Driving in the North Sea?

Trip Start May 22, 2010
Trip End Oct 31, 2010

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Where I stayed
Peter and Brigette´s

Flag of Germany  , Bremen,
Monday, July 19, 2010

We left in good time the next morning after getting the latest blog ready to publish. We headed for the information centre in Den Helder and again enjoyed the countryside on the way. The speed limit was 80km/hr and the roads was not busy so John could even enjoy the passing countryside. The canal was reasonably quiet but still had its share of boats of all sizes, some obviously cargo, others posh personal boats and one that looked like a Chinese junk. There were more wind turbines than the traditional windmills, some smaller than usual and with 2 blades not 3. There were fields of flowers - not tulips but still very attractive. We discovered our canal was the North Holland canal and it took us all the way to the town.

Den Holder had lots of boats in a harbor, an airport, 2 McDonalds, an information centre, and the rest seemed to be closed. The information centre said they send people to the Library for internet but it is closed on Monday. They gave us a shop to try but it was closed. All the shops were closed either for the day or the morning except one which sold us icecreams. It did seem to be a nice town though.

We then drove to the Afsluitdijk which had a highway running over it and also a cycleway. We had bought a map that showed the motorways in Europe and were using it as our big picture map. It was worth it for this. I did puzzle the person in the Information Centre in Dan Haag whenIi checked about it in case it was really a ferry though.

It was weird to see only sea on either side and traffic running at 120kmph in the middle. We were effectively in the middle of the sea. We stopped at a Memorial part way across and crossed over to take pictures and read the signs. The dyke separates the naturally mainly freshwater area of Zuiderzee from the North Sea, so allowing the Zuiderzee to provide water for over 1,000,000 people. The statue was of the man who proposed the road in the early 1900's and who died about 3 years before the project was completed in 1933. There was also and information board about the dyke and the road. We had a snack at the cafe which also had photos of stages in the construction.

There was no sign of internet at the memorial café or at the museum on the other side so we set off with the internet as the priority. We finally found a sign about an on-line site outside a BP station at the side of the road. We sent an email to Peter in Bremen then uploaded a couple of blogs and checked mail. Now it was a steady drive to Bremen. It was odd to see the altitude was negative (below sea level) for most of the journey.

We arrived at Peter and Brigitte’s to find that they had decided earlier today that we weren’t coming. The email we had sent to everyone in May had not got to them and they had not checked their email this afternoon. After their initial surprise they could not have been more welcoming. I felt awful at first but we had a drink, brought in bags, had showers and settled in. Peter had football to play but first he showed us the computer he had set up for our use.

Brigitte was making a wurst salad (from Bavaria) for Peter to share with the other players and offered us some for tea. We first looked around her garden with it´s scented roses and various stone heads. When she said ´it´ is her hobby I assumed she meant gardening but she also meant stone carving. When Peter arrived home we had a wine with him and planned the next two days. We will go into Bremen tomorrow and then to Hamburg on Wednesday. We had a lot ot talk about as they had also stayed in Poland and often holiday in Italy.Suddenly we realised it was midnight so it was bedtime.
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Jane Lister on

Hoping you will take a photo of the statue of The Musicians of Bremen??

Jane and Ian on

Been reading with a lot of interest, your travels are fascinating.... hope you are enjoying Bremen / Hamburg area, and if you get a chance, visit Hameln (the Pied Piper town). I lived and worked there for two years, 1980/81 and still have friends living there. News on the baby birds : four our of five eggs hatched and I'll send you pictures. Then Lewis the cat got very interested in the chirping noise and caught and ate two. We are hoping the others have got away safely, but now there is no sign of them or the mother....

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