Netherlands
North Brabant

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  • Day5

    Kibbelinge und Ikea-Rallye

    March 28, 2019 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

    Heute hieß es warten. Emile wollte uns ja starke Männer schicken. Es kamen drei unentschlossene Herren und eine sehr entschlossene Dame. Da wir sie schon öfter hier am Platz bei der Arbeit gesehen haben, vermute ich, dass es Frau Sahneschnitte ist. Die Herren schienen unschlüssig, ob sie die Möbel aus dem Fenster gehievt bekämen. Frau Sahneschnitte erklärte wortreich auf niederländisch, dass dies sehr wohl ginge, zwinkerte uns zu und packte tatkräftig mit an.

    Nun standen wir zwar sehr erleichtert, aber ohne Möbel in unsrer Wohnstube. 😉 Kurz überlegt, und ab ging es nach Breda zu Ikea. Dort sind wir mehr oder weniger zügig durch die Gänge gesaust. Es ließ sich leider das ein oder andere Mitbringsel nicht vermeiden. Immer hieß es "Nun aber schnell durch, wir halten nur noch bei den Bildern. Wegen Judith."

    Die sucht nämlich ein Bild, schwarz-weiß, Paris, mit buntem Ballon. Das soll es nur noch in Holland bei Ikea geben. Aber leider nicht in Breda, Judith. Wir haben unser Bestes gegeben.

    Und weil so eine Ikea-Rallye ganz schön schlaucht - der Laden ist riesig - belohnten wir uns hier im De Zeester mit einer Portion Kibbelinge.

    Dazu gab es dann noch ganz umsonst einen schönen Sonnenuntergang.
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  • Day69

    Pompejus trifft Willemstad

    May 31, 2019 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    Man kann ja nicht nur werkeln. Deshalb ging es heute hinaus in die Sonne. Wir wollten mal die etwas weitere Umgebung erkunden. Wir sind von hier aus ja auch ruckzuck in Brabant.

    Immer wenn wir über die Autobahn gen Deutschland fahren, sehen wir ein großes Bauwerk, das aussieht wie eine Schanze oder ein Aussichtsturm. Google informierte, dass dort das Fort de Roovere in einem riesigen Naturschutz- und Wandergebiet liegt.

    Das wollte ich mal sehen.

    Nun, es ist kein Fort aus Stein oder Holz, sondern aus Erde. Es gibt verschiedene Befestigungsanlagen, die zur Brabantse Waterline gehören. Die geht wohl von Bergen op Zoom bis Grave.

    Heute war auf dem Gelände des Fort de Roovere allerdings der Bär los. Oder besser gesagt, das Pferd. Überall wurde gebaut und organisiert. Am Wochenende findet ein Turnier 🎠 statt.

    Sehenswert fand ich die Moses Brücke. Da kann man trockenen Fußes durchs Wasser laufen. Und dann gibt's noch den Pompejus Turm. Das ist Freilich-Theater und Aussichtsturm in einem. Selbstverständlich haben wir ihn bezwungen. 😁

    Um durch das weitläufige Gelände zu wandern hatten wir dann doch keine Lust, deshalb fuhren wir weiter auf Erkundungstour durch Brabant.

    Wir landeten in Willemstad.

    Nein, nein! Nicht das auf Curacao (ich find den Nubbel unterm c nicht). Dieses Willemstad liegt am Holland Diep. Es ist aber bestimmt ebenso charmant mit seinem Yachthafen 🚤⛵, den Kanälen, Bastionen, netten Häuschen, einer Getreidemühle, einer großen Kirche ⛪und Restaurants. Also genauso wie ich es mag.

    Der Ornithologe sprach: "Das war doch ganz nett!"

    Das war's❣️

    In diesem Sinne ... "Doei!"
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  • Day851

    Grave

    October 25, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    Our Martha is parked in the only motorhome bay in Grave's medium sized car park. A steep grassy hill borders one side of the area and was built centuries ago to defend the town against invaders.
    We are close to the centre of town, but tucked away from any through roads, with ivy covered walls forming the other sides. In fact the car park is so well hidden we struggled to find it. Coming straight from an oversubscribed camperplaats on the outskirts of Grave, where we'd planned to stay, we turned into the main parking area. It took us a while to realise this wasn't the one we wanted but when we did, Will set off on foot to scope out the surroundings while Vicky compared photos on the CamperContact app to aerial views on Google Earth. It was here that we located our intended destination and after circling around the narrow streets a couple of times we managed to find the entrance - phew! It was solely motorhome parking so there was no water or emptying point but our efforts were made worth it by the free electric hookup and excellent access to a historic town, so we decided to stay two nights.

