The River Vecht winds a sinuous path northward from Utrecht to the IJmeer, the southern reaches of what was once the Zuiderzee. Along the way, it passes through small towns and villages, but mostly it threads through open countryside and farmland. I left my peaceful mooring and continued downriver, pausing from time to time for lift bridges to be opened.
Lining the river are many magnificent estates.
Some of these started as farmhouses, and the barns and other farm buildings can be seen through the trees behind them.
Most have riverside patios with moorings for their boats.
There are also ancient castles along the way. This is simply a gatehouse for one of them.
Nijenrode was built around 1275, and as many castles through the Middle Ages, it had its devastations and rebuilds. It passed through many hands over the centuries, and in 1930, it was purchased by Amsterdam art dealer, Jacques Goudstikker. He opened the castle to the public and used it as a gallery and showroom. He was a Jew, and he died in 1940 while fleeing from the occupying Nazis. Hermann Göring took possession of the castle and the art.
After the war, the widow Goudstikker reclaimed possession from the State, and in 1946, the Institute for Business Administration was established in the castle. Four years later, the institute purchased the estate, and the school evolved into the prestigious Nyenrode Business Universiteit.
I continued along and snuck under the peaked deck of a closed bridge with about two centimetres to spare, saving the wait and the work of the bridge keeper.
A while later, I came to another peaceful wilderness mooring, decorated with yellow irises and animated by mating ducks. There's a strong cellular connection here, the fridge, pantry and cellar full, so I'll pause a white to write and edit.