Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Speed Limits, part deux.

I don't want to bore you to tears with too much about our trip to the Netherlands,  with the exception of a couple observations.
I still find that getting around in the Netherlands is the most stress free of anywhere I've been so far in Europe.
Here's a little list of where we've driven....
Paris (France, obviously)
Austria (well,  duh)
Spain,  both in Bilbao and Barcelona.
The Czech Republic.  Prague,  not just over the border.

 I think that's it.  Never made it to Liechtenstein.  Drat.
Now,  I put that list so you'd get the idea that I have something against which I can compare traffic,  roads etc.

Common sense.

There's going to be a couple smug Dutch readers out there when I say this,  but the Netherlands comes out on top.   Don't know how to put it exactly,  except to say that it's just more "orderly"?
And don't even get me started on the bike infrastructure.
Oh man,  do I ever miss that aspect.

I had spoken at length with our then Dutch neighbours on this subject,  and they did have some issues with the Dutch (car) drivers,  like how they might pull out into the left lane without looking,  that kind of thing.   In spite of that minor annoyance,  I'd still cast my vote for the Dutch systems when it comes to getting around.
Oh,  and of course in the summer months,  there are Dutch caravans (travel trailers)  that can be found throughout Europe like ants that have spread out from the colony.  But again,  that's just an observation.  Has nothing to do with Dutch infrastructure.  I just thought of that metaphor and had to use it.

Idiot drivers can show up most anywhere.

Kind of like the way this place does.

Note the Audi on the right.   From the UK.  Right hand drive.  Takes a special awareness.

Like that segue?

You knew I had to put it in there,  didn't you?

Which is,  of course where I went for a "McBathroom Break".   The notable difference with this one was not only the cleanliness of the washrooms,  (spectacular)  but the bike parking out front.

Where was I?


After dropping off Travelling Companion at her former workplace at nine,  I had a few hours to kill.

Thought I'd swing by where we used to live and take a look.   We had heard from the neighbours that the folks who own the place had decided to move back in,   and it looks like they're doing a little landscaping revamp with perhaps a view to once again putting it on the market?
It certainly needed something.  If they can manage to sell it in the summer months,  that would be a good thing.  Going upstairs in the winter?  You'd better be bundled up in nice wool PJs and a stocking cap.  We couldn't even keep our arms outside the blankets to read at night.  I thought I was back on the farm.

All the grass was gone.   They had installed interlocking in both the driveway and all the way around the back.  (didn't take a picture!)
But that damned Monkey tree is still there!   I can't really put into print the words that just came to mind.
Suffice to say,  that tree and I weren't the best of buddies.  Ever try to push a lawnmower under a Monkey tree?   You'd best be wearing welding gloves.

As for Delden,  not much has changed.  It's still a quiet little place,  and since it was Monday,  a lot of the shops were closed.  That's one thing that you have to keep in mind if there's ever that sudden urge to go shopping on a Monday?  Don't bother.

No worries about getting run over.

I don't know what the rules are,  but I guess they figure if they've been open on the Saturday,  they should be closed on Monday.
 Thankfully the bake shops are all open,  and I stopped by the one I used to frequent when we lived there.   Had a nice little chat with two of the ladies,  who actually recognised me from my previous visits.  Of course,  my Dutch pretty much sucks,  so our conversation was in German.   Thought I was American,  but that's close enough I suppose.
The Dutch actually have a rather soft spot in their hearts for Canadians,  so it's usually a good thing to mention it somehow.

Turns out they had renovated the place, (well,  not those particular two ladies,  but you know what I mean)  and I wasn't sure if it had somehow become self serve (which I doubt)  but since I was the only one there,  I was waited on anyway.

Mmmm. soft bread.

Oh,  that's another thing I kinda miss about the Netherlands.   Soft bread!   The Austrians like their bread hard.   Now by that I mean,  you could take a loaf of their "Vollkorn"  (whole wheat I guess)  and use it to prop up your trailer hitch.

And you actually think I'm kidding.

Funny thing too is,  when the Dutch come down here to visit either on company business or as tourists,  that's one of the things they tend to gripe about.  They don't like hard bread!
And.....the Germans and the Austrians gripe about the Dutch bread.
Seriously people...let's not be fighting that war all over again,  shall we?

Somehow I have this image of them throwing bread at each other somewhere in the Ardennes.

But now I'm just getting silly.

 I have a couple more minor issues to deal with before my daughter's friend arrives tonight from Slovenia like,  what the heck to feed her and her two kids,  so I'd better get that sorted out.

Off I go!

Keep those sticks on the ice!


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Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.