Rising Waters

Yesterday, as we were leaving De Streekmarkt, we noticed that one of the drawbridges was being raised. Moving closer to the canal to get a better view, we soon realized that there was no tall ship coming through, they just seemed to be testing the bridge. Oh well, it was a nice reminder for me of the drawbridge we used to cross to get to my grandparents’ house on Daytona Beach Shores. The sunny weather and the quality of the light, with the water nearby, had certainly brought Florida to mind for me a few times that day.

As we were walking back home along the canal, we reached another bridge, this time a bridge we needed to cross to get home. As we were standing on it, discussing the stepped seating nearby, a warning bell went off and the barriers came down as at a railroad crossing. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of the bridge and had to quickly limbo my way under the barriers! The next thing we knew, that bridge was also being raised. This time, there was a boat coming, but it was a simple motor boat, too small to need the bridge raised. We soon realized that they seemed to be working their way down the canal, testing the drawbridges.
Lente Dag

I was reminded of the joke I made to Invader Stu last week when he wondered if there were any bridges in all of the Netherlands that didn’t have bikes parked on them. I figured maybe the drawbridges might be free of bikes, at least on the move-y bit. It turns out I was right! Of course, I was also right in that bikes were locked up to the parts of the bridge that remained stationary. Parking is at a premium!

It was a beautiful day, so we decided to stop and enjoy the sunshine on the steps. We also got a bit of a show, because the boat that had just passed, was entering into one of the locks. In the photo above, you can see them docked for a while as the water slowly rises. As they were tying up, we got to watch the lockmaster (?) close up the gate they had just entered.
Closing the Gates
Once that northern gate was closed, he headed down to the next gate where his “office” is located and took care of whatever needed to be done on that end. We could see the water bubbling away and got to see certain parts of the lock area eventually covered by the rising water.
Waiting for the Water
Locking the Lock
It was fun watching the whole process (although it was also a bit slow and I gave up taking photos). I’ve never actually watched it all before, so it was nice to finally see all of this machinery in action. Not a bad way to spend some time in the sun!

6 thoughts on “Rising Waters

  1. The locks (Weerdsluis) is my favorite place in Utrecht to sit and enjoy life on those sunny days when there are a lot of boats passing by, get yourself a nice ice cream at the corner (Il Mullino), sit on the steps and feel alive! 🙂

    • I always seem to pass that area in the winter when it’s icy and Il Mulino isn’t open. I’m determined to change that this year and spend some quality time with ice cream and a beautiful view!

  2. It would be funny to see bikes locked to the moving part and how they would move about :p

    When I used to live in Weesp there was a bridge between us and the shops in town. Since it is a popular place to sail through we for ever getting cut off from the rest of town or from getting home.

  3. Nice spot to sit and watch the activity along the canal. Here in Zwolle we have a lot of movement along the canals, the IJssel and the Zwartewater, especially around this time and until the end of the summer, when lots of German people sail this way in their pleasure boats.
    A couple of years ago an elderly woman riding a scooter was locked in the moving part of a bridge near my house. Fortunately, nothing happened to her and she was rescued!

    • I’m glad the woman was ok; sounds scary!
      The canal near our house is for smaller boats, but it’s still busy during the summer. I love watching all the different types of boats that come through. I definitely want to spend some more time on those steps and see the rest of the canal traffic!

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