De Zaag - Krimpen aan de Lek

The sawmill

The island gets it name from this sawmill (zaag = saw). Although it looks quite modern it must have a long history. On a map from 1910 this island is mentioned by the same name.

They sell tropical hardwood planks. It always makes me sad to see the large trunks in their yard. Some are almost 2 meters in diameter. God knows from what tropical rainforest they were taken and what damage was done in the process ... But the rest of the island is beautiful and serene. But it's also a nice place for adventure as the next letter shows:

Dear Petr, I had a lot of pleasure watching your site. I'm a born "Rotterdammer", and I enjoy old buildings, special architecture and nature.

The trip to "De Zaag" interested me a lot. That was because I lived a large part of my live at about 1,5 Km from this beautiful area. Especially the electricity tower took my interest. When I was 16 years old we often went to the wild island with a large group to take a swim at the small beach. Actually it was quite dangerous to swim there because the were strong undercurrents. Once a canoe was dragged under water with two persons in it, one survived, the other was found dead a few days later.

On one day we came there in the afternoon, and we decided to climb the electricity tower. I don't know exactly how we did it, but we came on the concrete, on the right side nearest to the water, it was in the bushes but we could climb on to it. It was easy to climb to the first floor (about 40 meters high, the top was about 120 meters and these electricity towers are the highest ones we have in Holland). On this floor you could walk around on a platform. You had such a pretty view, all around. It was getting dark so we didn't dare to go up to the second floor, also because we didn't have any climbing equipment. I would like to do that in the near future. I would like to go back to the little beach too, because I have lots of memories over there.

Respect, Erik Lenstra - E mail:

Decaying dykes

A hidden path connects the middle- and western part of the island. Walking in this direction you come upon these old dykes. The lower part is made of large basalt blocks and the upper part is made of brick. Large solid trees are growing between the stones, mostly windblown species, maple and ash.


You can reach this pier from the middle part of the island. I took this picture standing under a small light-post with solar panels, a red light and a triangle with the number "10" on it.

If you want to reach this place you have to come at low tide. At high tide the pier is hidden under the water. There is another, much longer pier in the background, but I haven't been able to reach it during my visits. It is protected by the ...

Willow swamp

The banks of this island are covered by mud flats, reeds and "mangrove" swamps of willow. It looks amazingly wild and untouched by human hand.

This is the farthest point I've been able to reach. Afterwards the water gets too deep for walking. But someday I'm going to get through with high rubber boots and good tide tables.
The skeleton of a wooden boat is slowly rotting between the willows and the reeds. You can also see the luxurious houseboats on the other side of the creek (Bakkerskil) that separates the island from the mainland.

The gigantic transmission line tower

The most enticing feature of this island is this enormous tower. Everyone who sees it gets impressed and starts to take photographs immediately (really, I saw several groups of bird-watchers do this). It is really nice. Especially if you stand directly under it and look up through the symmetric "lacework" of the beams. I omitted this view here because it's so damn predictable ...

Ofcourse I've been looking for climbing possibilities. Theoretically it would be possible to climb up to the second platform without getting near the power cables. There are only three obstacles to overcome:

  1. You have to get on top of the concrete foot of the pillar. It's 2 meters high and has no useful holds. You would have to throw a rope around one of the beams.
  2. You would have to reach up to get to the first climbing spike on the left. Again a rope would be handy.
  3. You have to climb over a metal grid that's blocking the ladder under the first platform. But again that's easy if you have climbing gear (it would be foolish without extra protection).

Maybe I'm going to do it someday. At least up to the first platform.

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2000 Petr Kazil, Erik Lenstra - 18 January 2000