    Many of the settlements we've visited so far have been relatively modern, so Grave, that started life in the 12th century with a castle had a different feel to it. Over the years it had been laid siege to many times, but the buildings that line its cobbled lanes are 17th and 18th century; old enough to exude a ye olde worlde character.

    We made our way in with our eyes open for somewhere we could have lunch. Our time in the Netherlands seems to be drawing to a close very quickly and although we've sampled plenty of the country's sweet treats, we've not yet had many of the savoury. The streets were quiet and most eateries appeared closed so we were drawn to the open door of the Café Gouden Leeuw, a pub in the small main square. Can anyone guess what its name translates as?

    We got a good feeling as soon as we stepped into the almost full front room. We grabbed one of the two free tables and asked the waiter for a local beer, accepting and enjoying their recommendation of the Brand on tap. To eat, Will chose bitterballen; little balls of mixed meat coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. Vicky went with the Gouden Leeuw special sandwich without the meat. While waiting for our food we took in the distinctive decor. The table we were sitting at had a glass covered board game inset into the dark wood and from the ceiling hung models, including hotair balloons, a witch and a jester around two grand, black metal chandeliers. The walls were pale green with handpainted decoration and canal scenes in little circles or rectangles. The colours were muted and upon closer inspection we saw a nicotine coloured wash had been applied for effect. We think the pub must be one of the Netherlands' bruin (brown) cafés. Some say they are so named because of the dark brown wood, others think it is because of the stains left on the walls from all the tobacco smoke. The Gouden Leeuw had both, so we reckoned it was a safe bet. The staff were helpful, the beer and food tasty and the vibe convivial and relaxing so we went for broke and booked a table for the following evening, when there was a 3 course special menu for €13.95.

    Continuing to explore the town we dropped into the tourist information office, where we found just one leaflet in English. The level of spoken English in the Netherlands has been second to none, so it was ironic that of the two people working here, only one spoke to us and in very broken English at that.

    The central area was pretty small but packed with curios. A sign advertised 'catacombs' open to the public, which turned out to be a vaulted cellar filled with a whole range of items from large painted wooden clogs to a life size models of tigers. Vicky found some loose chamomile and managed to resist scrumtious looking chocolates in a tea and chocolate shop, the likes of which seem more common in the Netherlands than in many other countries.

    For the rest of the daylight hours Will found a canal to fish in while Vicky kept Poppy company. The leaflet we'd picked up from the Tourist Office advertised a Friday morning market, so this was tomorrow's daytime entertainment sorted. It wasn't a large market but it was a practical one with decent prices where we managed to pick up a whole load of foods including some Dutch runny honey, smoked mackerel and fresh strawberries. There was the obligatory cheese stall where we were given a taster and bought a wedge cut from a large round with a wire, while more rounds were delivered on an upright, two wheeled trolley generally used for shifting boxes in warehouses. There were two wet fish stalls advertising kibbeling; chunks of deep fried battered cod cooked to order. This was another Dutch speciality we had yet to try, so Will returned at midday and queued for a bag which he brought back to the van for us to share. They came with a pot of herby mayonnaise, a little like tartar sauce and were delicious!

    Walking through Grave for dinner at the Café Gouden Leeuw, the town was lit up with warm white fairy lights, falling from strings attached high up on buildings either side of the cobbled streets, wrapped around pollarded Plane trees and forming a 'Historiche Grave' banner at either end of the main street. It was beautifully atmospheric!

    Inside the pub there was a real buzz and ours was the only table free. After a yummy pumpkin and rocket salad for starters, Will had harvest risotto with stoofvlees (sweet-sour beef stewed in beer, herbs and mustard) while Vicky was served Victoriabaars (perch) celeriac puree and fries. The waiter kindly gave us a digestive pause before our salted caramel and chocolate tarts, which we rounded off with a glass of jenever (Dutch gin). The food was good quality and well cooked, it was a really lovely meal and we couldn't believe it cost as little as it did. Back at the van Will had a whiskey nightcap and made jam with the strawberries we'd bought earlier!
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  • Day855

    Bergen op Zoom

    October 29, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C

    Our overnight stop here in Bergen op Zoom camperplaats will be our last in the Netherlands. Alongside 3 other vans we are squeezed into a very narrow but long motorhome bay, in a large car park, overlooking a well kept lawn planted with young Plane trees whose outer layer of bark has been all but stripped by ravens. Beyond the lawn there is a lagoon surrounded by uninspiring beige apartment blocks. The still water reflects the pale grey cloud layer stifling the sun.

