Spent today in De Efteling, The Netherlands’ top theme park. Great fun, brilliant rides and short queues! All has a slightly surreal feeling, typified by the Goose Herding parade thingy….
Discovered today I rather like the British art of queuing and similar niceties, but not the aggressive attitude towards those who flout our conventions. For example in the Netherlands, France and Belgium if you want to change lanes you pretty much just signal and move into traffic in the next lane. No-one flashes, swears, tries to ram you etc (one boy racer in a tarted up piece of *** broke the mould but I’ll let that go). This rather laid back approach generally works, but I do miss people flashing to let you out, waving me across a junction or whatever.
I am a Philistine and a country bumpkin.
Went to Amsterdam today, too many people, too busy. Much nicer further south IMO (I am rather fond of Noord-Brabant). I lived for 16 years in London and never liked it greatly. Several years out of cities have only confirmed my views.
Oh, and I’m a Philistine because we went to the Van Gogh museum and it was just some pictures. I liked a few very much, but that was it really. Oh well, we can’t all be cultured 😉
DS (age 5) commented on one of the paintings featured in the museum leaflet “Yes, Mum said that it was his famousest painting, but I don’t think they look much like sunflowers”. Like father like son then.
Cycled the 7.5km (5 miles or thereabouts for the terminally British) into Breda.
Along the main road there was mostly a cycle lane on each side of the road, separate from the road and footpath. It was wide, well surfaced and had right of way over minor roads and entrances to premises. It’s illegal to cycle on road if there is an adjacent cycle path. Some people think this should be the same in the UK. I could go for that, but only when all our cycle tracks are up to Netherlands standards.
Breda has a population of over 150,000, yet we managed to cycle right into the heart of the town with young children without ever feeling unsafe on the bikes. Can we inject some of this into UK transport planning, please?
The following few posts were written down while on holiday, so posted on block. Post dates correspond to time of original pen ‘n’ ink writing.
After hours in the pouring rain on Sunday affixing bikes to the car, we actually got to cycle in the sun today! We’re on holiday in Oosterhout, just outside Breda in the Netherlands. We rode the 15km return journey to Breda, visiting the excellent tourist information centre (VVV) where the kids got free drinks and biscuits(!) and we picked up soem cycling maps. Fantastic cycle paths and much better driver attitudes than in the UK.
In the afternoon we headed for the pancake house (discovered on our last visit 6 years before) along a nice tarmac track through the woods. The pancakes were great as was the beer – so much better than the tasteless fizz the Dutch export to the UK.
Rebekah showed her true colours eating like an animal, some people will do anything for chocolate sauce…
Great play area for the kids too – if you’re ever in the area, we highly recommend Het Pannekoeckershuys, just to the South of Den Hout.