After a four hour drive from Luxembourg mostly behind large trucks we arrive at Boerderij Hazenveld. A Boerderij is essentially a farm and there are many around in Holland that have great little campsites. This one is about 10km from Utrecht and we did have plans to venture into Utrecht for a day but when we discovered what wonderful countryside was close by we hired bikes and spent two days touring.
Having set up camp we walked to the local village Kockengen to get supplies from the supermarket there. We fell in love with the beautiful houses and little canals in the this lovely village.
When we realised there was a market the next day we decided our first trip out on the bikes needed to be to Kockengen. So we were up early and found a craft market which was fund raising for local organisations. There was all manner of stalls from food to knitwear to pottery to kids with blankets on the ground selling their unwanted toys. What struck us was what a lovely community they have; smiles on everyone’s faces and everyone having fun. We love the Dutch people.
We wanted to visit a castle nearby and the signs said 4km. That’s one of the wonderful things in the Netherlands the cycle and walking trails are all signposted to a standard national scheme and the trails don’t always go alongside roads but venture across fields, through forests, across dykes and through beautiful villages. And of course it’s all flat! The one to Haarzuilens was across a field and brought us to our destination much more quickly than the 4km mentioned. Before the village stands a truly magnificent castle, almost a neighbour to the farm we were staying at. De Haars Castle is on the site of a medieval castle and the footprint of the castle was used to build the magnificent building that is there today in the middle to late 19th Century. It’s so photogenic.
We then enjoyed a lovely dinner in Haarzuilens which finished the day off nicely, especially after we got in conversation with a Dutchman who complimented Dubber on his lovely wife! At my age you take the compliment wherever it comes from!
Our final day was spent doing a longer cycle in slightly gusty weather. That’s the problem with the land being so flat. We visited a town called Woerden, and enjoyed another Flammkucken.
This European trip has been wonderful and often unexpected. Our little campervan Rosie has got us to some beautiful places. She’s driven lots of miles with ease and climbed hills in Luxembourg. She’s provided a comfy home at great campsites where we’ve met lots of lovely people. And best of all she got us to Spa so we could tick the Grand Prix there off our bucket list.
So to finish off here’s the usual last words – I have learnt:
1 We loved Holland. We will be back.
2 I love Flammkucken.
3 The Netherlands really is that flat.
4 The Spa Formula 1 Grand Prix exceeds all expectations.
5 Rosie is a champion of a campervan. We couldn’t have done it without her.