Between our holidays we are always very busy: busy with the work, our grandchild we love and then we have all our hobbies like the various websites that we keep. When we are away, and we admit that that is quite often, we also want a lot of rest. In addition, we also want to see a lot of the place where we are at that moment, but when we sleep late until 10 o'clock like today, we do not mind at all. It has rained all night but we have not noticed anything. After a simple breakfast we leave the hotel around eleven.
Around the Amer power plant, which we see north of Breda, they could put some more trees, we think, no matter how hard those power plants are needed. They are so ugly, why don't tjey try to adapt them a bit better into the environment. But soon we are on narrow roads with signs that we have only seen in Scotland so far: passing places on single track roads. Both the sign and the text are simply stolen from Scotland! PPs we call this kind of places, where you can just pass each other on the narrow road. We only miss the mountains that normally surround these roads.
We try to avoid the main roads and stay on the small roads as much as possible, but there are not much walking possibilties in this region and so, via Werkendam, we arrive at the ferry to Kop van 't Land, on the other side of the Nieuwe Merwede. We ponder for a while whether we also go to the other side but decide that we stay in North Brabant. Maybe another time. It is nice to see the ferry go to and fro we stay for a while watching it.
Near the ferry we also see a clear indication of how the area (Biesbosch) got its name: woven bunches of rushes or forest of rushwoods, in Dutch 'biezen'. We thought that rushing is just a brabant word for cane, but that does not seem to be the case. Rushwood is made of a kind of sponge-like material on the inside while cane is hollow inside. Sedges or rushwoods were once used to make suitcases, hence the Dutch expression 'de biezen pakken', grab the rushwoods meaning going away.
The weather is much better (especially drier) than yesterday, but still it is not really nice to be outside. At the Biesbosch museum we walk around, even a onto a real mountain (well, for holland this hill is quite high), but we are not in the mood for long walks. It is also too early in the year, in the summer this must be a beautiful area; and we are just too spoiled, too used to the rougher nature reserves in other countries. In spite of the many birds and other animals and the peace that prevails, there is too much civilization around us, the nature is too clearly maintained by man and therefore no real wilderness anymore. And that is what we want to see in nature, pieces of earth where nature is still natural. In a crowded country asthe Netherlands that is probably impossible.
We first return to the south and then go east and we pass through nice sceneries with human influences, like these mills. Especially the windmill in Uppel, which we see when we drive over the dike, fits perfectly in the landscape. Driving through this area we do not have the idea that the Netherlands is very crowded, fortunately there is still a lot of rural area between all the urban agglomerations and that again invalidates one of our prejudices about Holland. We really thought that only the northern provinces were so empty, but that is really a misunderstanding.
We drive through small villages to the east of Noord-Brabant and when we come through Oirschot we are surprised by the nice center. Time to get out and look around. And it is even pleasant enough to sit outside on a terrace (with a coat on). We have a view over the attractive market square and St. Peter's Church, which is very big for such a small village. Sander from Oirschoit later emailed us that the village was a place of rather great significance before the peace of Munster in 1648.
In this photo, Elisabeth stands for the original church that was built in the 9th century (12th century according to other sources), called Boterkerkje butter-church); the church was so named because it was used for weighing the butter in the 17th century. Since 1800, however, it has been a Protestant church and it was restored in 1961. Beautiful pieces of cultural history in a beautiful village that some say is the prettiest village in Brabant. We have not seen everything, but it is certainly nice.
At the end of the afternoon we drive to Vierlingsbeek where we have booked a house, the so-called Hans-en-Gretel-house. When we saw it on the internet, we knew immediately that we wanted to sleep there a couple of nights. David and Monique Rijnink have it in their garden, as well as a real circus wagon. We are warmly received by them and we feel right at home.
It is a small house, with a wood stove, two chairs, a mini kitchen and a bunk bed, but we can sit outside when the sun is out. This is so much better than a hotel room where you are locked in, without a garden. We have a quiet evening, talk with David, read a book and when it gets dark we light the fireplace in the center of the garden. Not too late, we go to bed, happy about this day, for a good night's sleep.