Dutch Liberation Day

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The first feature of interest on today’s ride was the Dutch Sahara, an area of drifting sand in the National Park de Loonse en Drunense Duinen.

We noticed flags flying at half mast for Dutch Liberation Day, commemorating the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany in WW2.

Morning tea was at Waalwijk: pannenkoeken, coffee and hot chocolate in the shadow of the clock tower of the extraordinary domed church of St John the Baptist.

A small off-road adventure began after we deviated from the route to photograph a windmill. A reluctance to backtrack led us along a grassy path to a fence and narrow canal that separated us from an easy exit back to the road. A bit of bog hopping, nettle bashing, stile climbing and bag heaving got us to a small bridge over the canal and into the back yard of a private house. Here we were greeted by the surprised owner who accepted our explanation of being lost and cheerily sent us on our way!

More sights: roadside sculptures, windmills, potato farms, cows, sheep, a nesting stork, cherry trees in blossom, canals, charming villages, motorways, industrial parks and the wetlands of De Biesbosch National Park. Just before reaching Dordrecht we crossed the Nieuwe Merwerde canal on the Biesbosch ferry.

Our hostel, De Kleine Rug, one of the network of Friends of Nature Houses (Natuurevriendenhuisen), is situated at the edge of Dordrecht on a narrow sliver of land with water on all sides. The only way to reach it is by boat – a short trip taking only a couple of minutes. We arrived at the correct place, waved to someone over the canal who dispatched the boatman, and in a short time we were in residence. We have befriended our fellow residents and, as the sun was setting, joined with them in two minutes of silence as is the national custom on this day.

Today’s route

4 Responses to “Dutch Liberation Day”

  1. Herman Vandecauter Says:

    The Dutch Sahara is fantastic! I made a lot of nice pictures there. Every year we also make kayak tours on Biesbos near Dordrecht.

  2. Herman Vandecauter Says:

    Have a look to the new cycle way in Belgium inside a lake!
    https://www.zonerama.com/Link/Album/1565115

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