4 Day Walk in Nijmegen

Trip Start Jun 30, 2010
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Trip End Sep 26, 2010


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Flag of Netherlands  , Gelderland,
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday 22nd July                                      Wijchen – Nijmegen

Hello

Looking back over this week, we started with a train trip to Delft on Thursday. We had 3 connections to get there so got quite experienced at changing trains. Missed one but they are so regular that it doesn't really matter. It was a great way to travel – no driving stress. We did a walking tour around town, saw lots of Delft blue china and went on a canal boat ride. Found a nice restaurant with a menu in English for lunch – so much easier  than guessing what you’re ordering. Left home at 9am and arrived home at 9pm so it was a long day but very enjoyable.

Saturday we drove to Someren, a town about 2 hours south of here to visit Annelie’s cousin, Annie & Henk. As this was Annelie’s home town, it was nice to have a good look around. It is a very nice area. Henk and Annie were a lovely couple and made us very welcome. We had a beautiful meal and they also took us for a walk around the town. Their home and garden were just lovely. We didn’t arrive home till 10.30, just on dark. Fortunately we had a GPS to help us. We’re not keen on finding our way round in the car at night. The evenings are long anyway.

We are very lucky that we just happen to be here this week for the 4 day walk. This is the biggest walking event in Europe and happens at this time every year. 40,000+ walkers take part. Each day from Tuesday to Friday they set out from a point in Nijmegen  to walk a set route of 40-50kms (depending on how fit you are).  Each day is a different  direction. As well as individuals a lot of military and police groups from all over the world take part. Rob was grabbed by an English Bobby the other day to have her photo taken with him because he looked like her father. We didn’t see her go through in the walk today but she may have looked different in uniform.

Sunday we rode the bikes into Nijmegen. We were told that was the easiest way as the traffic is horrendous. Even the bus can’t get right into the city. We learnt that bike traffic jams can be pretty hair raising too, but we made it okay (about an hour each way), It was a huge party. I have never seen so many people drink so much beer (a bit of wine too).  There was a band or singing group on nearly every corner with lots of European drinking music as well as more modern music.  It was an amazing day. The party started on Saturday and goes for a week.

Tuesday we rode in again. The party started later but there were fireworks at 10.30 so huge crowds were heading in for that. We found a lovely outdoor restaurant with a good musical group and settled in there for a meal. As we were heading home around 8.30, hundreds of bikes were heading into town. I’d love to have stayed but would hate to have been riding home after dark with that many bikes.

Today we were woken at 6am by music. The walk passed through our local village just a couple of blocks from here and the entertainment went from 6am – 1pm. We had a quick breakfast and rode down.  Literally 40,000 people walked through that street  in the 7 hours – a continuous stream of people. They were old, young, fat, thin, dressed in fancy dress, uniforms or just hiking gear. All along the way there were bands playing or houses with amplified music with private parties.  It was amazing. We rode into the main part of Wijchen and there was even more music and a huge party by lunch time. The beer was flowing freely again (mainly for spectators) and it was quite chaotic. We watched until the stragglers had gone through, then came home for a rest. It was getting very hot down there - too hot for walking. We’ll go back later in the afternoon for a drink and see what’s happening. It has been frustrating as we haven’t been able to read the details– even the Dutch/English dictionary wasn’t  much help. It’s  certainly been great  to be here for. We did see about 8 Australian flags on hats, etc so there were a few Aussies here.

On a different note, we have learnt about moles this week. There were big holes in the lawn. Jack (our house owner)  called in and told us they were moles. He set some traps and we caught two moles overnight. We had never seen one before so were quite fascinated. You don’t need them if you are fussy about your lawn. They really make a mess.

Until next week

Carol & Rob
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

Gordon and Colleen on

Thanks for the weekly letters, you are certaintly having a great time. Keep enjoying yourselves.

Regards
Coleen and Gordon

Donna Erbs on

All sounds great & a lot warmer than here in Maffra. We ended up phoning Mathew in Bangalore for his birthday. Love to you both. Bruce & Donna xx

Carla Blackburn on

Hi Carol & Rob
Sounds like you are having a great time. Your accomodation looks really
wonderful. Still very cold and dry here. Have a really bad cold at the moment.
Hope you are both fit and well. Keep enjoying.

Sue Wheeler on

Hi folks thanks for keeping us informed of your trip it brought back memories of when we were in Holland in the middle 1980's. I remember Holland being so clean, with those lovely curtains and table lamps etc. I was also luckily to be given a Delft china vase which is in my cabinet because I am afraid it may get broken by the grandkids!!! Lot so bikes everywhere, really a wonderful place to visit. Thank you for shring with us.Enjoy the rest of your trip.

faye and mick on

hi Carol and Rob, send over the warm weather we are freezing here. All good here mick and baby saskia all going well. Looking forward to next instalment . Take care .faye

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