Mike Strachan’s e-mail journal — Entry #32, from Netherlands
Received 23 May 2008
Travels for May 23/08 — To Deventer
By 10 AM I'm off from the barge to the train station. It's been a relaxing 4 days on the barge. The train to Deventer (day-fenter) leaves at 10:42 from track 3 (€7.40). With two minutes to go there's an announcement that the train will now be leaving from track 7, so everyone rushes over there. We stop at Dieren and Zutphen, then pull into Deventer at 11:18. I'm sure you would not have to wait more than an hour during the day for a train between any two points in Holland or in Belgium.
The VVV in Deventer is at the far end of the town square, and it's market day so it's crowded. The Hertz office is way out from the town center, so I drop that quest for now and focus on getting a room. There is only one B&B barge, not far from the V V V, but no-one answers the phone. Via the PC in the V V V I find a B&B not far from the train station, and a phone call confirms that a room is available for tonight and Sunday night but not for tomorrow night. So I book it anyway for tonight, and I'll deal with tomorrow's accomodation later.
Off I go to find it, and when I do there's no answer to my pull on the bell. The next door neighbour says the proprietor has gone into town, and brings me a chair while I wait. Two passing women volunteer to call the proprietor on his mobile, and he says he'll be back in 10 minutes. While I'm waiting I notice it's a nice quiet neighbourhood here with the distant sound of children in a schoolyard nearby. In less than 10 minutes the man returns.
My room is on the top floor under the eaves, up two sets of steep spiral staircases. There's a shower in my room, but the WC is down the hall. The proprietor, Niko, tries for a room for me with a friend of his, but no luck. It's time to relax with a cup of tea before I head back to the V V V to try for a room for the next two nights. The staff there find me a B&B after about 7 tries, on the Worp, a street across the Ijssel river with a terrific view. A call to Hertz is next, but no luck as there are no cars available. The woman assisting me asks me where I want to go, and she says I can go to all those places by train - so the lack of a rental car is not an issue now. It will be fun to go by train and relax.
I then walk down to the strand along the Ijssel river to have a late lunch and to see where the little foot passenger ferry crosses the river. Then to the library to send e-mails. There's nothing much here in Deventer relating to WW2, but there is out of town. I'll leave that until tomorrow, since on Fridays from 3 to 7 PM there is a rush hour on the trains. One interesting thing that I saw was a tiny custom-made car for a disabled person; the photos below show her leaving her car:
Tomorrow I'll move to my other B&B, then go exploring by train. Tonight will be relaxed, with strolls and reading before bed.