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Woonboten …houseboats

Posted by Sjouke on feb 19, 2008 in the low countries

” old water pump”It is generally known that the Dutch have something with water. Over the years they have been busy with pumping it from here to there and often this resulted in reclaiming land. The windmill was the first efficient tool to do so.
In those days we needed land not only for our cattle to feed and to walk around but also for agricultural reasons. Potatoes, wheat, onions beans etc grow in the polders.houseboats
vechtRecently land has been reclaimed in the Amsterdam region just to built expensive apartment buildings, along the river Y in the center and in the North. It is all a big money game. Only the happy few can live here!
As always there are still have housing problems in Amsterdam, especially affordable houses. canal houseboatsvery old freightersAlso because of people having been looking for solutions to have a place of their own, a home.
That means that where ever you have a quay or another way to tie a ship, you will find houseboats all over the country, where people live happily. All is there today, electricity, cable tv, water all the works. There are multi stories luxurious ones, simple constructions on a concrete “tub”. houseboatsOr just old cargo boats with or without their masts, who used to make a living in the early years of the last century, transporting goods on the Dutch waterways. You’ll find them in almost any canal in Amsterdam and also in the country side especially in the western parts of Holland. The “watery” areas. We hope that these ships will stay here forever, as these plump old ladies have always been part of Dutch waters! Although municipal authorities think differently, they rather sweep all the canals, no houseboats and if a boat is sold the buyer cannot claim the location anymore and has to move elsewhere, but where? It must be great living on a houseboat in the middle of Amsterdam overlooking all the posh mansions along the canal, you only needs a dingy and a bicycle to go out shopping!

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