Cycling and visit to Friesland!

Too much partying & cheering isn’t good for you (who said??)  . . . . so we did squeeze in some cycling of the local region (Gelderland), south-east of Amsterdam and also ventured north – up to Friesland Province!!

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Camping De Muk, a cattle farm, was “homebase” during our stay in the small village of Winssen – near Nijmegan and the 4 Day Walk Festival. Our hosts, Caroline and Erik were very hospitable. The large “shed” was immaculate with all the facilities including a “help yourself” bar, comfortable “WIFI” seating area, toilets/shower, washing machine, table tennis, trampoline, storage for your bikes, etc!! Bruce relaxed on a large grassed area with about 12 other motor-homes, breathing in the fresh country air! It was a friendly environment and we made new friends too – Hans and Marieke !

Last year, in France, we camped next to the Bouman family, who live close by here in Beuningen. Together we enjoyed the 4 day walk festival and they were also our tour guides! They kindly drove is on a tour up to Friesland. It’s typically flat, green, with lakes and rivers and plenty of cows (friesian black and white originated here) and beautiful black horses.

From Wikipedia: The Friesian is a FriesianHorsehorse breed originating in Friesland, in the Netherlands. Although it resembles that of a light draft horse, Friesians are graceful and nimble for their size. It is believed that during the Middle Ages, ancestors of Friesian horses were in great demand as war horses throughout continental Europe. Through the Early Middle Ages and High Middle Ages, their size enabled them to carry a knight in armor. In the Late Middle Ages, heavier, draft type animals were needed. Though the breed nearly became extinct on more than one occasion, the modern day Friesian horse is growing in numbers and popularity, used both in harness and under saddle. Most recently, the breed is being introduced to the field of dressage. All are black. 

 

 

In Friesland, farming, fishing & nautical know-how, the building, repair and maintenance of ships has been the areas principal activities for centuries!

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We strolled through the old towns including Sneek, Leeuwarden, and we relaxed with Koffie & Appelgebak watching the many types of boats pass by! Mark and Maaike were excited to find their boat (namesake)!!

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Bev took timeout relaxing under the arches of the enormous Waterpoort from 1613 – former gateway to the old port/ It’s twin towers are local landmarks – Can you spot her?IMG_5446

Interesting that the province of Friesland has its own language, as seen on road signs etc., even though it is in the Netherlands! The Frieslanders are pretty self reliant, they didn’t just  have to build Dijks (dykes) to protect their land from the sea, they had to build the land as well!!

A 50km round trip bike ride from our camping through the riverland, took us past interesting sites ! A thatched roof being installed/repaired, lawn being mown automatically, a giant strawberry with vending machine (Automaat) full of fresh strawberries, the ruins of the 13th century Batenburg Castle!  There was always time for a picnic under the windmill!

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We enjoyed an afternoon cycling along side the many windmills at Zaanse Schans – as recommended by Niko and Ada!!

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