Rosie’s European Adventure Part 4: PROOST!

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.


And the interiors don’t disappoint either.

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.  


Then it was back to the campsite with the wind behind us for a final BBQ before packing for the morning.

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.

PROOST!

Rosie’s European Adventure Part 3: Discovering Flammkucken


Riding on the high of an exciting weekend in Spa we travelled on through the countryside to Luxembourg, the third country in our Benelux trip.  Our base this time couldn’t be more different.  We are sited on a campsite, Camping Martbusch, at the top of the Mullerthal Trail in a town called Berdorf, in an area known as Little Switzerland.  It’s not mountains and snow capped Alps, it’s a rocky ridge that runs along the border with Germany popular with walkers and climbers.  And just as we found in the Netherlands paths and trails are very clearly marked.

We explored the town to get our bearings before cooking ourselves another meal on our newly acquired camping stove. We bought it so that we can cook outside instead of having cooking smells in the van while we sleep.  Makes you hungry in the night. We also have this ingenious metal plate that can sit on top of the camping stove and it becomes a BBQ grill. Works an absolute treat for Dubbers now he knows exactly where to balance his sausages.

On that first evening we didn’t realise how closely we had camped to the Mullerthal Trail and how significant a trail it was. We spent a lot of the day exploring and it is stunning.


Another home cooked meal and a local beer at the nearby snack bar and we were ready for our next day trip into Luxembourg City.  Public transport systems on the continent never cease to amaze me. They are cheap and efficient.  A €4 ticket meant we could ride the buses, trams and trains all day.  We took the bus option for a 45 minute journey into the city, travelling through beautiful countryside and villages.  


Luxembourg City is quite sophisticated with its cafes and lovely squares to sit and people watch. We discovered too that the city has free wifi so it was good to catch up.  


It was also here that I discovered Flammkucken, a very thinly rolled flaky dough topped with cream cheese and thinly sliced ham. Delicious. Must Smartpoint it when I get home.



We went into the Notre Dame cathedral and the underground museum, carved into the rock which was really interesting.  Then it was back to Rosie, out for a wonderful meal at a local restaurant, before watching the sunset from the Mullerthal.


Our final day was spent doing a town walk in Echternach, probably the largest town in the area with its lovely buildings and medieval walls.


This part of the trip has been a real contrast to the flat landscape of Holland.  And Rosie has managed the climb no problem. Favourite thing – Flammkucken and the sunsets.   Now for the last stage of our trip.