Day 32 – 31st July 2020 – Around Nijmegen
Despite the huge thunderstorm last night today is again glorious and is expected to be very hot.
As we are not able to have lunch here at the Brasserie we agree to meet at a place Annemarie recommends:
It’s about 25km from me so I am going to go the long way round and explore the area.
I am riding along the top of a dyke
and the first thing I come across is this… ooo must stop for a look
It always impresses me how the Dutch maintain a very real remembrance of those who were lost on their soil… it is also great how the recollections of the local people are preserved. The whole country is a network of cycle routes littered with points of interest such as this one, just cycle nirvana really.
My next stop is in Reek, I am looking for the war cemetery, but for some reason I can’t find it, however I spot these instead…
I continue along the back roads towards our lunch venue….
I arrive at the restaurant, Annemarie is already there… the parking is all gravel so I ride past , turn around and then park up almost next to her. It is 1pm and the sun is blazing down, just humungous heat.
It is so fantastic to be able to meet up with her… we have a great time catching up and eating a very nice lunch indeed, I certainly enjoy both. We remain in the restaurant for a good couple of hours, just relaxing. Next I plan to visit the Mook War Cemetery that I passed on the way in; Annemarie says she will join me and then start her cycle back to her parents home.
I also see a ‘relative’… yes somehow we are related, even though he is from Canada the Irish diaspora is global so my family is everywhere.
I put a stone on top of his marker as a sign of remembrance.
We realise we haven’t had a photo together so record the moment…
Looking good there Stolkie… so wonderful to see you… safe travels back to Mexico and hope to come over for a visit and a ride very soon.
Annemarie recommends a route back to my accommodation that will take me through some pretty villages and nice roads… so we say our farewells and head off in different directions.
I do indeed ride through some really lovely villages and the roads are, as always here in Netherlands, just perfect… not a pothole in sight. Netherlands is just such a beautiful country, everything is sooooo neat and tidy, well ordered, clean and pretty, a delight to ride or cycle in.
and…. there are windmills; of course I do loooove a windmill.. I’m just a tourist at heart really.
I then cross over, briefly, back into Germany
and come across what I think is the best church, the architecture is fantastic… so much so that I actually get off the bike to take some snaps. Of course Germany is the home of Gothic architecture and this is an excellent example.
gotta love a gargoyle or two, three, four…..
I turn the corner away from the church and see this….
Just two random sculptures sitting in a green area behind the old town…. no explanation or anything… it is a litttttle bit weird I have to say.
I am soon back at the accommodation for a bit of a rest until I go out for dinner. I did see a couple of possibles on the way back so head out to
I park up and there seems to be some kind of party going on just over the hedge… I can see a large tent and hear what sounds like an ‘Oompah’ band… must be some kind of celebration.
I enjoy a very nice meal in here, they have a senior menu… just great for me, as of course I am a senior, but it also means smaller portions, which I always prefer. A delicious soup followed by steak, (small additional charge), and dessert for just €20.. I also have another lovely Bitter Lemon, yum. The steak comes and is actually tiny, but is accompanied by chips, roast potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms.. etc etc… the side dishes are enormous… I struggle… I need a break before dessert so time for another Bitter Lemon hehe… I order the Oubliehoorn and Slagroom after texting Annemarie for a translation, (my app refused to translate it), which is a cone with cream. It arrives and is a medium sized dish full of ice cream with whip cream and a cone sitting on top… exhausting… I manage half though!
I make my way to the til to pay my bill, the woman there asks if I enjoyed my food… oh yes thank you. She gives me my bill and, as I want to pay in cash, I give her the paper and then start looking at my coins, I take out a few coins and have to look at each one as I still don’t recognise the denominations by sight.. the woman sighs, says ‘give to me’ takes a coin from the change and then gives me more, smaller coins back.. I mean seriously…!
Outside and the tempo of the shindig next door has changed to what sounds like a live band playing middle of the road Dutch music… I imagine all the oldies are having a ball, while the younger ones are probably smoking dope round the back of the tent.
I have really enjoyed today… wonderful to be able to see Annemarie, the weather is just fantastic and the riding… well I think the photos say it all. However, I have decided to go home… I have already booked my return train via the Euro Tunnel and will ride towards Calais tomorrow, stopping overnight somewhere on route before arriving there for my train at 11.50am.
I am absolutely exhausted and although I like the idea of riding through Luxembourg and into France; and would love to visit Julia in Cherbourg, I just have had enough now. The last week has included a lot of autobahn, but it isn’t the riding it is more the loading and unloading, stopping at a different place night after night and of course I don’t give myself any real breaks… so enough, is enough, time to go home.