4 Day Walk in Nijmegen
Trip Start Jun 30, 2010
9Trip End Sep 26, 2010
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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
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
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