Friesland naturally. A region with unlimited possibilities
"A peaceful, pleasant and charming land", wrote Rembrandt to his wife Saskia as he travelled through Friesland. In his letter the artist praised the bright golden light, the clean air, the "clear horizons" and the pure white clouds. Little seems to have changed in the water-filled province since the renowned artist's days. Even today sailing on a Linssen motor yacht through Friesland means enjoying the swaying reeds, a distant windmill or a church tower in the morning mist.
Straying past villages which have narrowly escaped the stranglehold of today's hectic pace of life or roaming along the waterways deep into the “Friese Wouden” forest. Mooring your Linssen at places like Jiskenhuzen, where Douwe Egberts first saw the light of day, or in the Gaastmeer, which is over eight hundred years old. Straight canals slice through the flat land. Narrow waterways and lakes fringed by rushes and reed mace form a fanciful mosaic. Nature reserves, marshes with vivid flora and fauna, the gently rolling countryside of Gaasterland and the panoramic views make Friesland on a Linssen motor yacht a real maritime treasure store.
This is a landscape in which water, light and air predominate, is peppered with historic towns. There is Stavoren, or “Starum” in Frisian, where wealthy merchants used to rule the roost, where Frisian queens regularly stayed and where even today the “Lady of Stavoren” looks out over the harbour to her ship, which may enter port at any time. Or dock your Linssen at Hindeloopen, a little farther north, with its striking tower, narrow lock and characteristic “leugenbank”, a bench where people used to congregate to tell tall tales. “Hynljippen”, as it is known to the Frisians, where in the 17th and 18th centuries there was a thriving trade with the Scandinavian countries, Russia and the Baltic States. The historical atmosphere around the small inner harbour persists to this day and visitors can stroll absent-mindedly through picturesque streets alongside narrow canals, dreaming away the time on the dyke without a care while the sun slowly disappears into the IJsselmeer.
The IJsselmeer, formerly known as the Zuiderzee, is also the source of Lemmer's prosperity. Friesland's port, Lemmer, is dominated by the chimney of the D.F. Wouda pumping station, the only steam pumping station in the world that comes into its own at high water. Here, the small inner harbour seems to want to hold on to mariners for all time and countless tourists populate the pavement cafés draped along the narrow canal through the centre.
Deeper into the province is Sneek or “Snits”, Friesland's water sports centre, with its "Sneek Week", which attracts hundreds of sailors and thousands of boating enthusiasts each year. The finals of the Skûtsjesilen sailing competition are held on the Sneekermeer, with its famous Water Gate. Sneek has countless restaurants and shops along the old canals, and its Frisian Maritime Museum provides a picture of sailing history. Can you think of a more suitable surrounding for your time-less Sturdy? It is Sneek where the Beerenburg, the popular Frisian drink produced by Weduwe Joustra, is even today, just as in 1864, made from the original set of spices from the Amsterdam druggist Hendrik Beerenburg.
Pour yourself a discreet glass and moor your Linssen next to the old corn mill in Sloten, which has shaped the face of the town since 1755 and where wheat is still ground to this day. “Sleat”, which in the 16th century was an impregnable fortress with ramparts, five bastions, two land and two water gates, was able to flourish thanks to its position at a crossing point of roads and waterways. Here, you can relive the olden days when the local shooting club fires one of the cannons at set times during the high season.