This is a story of serendipity. I was trolling through Haarlem when I came upon this print in a printer’s shop window.
I had reconciled myself to a holiday without a visit to a model railroad or a historic steam train so I was chuffed when I gazed upon this large beautifully executed drawing of a steam engine. A couple of days later the Tulip Parade – floats covered in spring flowers which starts in Keukenhof came into Haarlem. Because it was so cold we did not go and see it come into town late in the evening. The floats stay in Haarlem overnight and the whole world comes to see them the next day.
When we went to see the floats it was cold and clear. As I roamed through the crowd admiring the floats I couldn’t believe my eyes – a Gauge 1 (G Scale) loco and a couple of coaches were running to and fro in a stall. It also had a fab model of a steam loco made out of wood:
One of the guys manning the stall spoke english and he and I had a jolly old chinwag. He told me he was one of 330 volunteers who worked on the historic train at Hoorn. He gave me a couple of pamphlets and wife Sarah and I went back to our wee house to see whether it was “doable.”
We are staying in Haarlem and we determined that Hoorn was about an hour away from Harlem on an inter-city train. A visit was “doable.” When we arrived at Hoorn we looked at the poster below and decided to “do” the train and take the boat trip.
We weren’t the only ones taking the trip. The train was packed. The wooden seats shone with many coats of lacquer. We were on the late side and didn’t have time to inspect our loco. When we got to the end of the line I did manage to pop off a few shots:
The museum ship we we were due to ride didn’t leave for an hour so we traipsed into town to get a bite. Over lunch I had a bolt of lightening strike me – the loco that had pulled us was the one I had seen the print of in the shop window in Haarlem. Serendipity.
The museum ship like the train had been lovingly restored, The trip along the coast was smooth and enjoyable.
The town we landed at was called Enkhuizen, In the port was this beautiful old sailing barge.
The town also had some interesting architecture and some feathered fowl:
This last photo you have to look at carefully. When an inter-city train stopped on the line opposite track two birds promptly jumped on the coupler and started pecking away. It was the first time I had ever seen such a thing. As usual lightening struck my feeble brain in the middle of the night whilst visiting – the birds were searching for insects killed by the train !!!!!!
A great day out!
Here are links to two vids of the Stoomtram. The first shows you the tulip fields that the train passes through. The second shows different locos that have been restored.