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Going Dutch

Monday 29th May - Monday 12th June 2017

Going Dutch Rally Report No 1

Our rally began on Camping Delfste Hout, which is within easy walking distance of Delft, our Indonesian welcome meal which was on site was both topical and delicious.

We had a guided walking tour to Rotterdam conducted by a very enthusiastic and somewhat theatrical Dutchman and as well as showcasing the sights he provided insights into the nefarious governmental goings on past and present. We were also introduced to Dutch marmite AKA ‘New Herring’.

Our next trip was by bus and tram to the wonderful Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague for pre and post lunch guided tours, our guides were splendid and brought the canvasses to life. Lunch was in the very pleasant Art Gallery Brasserie.

De Kuyper Distillery was our last tour from this site, an excellent guided tour followed by a very liberal tasting of whatever De Kuyper product took your fancy plus a lovely and unexpected goody bag for all people on the tour.

We then moved to Camping Lindenhoff, close to Wolfheze which was in September 1944 the site of many allied glider landings, a lovely rural site with good public transport links to points of interest.

Our first tour was virtually on site to a private collection of Horsa glider parts and a wealth of “Operation Market Garden” artefacts’.

Arnhem provided the backdrop for a guided walking tour of the interesting parts of the city with free time in the city afterwards.

Our farewell lunch was on the terrace of Het Koetshuis (The Coachouse) a local Michelin star rated restaurant. We had the tasting menu which was splendid in every respect and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Michael Barron.


Going Dutch Rally Report No 2

I wanted to add a bit more to the Rally report already printed about this event.

We stayed at the Delftse Hout Campsite which has good modern facilities, much frequented by Dutch families, from where one can walk or bicycle into Delft fairly easily.

Our welcome meal consisted of a takeaway Indonesian Reistaffel, a speciality in Holland inherited from their colonial past. We used a room on the campsite for this, which was most convenient. The following day we had a guided tour of Rotterdam, a city that had ben flattened in WW11 and is now resurrected with modern steel and glass architectural wonders, the glass is often in Mondrian patterns, an indoor market inside a huge arch that has apartments built into the span. The enormous port is a world portal for trade, cruise liners bring tourism to an altogether modern city.

On the Wednesday we all went to The Hague to a refurbished Mauritshuis Art Gallery where we had excellent guides to their wonderful collection. The Vermeers, Girl with a Pearl earring and the harbour view of Delft, the timeless Rembrandt self portrait and the numerous Dutch winter scenes remain in the mind’s eye, recalling an era of prosperity and release from Spanish rule. We had an excellent lunch in the gallery’s Restaurant before returning refreshed to Delft. Next day was market day in Delft held in the area, the size of about four football pitches, around the Oude Kerk. All manner of items on sale, excellent food and vegetables, clothes, toiletries and toys, and gossiping locals were a great entertainment. By this time the weather had turned to summer- in fact in all we had only three days of wind and rain, an achievement for Holland in early June.

Our final outings here were to the de Kuyper factory and an American supper where everyone contributed so that no one went hungry!

The next day we all moved to the next site which was on the actual landing field of the gliders of the ill fated airborne division. In 1944 they failed to secure the bridges over the Rhine with attendant huge los of life, both civilian and of the allies.

Our tour of Arnhem was marred by cold wind and rain, but we sheltered in the St Eusubius Church which is undergoing a massive restoration project to become a community centre. The weather then improved and those that wished visited the wonderful Hoge Veluwe and the Kroller Muller museum with its collection of Van Gogh paintings and Sculpture Park where weird and startling sculptures peered out from between the trees.

Our final meal was at a Michelin starred restaurant the Het Koetshuis with the sun shining so that we were able to eat outside on their lovely terrace. We were treated to a tasting menu of many courses with plenty to drink and speeches and presentations. We want to say a special thank you to Doris and Charles for their invaluable assistance but particularly in exploring and finding the two excellent sites.

For us it was a memorable trip.

Freddy Lind