Kayak Elfstedentocht
Part 3

Dag 7 IJlst - Heeg - Woudsend - Sloten - Balk 20 km
Dag 8 Balk - Galamadammen - Stavoren 21 km
Dag 9 Stavoren - Hindeloopen - Workum 22 km

Sloten (9)

Our friend Henk told us: you really have to take some time to visit Sloten, as it is one of the nicest cities. And that is what we do. Before we reach Sloten, we get some coffee in Heeg. Here are at 10 times more boats than inhabitants, but the coffee is fine.

Sloten means locks, so there are two keys in the armory.

To make sure we stay some time in Sloten, Leon gets locked in. In the meantime, Mirjam has lunch and visits the museum of Sloten, which is located in the former city hall.

The best thing in the Sloten museum is the series of photos of all the mayors Sloten had since 18something. These mayors all look very strange. Leon's favourite is "Mephisto" (horns included), Mirjam fancies "The 11 litres Water Head".
Sloten is well known for the lake. When we cross it, it is absolutely still as there is no wind. The people on the sailing boats are still in a good mood: it is better to sit still in the sun than in the rain. And perhaps they already knew the wind would pick up later in the evening.


Again: not a city, but really nice. South of Balk we kayak in a completely different landscape than last days: through the forest. With the trees reflected in the water, it seems a tunnel of green you float through.

Stavoren (10)

At Stavoren we reach the coast of the IJsselmeer again. Here the big boats go in both directions: out to the IJsselmeer, or in to the Frisian lakes.

Stavoren is best known for the Lady of Stavoren. Most people are a bit disappointed when they see she is very small. Mirjam had had that disappointment already when she was only ten years old.

Actually, the Lady was probably not really very haughty, but she felt she had - as a woman - to defend every action a man could take without comment.

Hindeloopen (11)

This is the last day of our Elfstedentocht. So it's time to go to a souvenir shop and buy two of those little Friesland flags. They look very good on our kayaks, don't you think ?
We have been in Hindeloopen before. A couple of years ago, we took our family and friends in a boat from Enkhuizen to Hindeloopen. This time, we visited the skating museum. This is particularly appropriate, as it has a complete section dedicated to the Elfstedentocht.

With those flags firmly attached to our boats, we are ready for the final stretch: from Hindeloopen back to Workum.