Travel Journal

The Netherlands

(Thursday 14 October 2010) by Jill's travels
We arrived in the Netherlands on Sunday and stayed at the National Park De Biesbosch Marina, what a lovely place. We were instantly surprised by this Country, it is so clean, a cyclist and water sport paradise. So far, the Dutch have been friendlier than any other Europeans we have met on our travels. They have devised an amazing cyclist network in their Country which incorporates tracks for scooters and cyclists which is a structured numbered system of pathways throughout the urban and rural areas. The communities have without doubt embraced this form of transport from the Colleges which have hundreds and hundreds of cycle racks full to capacity to the bus stops which have a dozen or so bikes tied up where people have commuted by bus to work. Since arriving here, we have done miles of cycling which took us through pretty villages (Geertruidenberg, Oosterhout), to open fields (polders) which where full of residential smallholdings with horses, donkeys, lamas, goats and Scottish Highland Cattle! (You will find a picture of these, they were so cute). There are fields full of trees ready for Christmas and those planted for the following year. The waterways have also a network for commercial barges which can at times be the width of the canals. We where situated right on the edge of the canal and there wasn’t a time when the waterway was not being used. We had about four days there but could have stayed longer. We then moved up to the Veluwe Region which is in the province of Gelderland where we are now. We are about 12 km from Apeldoorn staying in a little rural place called Epe. Again, the villages and towns are so enchanting. The houses including their housing estates are individually designed, all with gardens that have been given tender loving care! Since being here, we have not seen one untidy garden, litter, very little graffiti or any candidates for an AS BO, ha! We understand the Dutch do not expect their tourists to speak or even attempt to speak their language which, I have to say is a relief, lazy but very honest. We are of to Apeldorn tomorrow where the Royal Family has their favourite country seat called Palies Het Loo. The Netherlands so far, has to be one of the most unexpected highlight since beginning our travels. Best wishes xxx


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