Netherlands
Gemeente Coevorden

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    • Day107

      08 In the dutch mountains

      May 17 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

      "Holland ist flach, mit endlosen Wiesen und durchzogen mit einem Netz von schmalen, gerade verlaufenden Kanälen, zwischendurch ist in der weit überschaubaren Ebene eine alte Windmühle zu sehen. Alles in allem recht langweilig.", so sah Holland in unserer Vorstellung aus. Wir wollten es schon fast aussen vor lassen, aber da es direkt auf unserer Route lag, dachten wir: "Nun denn, durchfahren wir es halt kurz."

      Jetzt, ein paar Wochen älter und einige Erfahrungen reicher müssen wir unsere Meinung klar revidieren. 

      Ja, Holland ist flach - Aber es gibt sie die "Dutch mountains", genau wie von The Nits besungen. Die sanft hügeligen Erhebungen liegen zu unserem grossen Amusement in einer Gemeinde mit dem Namen Berg en Dal.

      Ja, Holland hat viele Wiesen - Und viele Bäume und Wäldchen und Bächlein und Tümpel und Kühe und das ganze ist richtig abwechslungsreich zum Schauen. Natürlich tragen auch die vielen Pferde mit den langbeinigen, stacksigen Fohlen an ihrer Seite dazu bei, Thes immer wieder ein Lächeln auf's Gesicht zu zaubern.

      Ja, Holland hat auch viele Kanäle - Und Flüsse. Oft gesäumt von kleinen und grösseren Siedlungen. Die Backsteinhäuser, gelegentlich mit Rieddächern und oft mit zum neidisch werden viel Umschwung, sind eine wahre Augenweide.

      Und ja, wir durften auch ein paar der nostalgischen Windmühlen bewundern (die sich dann meist in IN den Orten befinden).

      Zudem sind die Begegnungen mit den wirklich sehr offenen und freundlichen Niederländern erfrischend. Täglich werden wir angesprochen und wir plaudern über dies und jenes. Natürlich sind sie extrem an unserer Reise interessiert, sind wir doch auf einem für sie "normalsten Fortbewegungsmittel" unterwegs. Noch lange werden wir z. B. an das pensionierte Päärchen (Er: 77 Jahre, Sie: nur unwesentlich jünger) denken, die ebenfalls immer noch mit Zelt und Velo unterwegs sind und uns auch gute Tipps auf den Weg mitgegeben haben.

      Apropos Velo: In den Niederlanden ist das Velowegsystems (fietsknoop.nl) echt genial. Ob mit der App oder analog unterwegs, du kannst auf einfachstem Wege deine Route planen und gehst nicht verloren. So fährt es sich extrem entspannt durchs ganze Land. Und wenn dein Ziel mal abseits von den ausgeschilderten Veloknotenpunkten liegt?  … kein Problem, es wird so oder so einen Veloweg geben. (Sascha würde unsere Politiker gerne mal zu Zwangsveloferien hierhin schicken, damit die mal sehen könnten, was alles, auch bei engen Platzverhältnissen und innerorts, möglich ist)

      Und wenn wir denn schon beim Schwärmen sind, nach Frankreich sind die Campingplätze in Holland eine wahre wohltat. Egal ob Minicamping auf dem Bauernhof oder Ferienpark, die Plätze inklusive Sanitäranlagen sind in top Zustand und immer sauber. Sogar Toilettenpapier und Handseife sind vorhanden (etwas das in F nicht zum Standard gehört). 

      Kurzum, wir sind begeistert von Holland.
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    • Day8

      Ganzeduik

      January 1, 2017 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☀️ 1 °C

      Around 1pm we head off to theGanzenduik (literally translated to Goose Dive). We walk there through the village. There’s lots of people at the pond where we will be taking our icy cold plunge. The air temperature is 1.5’C and the water temperature is about 3.7’C. None of my family are joining me in the traditional New Year’s Day swim but I’m not about to miss out on the fun. I did the same thing last year but the air temperature was 6’C then.

      My costume isn’t anywhere near as good but by coincidence the hat and bow tie I won in the present game last night match my swimming shorts, making it look like I planned my costume.
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    • Day7

      New Years Eve in Coevorden

      December 31, 2016 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌫 2 °C

      We arrive in Coevorden just in time to walk from my godparents’ house to my cousin’s house. My cousin’s wife is cranking out the fresh home made ollie bollen like a champion. They taste as delicious as I remember from last year.

      My cousin’s kids and their friends are lighting fire crackers in the street. They are young but the fire crackers are less insane than those we will fire off at midnight. The kids are loving it. It’s our second New Year with them in a row and the kids are now talking about “Paul and Andrew who come every year”. It’s adorable.

