After a stormy (by Baltic Sea standards) ferry crossing, we made a stopover on a site near Potsdam. We used the days for further travel preparations (including booking airport transfer to Frankfurt & accommodation for the first days in Sydney) and writing the last Sweden report. On Monday we made a short visit to Dresden (the caravan stayed at the campsite). Here we spent a nice day with Britt’s grandma on the occasion of her birthday.
On two unspectacular connecting stages we rolled along German motorways towards our next destination.
All of you who check our website from time to time and follow the itinerary (whereabouts always quite up-to-date) already know where we have ended up. And for all the others, we hereby reveal the “secret” 😉 The Netherlands were prepared to be “grazed” by us. 🙂 The first starting point for our exploration was a small, quiet campsite on a farm. Directly behind the caravan (the view was unfortunately somewhat restricted by a hedge) were horses, two goats and about 10 chickens including a rooster. But in the other direction we could enjoy the view over a field/pasture. One morning, we even saw some highland cattle. Otherwise we spent the time with several hiking tours in the surrounding national parks. We walked over shifting sand dunes and through heathland and forests.
We interrupted the following crossing at Kasteel Cannenburch.
The next day we visited Kasteel Hernen. This castle, excellently preserved in its medieval originality, has the only covered battlements in the Netherlands. At the entrance, however, we first received our unusual castle guide, a “talking lantern” made of leather. Not only did it actually light up, it also informed us about the history and function of the rooms. All we had to do was hold the scanner on the back of the lantern up to a small sign and it would “chatter” away. A modern and innovative idea (at least that’s how we felt) to make the presentation of historical information more interesting.
The next day we went on a hike through the oldest Dutch national park, the Veluwezoom. And on the way home we visited the Kasteel Doorwerth.
More or less on the way to our next overnight stop were two more castles. The first was Kasteel Ammersoyen. It is a typical medieval fortress in its appearance, but its construction was rather unusual. It was not built in several phases (like almost all castles in the Middle Ages), but as a whole, according to a fixed plan. The second stop was at Slot Loevenstein. Its strategically important location at the confluence of the Maas and Waal rivers has been significant throughout Dutch history. It began with a simple customs house built in the 14th century and was completed in the course of the 16th century with expansion to become a fortress in its present form.
On the next two days we completed longer hiking sections again. First in De Biesbosch National Park, a freshwater tidal area, and then in Zuid-Kennemerland National Park.
So, enough about us for now. We hear and read from each other.