Archive for the ‘Netherlands’ Category


5 July 2012

3 July 2012 – Nijmegen is the oldest city in The Netherlands. I last went there in 1979 when I visited Kees and Wieteke who lived there at the time.

We walked around the old town, had coffee in the square and admired the Waal.

We visited St Steven’s Church, then hired public transport bikes for  a ride around an area that has been restored from farmland and is now a nature reserve with extensive wetlands.

Fortunately Wieteke and Kees have a sensible approach to eating and drinking so this excursion included lunch followed by a visit to the Millinger Tea Garden, a beautiful place full of flowers and lovely places to sit and relax with tea!

On the way back Ian took a run up to get up a short incline to the top of the dyke and the chain came off his bike. As it was all enclosed inside a nice chain guard it was no simple matter to put it on again. A rescue plan was formed that involved leaving Wieteke behind and an advance party to set off. In the end all was well!


4 July 2012

2 July 2012 – we arrived at Schiphol at almost the same time as Wieteke who flew in from New Delhi. It was good to be reunited with our Driebergen friends, Wieteke and Kees again. They hosted us in 2010, helped Ian in his recuperation from a painful bulging disk, showed us many beautiful places in The Netherlands and launched us on our 3 month trip to Istanbul. It was great to catch up with family news and have the chance to spend some time together.

As tradition requires we set off after breakfast for a bicycle ride from Driebergen to Amerongen and Wijk bij Duurstede – this is the approximate route:

We saw lots of cows, farmers on their tractors cutting grass, a pair of storks nest building and beak clacking on top of the Amerongen castle, cherries and berries for sale. We were told off via loud speaker from a distant lock manager for sitting on the grass by the lock on the the Lek. The sign on the gate did say ‘Do not enter’ so we did knowingly transgress! Wieteke immediately decided to become an Australian so she could claim ignorance like us.

After our return home we had dinner sitting in the garden. Hinke, Wieteke and Kees’ son, and his friend Stan joined us. We last met Hinke in Australia in 2001 when he was only 11 years old and could not speak any English. So it was a pleasure to meet him again as a young man and hear about his plans to travel overseas with Stan and then to study in Taiwan.