Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Near Heerenveen, Netherlands.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Just wandering the Netherlands.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

An interesting story

We enjoyed our visit to Utrecht, but we were in need of some forest and greenery and country fresh air. So we found a big park area about 25 kms (15 miles) north of the city that has lots of walking and cycling paths.

Coincidentally, this big green space that we found is also where Queen Beatrix, the former Queen of the Netherlands lives at her home called Drakensteyn Castle.

Of course the castle is all fenced off with high security, and in fact you can't even see it if you walk the perimeter of the fence.

Security fence around Queen Beatrix's Drakensteyn Castle property.

Many of you probably aren't aware of the close relationship that Canada has with the Netherlands. It's an interesting story. 

This special bond resulted from actions during World War II when Canada hosted the Dutch Royal Family in exile, and near the end of the war, Canadian forces led the liberation of the Netherlands. 

Queen Beatrix's younger sister Princess Margriet was born in 1943 in our hometown of Ottawa, Canada. The maternity ward of the hospital was temporarily declared to be extraterritorial by the Canadian government. This technicality ensured that Margriet would only inherit Dutch citizenship from her mother following Dutch nationality law. 

The Canadian Tulip Festival that takes place in May of each year in the city of Ottawa is a result of this history. In 1945, the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa in gratitude for Canadians having sheltered them. In 1946, then Queen Juliana sent another 20,500 bulbs requesting that a display be created for the hospital, and promised to send 10,000 more bulbs each year. Princess Margriet returned to Ottawa in 2002 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the festival, and the Netherlands continues to send 20,000 tulips per year to Canada (10,000 from the Dutch royal family, and 10,000 from the Dutch Bulb Growers Association). There are now over 1 million tulips that bloom in Ottawa every May.

It's a beautiful area.

The only thing we are missing is hills!

I really miss the feeling of exertion and the exercise that you get from climbing hills. When you are walking on flat surfaces all the time, you have to move pretty quickly to get your heart rate up enough to make a difference. Netherlands is a very flat country! The highest point here is in the far south near the border where Netherlands meets Belgium and Germany. There is a hill there that goes all the way up to 322 meters (1,052 feet) above sea level!

Scenery along the way.

Beautiful old home.

Back at Max, we had done 9.8 kms (6 miles). We had a late lunch and then drove another 20 kms north to the town of Huizen where they had a free toilet cassette dump station at a marina. There is also an RV parking area, but all 8 spots were taken. 

Not much traffic on the backroads.

Traffic circle statue.

I found a nearby sports field parking lot that was quiet and didn't have any signs against staying the night. It was fine. This morning, we will walk over to the other RV parking area to see if there are any open spots. Lots of walking to be done in this area.

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And in Canada...

12 comments:

  1. I liked reading your story of the link between Canada and the Netherlands. When I was there in the '70's, I learned that the Canadian soldiers helped the Netherlands after WWII. The people have a soft spot in their hearts for Canada.

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    1. We are glad that you enjoyed the story and I am glad that Canada was there to help the Netherlands during the war. It's nice to know that they have a soft spot for us. :-)

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  2. Many years ago, our cycling club sponsored a visit from a Dutch youth cycling club. Some of these kids had never ridden above sea level before, and they got to ride up to almost 11,000 feet in the nearby mountains. I think they enjoyed coming back down.

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    1. That was a pretty neat thing for them to do. Hopefully they worked their way up to 11,000 feet gradually otherwise it would have been quite the shock to their system. In general biking around the Netherlands would be pretty easy and it is times like this that we really miss not having our bikes with us.

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  3. I enjoy so much what you guys post

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    1. We are happy to hear that, thank you! :-)

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  4. I'm reading about flooding in Germany and over 1,000 people missing and also flooding in Belgium. I hope this doesn't affect your travels. BTW walking fast will boost your heart rate...

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    1. The flooding is not near us. Yes, I said "you have to move pretty quickly to get your heart rate up enough to make a difference."

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  5. I agree with Larry Laura Brown - your blog is really fun and great reading!

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    1. Thank you very much for the nice compliment, we are so glad that you are enjoying our pictures and posts from our travels. :-)

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  6. Loved the tulip story and been lucky to visit the festival to see it first hand and hear and read about the story in Ottawa.

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    1. We are glad that you enjoyed the tulip story, not many people living outside of Ottawa know about the story, especially these days. We are so glad that you got to enjoy the festival firsthand, I hope that the tulips were out in full force for your visit. :-)

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