Friday, June 19, 2009

Driving down to Eindhoven

We had some time on our hands so we decided to drive a little way up the eastern edge of Ijslmeer just to see what there is and had a really enjoyable detour. There isn't a whole lot there but we got to drive on top of the dyke and look at the yachts sailing on Ijslmeer, the wind was pumping so Caron was very happy to be on dry land.

Windmills have been synonymous with Holland for a long time but during our trip a new kind of windmill has made it's presence felt and are a common feature on the skyline.

Driving past a lock through the dyke I had to take a photograph to try and show what a substantial drop there was between Ijslmeer and the canals; we found out later that it was 2.6m below sea level. That is quite a bit of water waiting to flow into Holland. Apparently, water is continuously being pumped out because if it isn't, it will just seep back in even though a dyke hasn't been breached. A power failure here would be a real national disaster.

Once we had turned off we set course for Eindhoven but only after we had fortified ourselves with an 'Uitsmuiter' at a very nice roadside restaurant. The road down to Eindhoven lived up to it's reputation, we found out later, of having traffic jams pretty much the whole way. It was only the second time that we have actually been in a real traffic jam, the first having been in Naples.

Thanks to mabel finding Bill and Nita's place was dead easy and we received a warm welcome from Bill and Nita and it wasn't too long before we were up and off to go out for supper to Sally-Anne and Jeroen and their two children, Sabine and Max. This was where I was introduced to a great dutch tradition of eating raw fish, 'haring'. The dutch word for herring, it was delicious but I couldn't get Caron to have any, much to my disappointment. The way one eats it is to grab it by it's slimy tail and to lower it into one's mouth head first and bite off a mouthful, although this sounds a bit odd it really is delicious. It has thankfully been beheaded, gutted and skinnned just in case you were thinking that one ate the head first.
We had a great meal before retiring fat and happy to real beds after a real bath. Not like the one in the campground in Amsterdam which turned off after 5 minutes. It turns out that Jeroen also rides so we have agreed to go for a bit of a ride tomorrow which I am really looking forward to.

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