Thursday, November 19, 2020

A time-lapse journey through the canals of The Netherlands

A Dutch time-lapse photography company put this video on YouTube a few weeks ago, and it's the coolest thing I've seen all year. It's a birds-eye time-lapse video of a tugboat towing a barge with industrial equipment (perhaps for a refinery or something) along a series of canals from Rotterdam to Amsterdam. 

One of the structures being towed was 30 meters (almost 100 feet) high, so they placed a Canon 4k camera at the top of it. It took one picture every three seconds to produce the 11-minute timelapse you see here. Apparently, this journey took place in 2013, but the video was not able to be released until now. 

There's a map in the corner of the video that follows the path the tugboat and barge are taking through The Netherlands, but the day-long trip roughly goes like this: 

The barge starts in the early morning by crossing underneath Rotterdam's historic De Hef bridge (you can see the twin red towers of the Willemsbrug to the right) and then is towed down the Nieuwe Maas, past the A19 Motorway (0:30), and then up the Hollandse IJssel. It diverts to the Voorhaven at the outskirts of Gouda (2:00), enters the Julianasluis lock (2:10), and then travels up the Gouwe until it takes a left at the Oude Rijn (4:10). 

The barge then passes through the town of Alphen ann den Rijn and then takes a right into the Heimanswetering (4:40). It enters Braassememeer lake (5:10), reaches the Oude Weterring (5:25), and makes a right into the Ringvaart Haarlemmermeer (5:35). It passes by some of KLM's service hangars at Schiphol Airport (7:00) and enters Nieuwe Meer lake (7:45). It then spends some time parked in front of the A4 Motorway on the edge of Amsterdam (7:50 - 8:30) as night falls and the tugboat crew changes. 

After passing through the Nieuwe Meerslius lock (8:35), it enters the narrow Schinkel canal and passes through a shimmering Amsterdam at night, making its way along the Kostverlorenvaart until it reaches the Kattensloot (9:45). It appears to get caught at a bridge (10:05), but eventally makes it to the Westerkanaal (10:25) and enters The IJ - Amsterdam's waterfront - where the barge ends its journey. 

By my count, the barge passes through five vertical lift bridges, three swing bridges, one retractible bridge and 31 separate bascule bridges (I could be off by one or two). It also passes by at least three old Dutch windmills and countless new ones. 

I'm especially fascinated by the diversity of activity (industries, businesses and homes) along the canals, as well as the amount of boat traffic - both business and pleasure - that the canals carry.

If you're interested in seeing a more car-friendly version of a trip between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, YouTube's got you covered as well. 

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