      We head back to my godparents’ home for dinner. My cousin, his wife and their kids come too. We sit in front of the open fire chatting. There’s a year to catch up on. The kids gently correct my Dutch when I use the incorrect words or grammar. I appreciate the help.

      The kids go to bed and we play a present game. It’s odd to have gifts on New Year but in Holland gifts aren’t usually exchanged at Christmas so it makes sense. The game is a laugh. We have dice and cards that dictate what we can do with the gifts we select. Everyone has bought three gifts valued at about three Euros each. We select and unwrap gifts according to the cards and dice. We also swap and steal gifts according to the same cards and dice. Three hours pass and we end up with a selection of gifts each. It’s all random fun and we’ve laughed our guts out.

      And then it’s time. The clock strikes 12 and it’s hugs all round. Outside the fire works have begun. Last year we stood in the street where there were lots of young people but this year we’re in my godparents’ backyard. The difference is that it’s less scary and more enjoyable. There’s little risk tonight of fire works hitting us if they go wrong. And we can duck inside when it gets too cold. It’s a blast (no pun intended). We stay out in the cold as long as we can keep our eyes open and then we climb the stairs to our bedrooms (yes plural). My godparents have bedrooms for their grandkids and tonight that’s where we will sleep – each in one small child’s bed (the children are not there off course).
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    • Day8

      Coevorden Castle

      January 1, 2017 in the Netherlands ⋅ ❄️ 1 °C

      My godparents have reserved a table at the Coevorden Castle for dinner. I am castle-crazy so to have dinner in a castle is pretty amazing. The food tastes great and the company (my godparents and Paul) is even better. After dinner the staff let us explore the castle unguided. It’s mostly set up with various banquet and dining areas. But it’s still very much a castle.

      And then we step outside to discover it has started to snow. The only thing I’m crazy about more than castles is snow. We rug up and walk home in the snow. It’s perfect. The village is gorgeous. And it’s quite romantic … especially watching Paul speak with animation to my family. What a way to start 2017!
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    • Day9

      Westerbork Transit Camp

      January 2, 2017 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 3 °C

      We drive to the Westerbork Transit Camp Memorial. The camp was originally a refugee camp for Jews fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, the Nazis took the camp over and transformed the once safe-haven into part of their regime of reign of terror. Gypsies and Jews from all over The Netherlands were rounded up and sent to Westerbork for transportation to concentration and death camps further east. Approximately 120,000 people were transported through Westerbork by the Nazis. The most famous of these was Ann Frank who was among the 60,000 people transported from Westerbork to Auschwitz-Birkenau near Krakow in Poland.

      Unlike Auschwitz-Birkenau, the original camp no longer stands here. But there is a moving open air memorial and a museum. The memorial is a public space that can be accessed for free by walking along paths through the woods from a nearby carpark. However, you have to pay entry to the museum, which includes access to a shuttle bus to the memorial (cars cannot travel the road to the memorial itself). The 2km walk from the carpark through the woods is pretty and (being The Netherlands) flat.

      It’s a cold and bleak day. We leave the warmth of the museum and make our way to the memorial. The first thing that strikes me are the two railway carriages. Identical to those we saw in Auschwitz-Birkenau last year the sight of these carriages fills me with a sense of the horror that awaited those who transited through this camp. Not only does it make me think of what we saw in Auschwitz-Birkenau last year but now I also think about the long journey those who were sent there had to endure. Krakow is a long way from Westerbork. What makes this memorial even more moving is the roll call of the names of all the prisoners who were transported. You could probably stand here for a whole day and not hear them all.

      Stones have been laid here to honour each of the individuals who transited through this camp. Almost all were murdered by the Nazis. Some died on the long train journeys, others of malnutrition in concentration camps, some by being shot and many in the gas chambers. Photos between the stones show the faces of Jews and Gypsies. It highlights the inhumanity that was shown to ordinary children, women and men who’s only crime was to be born into the wrong religion and the wrong place and time. The same crime committed by the Syrians and other refugees in the world today who are fleeing torture and death in their home countries.

      Large coffins representing each of the camps to which Jews and Gypsies were sent line a pathway. Each names the respective camp and has inscribed the number of people who were sent there. The numbers are too large to comprehend. All are in the thousands. Some in the tens of thousands. It’s sobering and sad.
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    • Day3

      Even tijd voor koffie en een massage!

      June 5 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Nu even koffie, massage en opladen.
      We hebben prima weer, de stemming zit er goed in. Bijzonder om weer mee te maken dat het team zo hecht is.

      Traveler

      Hé, ik zie Gert!🙂

      6/5/22Reply

      Hoi buuf, goed bezig! [Anita]

      6/5/22Reply
      Traveler

      Dat klopt, Gert is met Miranda langs geweest voor de koffie vanuit zijn vakantieadres!

      6/5/22Reply
       

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    Gemeente Coevorden, Coevorden

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