LelystadOctober 10 in the Netherlands
Lelystad sits on the edge of the Ijsselmeer; a vast lake formed by cutting off the mouth of a fjord with the Afsluitdijk dam and causeway. The fjord is also dissected by a further low dam, the 27km long Houtribdijk, behind which sits another lake, the Markermeer. We are in one of the 4 allocated van bays in a long carpark running adjacent to the Ijsselmeer, although we can't see it because of the tall dyke separating us from the water. It is a hot day but we spend most of it in the van organising appointments for when we visit the UK at the end of this month. Will does take a break to cool off in the lovely swimming area over the dyke. It has a sandy beach and although we know the water has long been cut off from the sea, it still seems strange that it is fresh water and not saline.
Next door to us is an old Belgian motorhome with a sticker advertising 'Max & Felix animal hotel'. We are sure we've seen it somewhere before, perhaps on our travels in Belguim last November. After a while we hear a scrabbling of claws on laminate and a couple emerge holding 5 dogs on leads, 3 of them pitbulls! How they manage them in the confined space is beyond us, but come dinner time there is an almighty ruckus of growling and shouting from within. The tension of all 7 inhabitants is obvious. Later they emerge once again but the whippet, who has been let off the lead, sees something and begins to bark, setting off the other four dogs. The people shout at them and drag them back to the van, although it takes a massive effort to hold on to the three pitbulls straining at their leads and the handlers seem scared they'll get loose. We make sure they aren't out whenever we take Poppy!
Another van pulls into one of the allocated bays but a further seven site themselves elsewhere in the car park. The large bins at the entrance are locked shut and the others are over full. It is a struggle to keep the bluebottles out of the van. In the late afternoon a motorbike school sets out cones and riders drive their bikes up and down the car park. We are sure if we'd explored the surrounding area there would be plenty of positive things to remember about Lelystad, but as it was, it didn't rank highly among the places we've stayed so far.Read more