A Way of Life — ms ALM

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How is Life on board of a river barge in regard to living at the shore? Well as a guest it’s  pure relaxation.  You will have your own spacious quarters in the  cabin  ( click on the link) at the front of the ship. The only thing you have to do is to make your own breakfast in the fully  stocked kitchen.  After that you are cordially invited  in the wheelhouse to be a part of the family, this includes also lunch and a home cooked diner.  Of course there are some rules to abide to,  all necessary for your safety during your stay.

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To live and work on a river barge like the Alm is another story though. There is hardly any  comparison  with living ashore.  And as it is with many things there are good and some less good things.  Most certainly it is not a 9 till 5 job, there is also no guarantee you will find every time a load so your income might fluctuate.   Next there are the weather conditions, the always fluctuating water levels, and  sometimes technical problems with bridges and locks.

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What about life as a family you might asked?  If you like shopping you are out of luck, for there are no stores around the corner, nor is there a school down the road, and your friends and family are not always at hand. When children reach the school age at four they are often schooled on board until they turn six years old.  At six years old they will attend a boarding school to go to a city school at the shore.  Every  Friday the children must be picked up by their parents and returned to the boarding school on Sunday. No matter if they are in the neighborhood or far away.  Durings vacations they are on board.  It is one of the reasons that some families decide that the wives live at the shore instead on board. Modern technology makes it possible to contact each other more frequently.

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In my childhood days  there was no obligatory education for children on board of a river barge. They either got home schooling, went to day schools in harbors or went to  a boarding school at eight years old. My parents decided that boarding school was most preferable for me, and back then we got lessons at the boarding school itself. No mingling with the city kids. My parents had not often a load for Holland, which meant I did not see them  much during the school year. The means of transportation were not many either in those days. It was a totally different experience.

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Is all the above  worth to grow up on a river barge?  For me it was, there was  always that feel of an indescribable  freedom , the feel of expectation for not one day would be the same,  not even the view from your window.  Even when living at the shore for so many years by now the river still does not let go of  me , it’s in my genes , it’s a Way of Life.

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Was it worth to go on a vacation aboard the ms ALM? You bet it was, not only was it a fantastic adventure but Pieter and Adri also gave me the feeling I was home again.  Thank you both for your generous hospitality!

21 thoughts on “A Way of Life — ms ALM

  1. Francina,

    As you thank Pieter and Adri , so too your readers thank you. Your hospitality, your talent
    and the wonderful places you share takes us on the best adventures. My thanks to you my
    friend. Beautiful photos and the text is conversational and inviting. Reading this post makes
    my day a joy.

    sarah

    1. Dear Sarah,

      How wonderful to hear from you ! I am running way behind again as you see.
      Thank you for your as always words of encouragement and praise, my dear friend.
      I am happy to hear you enjoyed the last part of my trip post.

      Wishing you and yours an inspiring, a very happy and healthy 2019. ❤ xx

      Love,
      Francina

    2. Francina,

      Thank you for the good wishes and right back at you!

      I enjoyed every word and every photo but that last part was extra, extra special.

      Hugs,
      Sarah

    1. Thank you kindly , Otto. It was a great vacation for me and of course I might be a tad bias.
      However I can fully recommend the Alm, they are wonderful people.
      Happy to hear you do like my photo’s. Thank you.
      Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy 2019!

    1. Thank you, Alan, your comment is always much appreciated!
      And you’re welcome, it is my pleasure to share.
      Wishing you and Catharina a healthy and most happy 2019!

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