Heading for Holland

On the night of Tuesday 8th July we parked amongst the dunes alongside other motorhomes at Westende Bad just outside Nieuwpoort, on the Belgian coast. The next morning we awoke to gale force winds and driving sands so we ditched our planned tour of the Belgian and Dutch coast and headed inland to Brugge.

Having found a handy free parking spot next to the main canal, we donned warm trousers socks boots and waterproofs and cycled into the city centre. We enjoyed the Flemish architecture and cobbled streets.

DSC01238 DSC01246We explored the stalls in the main market square,


and window shopped for Belgian Chocolates,


and some rusty old tools..



Yes, really!

Yes, really!

before the rain forced us in to a restaurant for a lunch of moules et frites and glass or two of white wine!


By Thursday lunchtime we reached Kinderdijk in the Netherlands, and finally found some sunshine and blue(ish) skies. So back in our shorts and T-shirts and in Dutch style got on our bikes to see the windmills and polders.

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We found a nice quiet parking spot next to some allotments on the outskirts of Albasserdam; and watched happy Dutch men and women arriving with empty bags and buckets and leaving with them over flowing with harvested goodies.

Next, on to The Hague to visit our friend Judith – but first we made a detour to Albert Hein (the local supermarket)..

'say Kaas'

‘say Kaas’

Essentials! for Heidi’s store cupboard – From left to right: Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles to go on buttered bread), Chocoladepasta (choclate spread), Stroop wafels (biscuits), Stroop (the ‘syrup’ to go in the biscuits – or over pancakes!), Dropjes (liquorice), Fritessaus and Pindasaus (to make ‘Patat Flip’), Duvel (Belgian beer), etc.

Only available in Holland

Only available in Holland

We spent a few days catching up, reminiscing, buying Peter a new(ish) bike and cycling through the surrounding  polders

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the locks and lifting bridges at Leidschendam

the locks and lifting bridges at Leidschendam

More cycling in the dunes and, of course, eating ‘Pannekoeken met spek (bacon) en stroop’

hills! in Holland!

hills! in Holland!

Mmmm  'Lekker'

Mmmm ‘Lekker’

Monday 14th July – we took a trip down memory lane. First stop, Voorschoten where Peter grew up


'Het Warpen' - Peter's first local

‘Het Warpen’ – Peter’s first local

House no. 1 - Prinses Margrietlaan

House no. 1 – Prinses Margrietlaan

House no.2 - Palestrinalaan

House no.2 – Palestrinalaan

And then time for food:

'Saucijzen Broodje' from 'De Echte Baker' Mmmm

‘Saucijzen Broodje’ from ‘De Echte Bakker’ Mmmm

'Patat Flip' (chips with Pinda (satay) saus and Fritessaus (Dutch mayo - you have to taste it!))

‘Patat Flip’ (chips with Pinda (satay) saus and Fritessaus (Dutch mayo – you have to taste it!))

And then on to Leiden via Leiderdorp (where Elaine lived and worked for three years)


Elaine's Flat - first floor balcony in the middle

Elaine’s Flat – first floor balcony in the middle

Elaine's local

Elaine’s local

Leiden (Elaine’s favourite bit of Holland ..apart from a certain someone she met there!)

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And then there’s the bikes..

One layer..

One layer..

Two Layers!

Two Layers!

4 kids, camping holiday on the bikes - No Problem!

4 kids, camping holiday on the bikes – No Problem!

or for something different - a 'bakfiets'

or for something different – a ‘bakfiets’

Holland summed up; Bikes and flowers.






8 thoughts on “Heading for Holland

  1. Julian Chappell

    Well you kept that quiet! I knew that Peter grew up in Holland, but you never let on that Elaine lived there too, and that you two met there. Did Peter have to go to his local for some Dutch courage before he could speak to you? Lol

  2. Julia

    Great photos! Brings back some lovely memories. I think it’s about time I went back again. Peter do you remember the Ventures and playing darts at Het Wapen? Did we have that window in the roof when we lived at Palestrinalaan? Did you go round the back alleyway? They had built on loads last time I saw it. Anyway enjoy yourselves and lots of love.

    1. heidihymer Post author

      Hiya. Had forgotten about playing darts there. No, we didn’t have the dormer on the front of Palestrinalaan. I should’ve gone round the back too! They’d put a propper roof (not a flat one) on the garage too..

  3. John and Wendy

    Lovely to see everywhere again. We had a good 20 years there didn’t we? Our houses look much the same as does the countryside. Makes us feel we must go back as well.

    1. heidihymer Post author

      Yes, it was good to revisit everywhere. One of the main things that surprised me was how big and plentiful the trees were everywhere. So many of the roads seamed very shady and ‘leafy’. I suppose that’s the difference 25 years makes?


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