Stuck – Part Two, Biesbosch, NL

Being stuck is not always a bad thing, we do learn something along the way.  Like last weekend, read Cedar is Stuck in the Mud

The real reason for paddling and exploring the Biesbosch last weekend was to prepare for another trip we plan on taking the first week of June.  It will be a 5km paddle to an island in the Biesbosch.  To a campsite that is located on an island farm. We will paddle there and will tent camp for two days.  This past weekend was an exploring paddle to see if we could launch from the location we had seen on our map.

Nieuwe Merwede River

The Nieuwe Merwede River ferry crossing point into the Biesbosch from the Dordrecht side of the river.

Just getting to the Biesbosch National Park is an adventure of sorts.  Anytime you have to ride a ferry boat across a river is exciting to me.  The early morning trip across had very few passengers.  The cloudy sky looked like rain and we wondered the entire way if we were going to have a repeat of our experience last August and need to find a bridge to duck under to avoid the showers.  Lucky for us, we only had the ominous clouds all morning without a drop of rain.

The National Park is a wonderful estuary that is home to thousands of birds.  As soon as we drove off the ferry and up to the main road looking out over the marshes, we could see spoonbills, swans, geese (of all sorts), ducks (also of all sorts), cormorants and small reed birds.

Our plan this morning was to visit the Biesbosch Museum by canoe and have a coffee and return.  About a 5km paddle from our launch and return.  When we finally paddled  around the bend in the channel (after being stuck in the mud) I could see the Museum.  I once again could only think that the architect of the building was a J.R.R. Tolkien fan.

Biesbosch Museum from the water

Biesbosch Museum from the water

This beautiful structure fits so perfectly into the natural landscape of the Biescbosch.  The large windows facing South letting in natural light and the sod roof that looks like small hills of green are coming out of the earth to meet the sky.  It is hands down one of my most favorite buildings in the world.  Along one side of this beautiful structure is the dock for the tour boats for the Biesbosch National Park.  There is another dock directly past and behind where the tour boats are tied up, that is for visitors who come by boat to the museum.  There are two (very nice) canoe/kayak spots to tie up.  The other side of the dock is for motorized boats.  On Saturday morning we were the only ones tied up at the dock besides a rented houseboat.

Dock at Biesbosch Museum

Dock at Biesbosch Museum

Walking up the plank and into the museum I got some strange looks as I was wearing my  PFD and carrying my camera gear bag.  I didn’t care as I felt pretty cool arriving in our canoe with my hubby.

We went to the entrance desk and showed our museum card (we are annual members and this card gets us entrance into many museums here in The Netherlands for free each year).  We asked if it was ok to tie our canoe up to the dock and it was.  The worker at the desk did tell us that when it is busy those two canoe/kayak dock spots are sometimes fought over.  Again, the best advice is to arrive early in the morning and in the off season, then it is easy to avoid such issues.

We had coffee and then entered the museum.  We have seen all the exhibits on our previous trips last summer and now we wanted to visit the roof of the facility and look out over the Biesbosch.


I wanted to also get a closer look at what plants were used for the sod roof.

Roof of the Biesbosch Museum

Roof of the Biesbosch Museum

We then hiked the small trail close to the museum and found it was in bloom with native grasses and flowers.

Our hike came to an end and we saw that Cedar had made a friend at the dock while we were gone.


Cedar and another wood row boat at the dock.

We paddled back the route we came and saw a few interesting things along the way.  The tour boat left the dock in front of us and once again I was taking pictures of tourist taking pictures of us.


The Biesbosch tour boat. Do you know any of these people from 19 May 2018 visit?

We paddled past some fallen trees that are now exposing their roots.

Fallen trees

Fallen trees

A Heron rookery.

Heron Rookery

Heron Rookery

On our way out of the area we found another canoe launch site…maybe easier than the one we chose?

This hidden canoe launch

This hidden canoe launch leads right into the channel and seems to be well know and used, although not identified on any of the maps we have.

Back on the ferry.

Back at the campsite we sat and had a cup of coffee and talked about our adventurous day and the lessons we learned.  Happy that we are still able to be healthy enough to do the things we enjoy.



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