It is only a 10 nautical mile jump from Hoorn to Volendam. Again during the short sail we got watered by the rain but afterwards the Sun was shining for the rest of the day. When we were entering the harbour the harbourmaster was welcoming us from his dinghy and pointed a place for us on a quay. We moored her alongside just in front of all the restaurants thus we were in the middle of all the action.
We noticed that the harbourmaster was greeting quite a lot of boats from the dinghy and he took good care of all the visitors. Soon after our arrival we were rafted by four other boats. The harbourmaster climbed to the other boats for arrangeing new berths for them. He said “We don’t allow more than three boats in a raft in this place in order to keep the dock fastenings intact.” It was hilarious to watch how the people have the souls of herds. First all the four boats were circling in the harbour basin until one of them decided to raft with Suwena. In no time the three others were joining the same raft even if there were still several other boats moored by themselves alone alongside the quay.
Our main destination was the small town of Edam but with our draft we cannot enter the harbour there. From Volendam it is only two kilometres to Edam and this was a good opportunity to get some exercise as well.
The waterfront of Volendam was full of tourists and the buses were queueing up everywhere in Volendam. In Edam it was much more peaceful as it was a very small town. Narrow streets and of course the canals were meandering between the old houses. It felt like we have entered the Harry Potter world when we suddenly noticed that we are in front of the Ollivanders shop. Only all the other Diagon Alley boutiques were missing.
We wanted to see the cheese museum of Edam that turned out to be complete fiasco. There was only a few pieces of old cheese making equipment and some cheeses for sale. That’s all.
We were standing in front of the cheese museum when a friendly Dutch gentleman arrived by bicycle. He asked “Do we know about the Edam’s floating cellar?” Actually we did and this would have been our next place to visit. To our surprise he offered to take us there and in front of the Edam museum he wished us good stay in Edam. The Dutch are unbelievable friendly.
An old brick house is located just opposite the town hall of Edam. It was built around 1530 for private use but since 1895 it has been the museum. The internal of the house is restored to original style. For example the stairs only a few centimetres deep lead to the second floor.
The most interesting was of course the floating cellar that can be entered from the kitchen. The folklore tells that the floating cellar was built by a sea captain who missed the sea. Most probably however the brick box kept the food fresh longer because it was freely floating in cool tidal water. By stepping into the floating cellar I felt how it swung in a water. Only the old beer barrels with tastings were missing for getting into the authentic spirit.
When we were making the plans about this summer cruise we got interested in the history of Edam cheese. The Edam cheese became the most popular cheese in the world from the 14th until 18th century because its shelf-life was excellent and thus it was easy to transport by sailing ships on a sea. It is funny how some are believing the Edam cheese’s popularity is due the ships using these cheeses as bullets for their cannons. That’s because of the shape and the size of the Edam cheese closely resembles the ammunition of the ship’s cannons during this era. True or not but we have walked in the steps of the Dutch and now we can continue our voyage in today’s Holland.
In the evening we had the opportunity to taste the today’s beer. Suwena was moored just in front of all the restaurants. We heard live music and sounds of people having fun thus we joined the party as well. In a pub the waitresses walked around with trays full of beer mugs. The beer was served in a small 20cl glasses and thirsty partiers bought a full tray at a time to keep the party going. People were having tall towers of stacked glasses in front of them and the noise was loud. When our thirst was quenched it was time to return to Suwena and prepare the visit to Amsterdam.