it's not there, just search in the dreaded Google.
Type "GoTimetable" in the bar at the top ...
... and Robert is your father's brother!

Actually, he isn't. You may get a screen asking you to create an account. There is a tiny word "skip" at the bottom left. Tap that and you will be able to proceed without being conned into making it easy to buy paid-for apps that you don't want!

Even if you have never been to Seaton, please have a play. Comments via the link in the menu in the app, please; not to this blog.

Thank you.

Mrs fbb, the first person to download the app

Back to the blog.
The Wantage Branch Goes to Amsterdam
This clip comes from the 1946 Warner Brothers (WB) short film "Musical Movieland." That short was a compilation of musical numbers from other 1935-1940 WB shorts. A new linking section was added to these older numbers to round-out the 1946 film.

This particular extract from "Musical Movieland" originally came from a short called "Springtime in Holland" (1935). The number features two songs, "Beside the Zuider Zee" and "The Girl on the Little Blue Plate." The music is by Louis Alter, the lyrics are by Jack Scholl.

Trite and a bit toe-curling in its saccharin but traditional picture of the Netherlands.

The Zuider Zee was a huge but shallow inlet from the North Sea surrounded by numerous coastal villages which were always at risk from flooding.
The capital city, Amsterdam, is lower left. But in 1932 a massive piece of infrastructure opened, namely the Afsluitdijk (It means shut-off or closure dike). This created a barrier, complete with locks, pumps and sluices which keeps the North Sea out and has turned the Zuider Zee into a fresh water lake.
This vast expanse of wet was renamed the IJsselmeer

But there was more. Having tamed the threatening sea, the decision was taken to reclaim large tracts of farming land (polder). This created a brand new district of the Netherlands, Flevoland, which now houses 400,000 people.
In the late 60s a second barrier was built called the Houtribdijk, its aim being to create more usable land ...
... although on-line sources suggest that this project has now been abandoned. Once again locks and sluices are provided at each end.

Amsterdam is separated from North Amsterdam by the IJ, called a river by some, but regarded as yet another sluiced and be-locked section of the greater freshwater lake.
IJssel Meer and now the "lake-river" IJ? Two capital letters? Called a "digraph" (which means "two letters", clever terminology, eh?), it counts as one letter in Dutch. The letter is pronounced "ay" and in ""hay" (sort of). The Dutch breakfast, "ontbijt" is pronounced ont-bait but with a touch of "y" in the bait - i.e. ont-bai(y)t.

Language lesson over!

We all know about the Dutch windmills, mostly used to control water by pumping it out of low lying lands and into the canals.

Near Amsterdam is the famous Zaanse Schans.
This is a collection of old windmills, some dating from the 16th century, plus workshops, houses and other buildings.
There is a museum ...
... and you can get there by bus! It appears to be very popular with coach parties as well.

So, as a taster for a "Serie van Nederlandse blogs" let's taker a quick look at their family's journey.
Connexion (part of Veolia, in turn part of the French government) operates interurban and rural buses in Holland; which, as we all know is a district of the nation called the Netherlands. Their service 391 ...
... is marketed as "The Heritage Line". It starts from Amsterdam Centraal ...
... tagged IJzijde, namely the side of the station that abuts the river-lake IJ. We will look at the bus station in a later blog. But note that the web timetable highlighted a late running bus, as observed yesterday afternoon. The service runs every 15 minutes, seven days a week and leaves Amsterdam by crossing the IJ.
The tunnel (IJtunnel; neat name isn't it?) is one of the more recent means of getting across this stretch of water. Again, more to come on "Crossing the IJ" tomorrow.

The publicity leaflet is excellent despite not actually providing a timetable.
There is information about the various heritage sites on the way and terminates at Zaanse Schans.
To complete the excellent printed publicity, there is a high quality route map.
Would that it were quite as simple as that?
Connexion operates as part of a marketing consortium with the brand R-NET.

How did the junior branch of fbb's family cope?

 volgende Nederlandse veerbot blog : Tues 12th April 


  1. Can you stop saying "Laptop version soon follows"? It is a nonsense. There is no such Operating System as "Laptop". I suspect you either mean Web (i.e. works in a web browser) or Windows (Works on Windows operating systems).

  2. Excuse me, but it isn't a nonsense at all!! I don't possess a SmartPhone, so I need to access web-based programs via a Laptop or PC. It is sensible shorthand to describe such in terms that Joe Public can understand!!

  3. It's not sensible shorthand - it's confusing and misleading! There is no such thing as a laptop app, as apps are related to the operating system. Fbb has not been saying it's web based - only you are - that is a simple term that Joe Public can understand. Using the term laptop is equivalent to using the term "timetable" to describe a departure time list, and I think we know how popular that would be here!