After a rest day and catching up with the shopping we decided to revisit the small town of Elburg. Again this old town did not disappoint although last time the sun was shining and it was a Sunday. This once successful port town (in the 14th century) laid out with a central grid of streets encircled by a protective wall and moat. This makes for interesting walking finding houses built into the old wall and now the central grid of streets with cafes and quaint shops. Walking away from the town through the main portal is a harbour with some leisure boats but a number of working boats. This harbour is also the start for day cruise boats to take people along the Ijssel.
From Elburg we decided to visit the fishing village of Urk. Before the damming of the Zuider Zee to form the Ijsselmer of today Urk was an island and the fishermen were involved in deep sea fishing. This caused major conflict between the fishermen and the government as well as significant changes to the village population. The fishermen moved the larger ships north to fish from ports above the line of the Afsluitdijik but still transferring the catch back to Urk fish market. The smaller vessels fished locally adapting to the freshwater species of the Ijsselmeer.
Walking around the harbour you very much get the feeling that this village is still an active fishing port with an impressive shipyard. Walking through the winding streets of the old village we came to the lighthouse with great views of the Ijsselmeer and also a rock in the distance which according to legend all newly born Urkers come from!
Walking further along the Ijsselmeer we got views of the large number of wind turbines harnessing the constant wind. Returning back to town we visited the fisherman’s Monument where a plaque commemorates local seamen lost at sea and a statue of a woman gazing westward waiting for the fishermen to return. Looking at the names many generations of the same family have lost their lives at sea.
The weather was changing for the worst so we headed back to base.