We’ve been lucky when finding a home exchange to end up in a lovely spot in a very beautiful and historic town just North of Amsterdam.
Hoorn is just 31 minutes by train from Amsterdam Centraal station and the train runs every half hour; an intercity which commences its trip at Enkhuizen to the North and continues on through Amsterdam to the South. We use our chip cards to tap on and tap off just like our Opal cards. Train travel here is efficient but certainly more expensive than in NSW.
Our ‘home’ is in a row of terraces which were once the homes for the prison guards who staffed a prison on nearby Ooste Eiland.
Out our front door and we can take a few steps to the top of a dyke and look out across the yacht harbour where shackles and lanyards clink against masts in the wind, and older boats line up alongside more contemporary pleasure craft.
The former prison can be seen across the harbour and the island on which it sits now also plays host to an electric water taxi service and as a mooring spot for the Half Moon replica ship and for cruise boats and charter boats to tie up. The former prison now houses a number of activities along with conversion of part of it into apartments.
As a particularly good stroke of luck, the buildings now also house a three cinema complex which screens art house and other movies in very comfortable surrounds. The movies are screened in English with Dutch subtitles.
We spent a very pleasant couple of hours seeing a screening of Downton Abbey.
In the late afternoon, we can wander along the path on top off the dyke and then, when turning the corner, we find that we’re very close to the historical tower that commands the view across the Hoorn harbour and the eel fishing boats which now ply their trade.
Not a bad part of the world at all.