Jonnie Boer, Netherlands
Text: Alexandra Rothmaler
In the Water Labyrinth
It is cold and windy, and thick, dark clouds hang over us. It is not the ideal condition to go on a boat tour, but in spite of the weather, we begin our tour together with Jonnie through the branching canals of Giethoorn in Overijssel. The so-called “Venice of the North” is not only known for its roughly 150 distinctive wooden bridges or its eight-kilometre-long central canal, the main transportation route with uncountable branches, but also as the birthplace of our Dutch avant-gardist. Several boats are available to us; they are being kept next to the house of Thérèse’s parents. We decide on a Boesch speedster with high-performance motor. Jonnie revs up the motor of the racer, and we set off. Captain Jonnie is not allowed to fully utilise the power of the two motors here as speed limit is in place to protect the canal bank.
Meanwhile, Jonnie tells us that we are now joining him on a short trip into his childhood, since he sailed through the extensive canals of Giethoorn with his grandpa almost every day during his childhood. This may well be the
reason why he is driving so quickly and purposefully without any second thought; by now, we would no longer be able to find our way home. Jonnie then tells us something about Giethoorn and how the canals came to be. The canals were dug by Italians in 750 as a mean to transport peat, which in turn explains the branching structure of the canal system that confusingly extends in countless directions. All the houses we have driven by have piers in front of them, and tied to them are boats, swaying from side to side; many houses here are completely inaccessible by car. Later, Jonnie tells us that likewise, the farmers transport their cows from one pasture to another with boats, and the dairyman delivers to his customer exclusively by water…
(weiterlesen im Magazin)