UNFORGETTABLE EEL-FISHING TRIP
For our last day in Leeuwarden the organisers had planned two whole-day excursions, though one of these, to the Waden Islands aboard the MS Ameland, was cancelled at the last minute because of low tide. The delegates registered for this excursion had to fall back on a visit to the local museum.
On the other hand, the ‘culinary eel tour on the Frisian lake’ was even better than anticipated. Arriving in Grou on the lake shore, the trippers were served an excellent coffee before boarding the three boats belonging to Captain Ale de Jager, whose job was to explain how he worked, including how he fished for eels.
On board, the temperature was scarcely above freezing, and the fog was a fellow passenger. And while the passengers certainly listened attentively to the Captain’s explanations, not only about eels but also about the various species of fish he caught, nevertheless, because of the near-arctic conditions, all that the trippers could think of was a nice warm soup! Their wish came true when the three boats docked on the stroke of midday on the banks of the ‘de Alte Faenen’ national park.
The Captain’s team lost no time in setting up the furniture and tables for the picnic and preparing the victuals, while the Captain busied himself with the home-made fish smoker to smoke the small eels which he had caught the previous day. Tasting eel filets in a brioche roll was a real gourmet pleasure! Despite the cold, and thanks to the arrival of the sun, the general atmosphere was as convivial as could be until the time came, at around three o’clock, to set off back to the coaches. The young smoked eels were given away and carried off by those ladies who enjoyed them, though they did have to suffer all over again the fairly ‘bracing’ temperatures on the three skiffs, made only slightly more clement by the sunshine. Everyone agreed that in spite of the adverse meteorological conditions, it had been an unforgettable excursion.
A ‘WELLNESS’ EXCURSION FOR THE LADIES
Another part of the programme intended for the ladies was a ‘wellness’ excursion to Heerenveen where they could experience the pleasures of massages and manicures lavished on them by the female students of the Friesland College Wellness and Lifestyle education program.
CITY TOUR, FOUNTAIN TOUR,
STENDEN HOTEL MANAGEMENT SCHOOL TOUR
As you would expect, a guided tour of the city of Leeuwarden was laid on for those delegates eager for new discoveries. They were guided by students and a tour guide, and the city tour of the capital of Friesland proved to be highly instructive, with its canals and monuments and other locations which are sometimes neglected. There were two other visits on the programme, namely ‘fountain tour’ and the ‘Stenden Hotel Management School tour’.