Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Driving The Zuider Zee

If you are of my generation, you heard about the Zuider Zee, as I did, in elementary school. It is that southern arm of the North Sea that invades the Netherlands and whose wild ways flooded cities and towns and villages and killed hundreds of thousands over the centuries. Marken was an island in the Zuider Zee; now it's more or less an island in the Ijsselmeer (or more properly, the Markermeer), the vast fresh water lake that the Zuider Zee became when finally dammed off in 1932. A later and larger dam was constructed much further north in the mid-20th century. And amidst all this, land was created ("reclaimed"), specifically Flevoland, home now to nearly half a million people and untold millions of cows. We've seen the dikes and dams and waters on previous trips, but I wanted to see and learn more, specifically at the Schokland Museum, part of the northeast polder, north of Flevoland. Thus, our crossing.
Beginning the drive over the dam near Enthuizen; that's a
concrete canal we're driving under; everything has the look
of the massive engineering feat it was

Pretty typical of the 30 or so mile road over the dam; that's the
Markermeer on the right; on the other side is the bigger part
of the Ijsselmeer; boats and ships everywhere

And now we are looking at reclaimed land, in the northeast
polder, just north of Flevoland; Flevoland itself amounts to
somewhat less than 600 square miles

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