    We began today's journey by driving to the local Aldi and Jumbo supermarkets to stock up on a few 'essentials' including a stack of stroopwafels and a loaf of ginger cake, which is also apparently a Dutch favourite. As we pulled into the car park Vicky squealed and Will slammed on the brakes, thinking we were about to hit something. The cause of Vicky's heightened emotion was in fact an Oliebollenkraam streetfood trailer. As she understood it oliebollen (literally oil balls; large dognut like spheres) were a New Year treat in the Netherlands, so she hadn't expected to be able to sample them. We tried out our Dutch to order 2 and instead got presented with a bag of 4. never mind, they were surprisingly addictive when sprinkled liberally with icing sugar and Vicky managed to scoff the extra 2!

    We'd phoned ahead and made an appointment at the vets for the necessary worming tablet and stamp in the pet passport, before Poppy could return to the UK. After scoping out where in Oud Gastel the clinic was, we parked up at a camperplaats in the car park of a nearby motorhome retailer, to wait for our allotted time. We'd hoped to pick up a few bits and bogs at the shop but it had very little in the way of accessories, focussing mainly on selling new motorhomes. We had a look around a few, finding one we couldn't stand up in and another huge A-Class that cost €144,000! It was interesting to see different layouts but it brought it home to us how well suited our Martha is to our needs and we didn't find one that even came close to tempting us.

    After registering at the clinic, the vet gave Poppy a cursory health check and fed her a worming tablet, commenting that he didn't see why it required a vet to do this. He then charged us an eye watering €65 for the privilege!

    We arrived at the Bergen op Zoom camperplaats in the late afternoon. It was chilly and dull so Vicky persuaded Will to stay in for a nice warm cuppa instead of fishing. He whipped up homemade pizzas and garlic bread, which we enjoyed with some red wine; our customary last meal in a country. The rain came heavy overnight, forming large droplets on the tree leaves and splatting down on the van roof as we tried to sleep. Vicky took Poppy out at 5:30am and watched the driver of a works van lean on its horn as it drove past the row of campers; charming!

    We'll upload up a 'Goodbye to the Netherlands' post soon!
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  • Day11

    Vejen hjem

    August 21, 2019 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Kl. 20:15 lander vi på hotellet i aften, med aftensmad kl. 20:45. Vi har været igang siden kl. 7 i morges, så det har været en lang dag.

  • Day48

    Papier hier!

    June 17, 2019 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Da kommen Kindheitserinnerungen hoch, der Efteling, ein märchenhafter Vergnügungspark.
    Es gab auch für die Grossen was, Zitat Nadia: „Die geilste Achterbahn auf der ich bisher war!“
    Für Fotos war also keine Zeit. Aber hier gibts genügend Eindrücke:https://www.youtube.com/user/efteling

    Zufälligerweise war unser Schlafplatz noch der Eingang zu nem wunderschönen Nationalpark in dessen Dünen wir den Abend verbrachten.
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  • Day20

    Fort de Roovere

    July 16, 2019 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Fort de Roovere on maapealne kindlus (mitte mäe otsas), mis on osa Hollandi veeliinist. Hollandi veeliin koosneb mitmetest vee kaitserajatistest ehitatud 17. sajandil. Nende abil sai vanasti Hollandi muuta sisuliselt saareks, et kaitsta maismaa vaenlaste eest. Peale esmarajamist oli 45 aastat üleujutatud, et kaitsta vaenlaste eest. Vesi hoiti alati piisavalt madal, et seal oleks keeruline paate kasutada ja piisavalt sügav, et kõndimine oleks raske. Vee alla peideti tihti veel lisa takistusi nagu miinid, okastraat jne. 1794 ja 1795 Prantsuse revolutsiooni ajal õnnestus prantslastel lihtsalt kaitseliinist üle kõndida, sest külm ilm oli vee ära külmutanud.

    Tänapäeval on paljud veeliinid veel olemas ja inimestele meeldib mööda neid matkata või rattaga sõita.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincie Noord-Brabant, Nordbrabant, North Brabant, Noord-Brabant, Brabant Septentrional, Severní Brabantsko, Nord-Brabant, Norda Brabanto, Brabante Septentrional, Põhja-Brabandi provints, Pohjois-Brabant, Brabant-Septentrional, Noard-Brabân, Brabant Utara, Brabante Settentrionale, 北ブラバント州, 노르트브라반트 주, Provënz Nordbrabant, Noord-Braobant, Brabancja Północna, Brabante do Norte, Brabantul de Nord, Северный Брабант, Kuzey Brabant, 北布拉班特省

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