Posted by: thedirtybaker | July 13, 2011

It’s Tricht-y to Ride Around in Holland

Several years ago, my friends Karen and Christoph (along with their kids) moved to the

Speed limit of 30 km/ hour. In miles that's.... umm.... really slow.

village of Tricht, in the Netherlands.  Karen has been trying to get me to visit for quite a while, but I was unable to afford it until I had a free flight to Israel.  (It’s much cheaper from there)  We had big plans for this vacation:  we were going to go down to Brugge for Belgian chocolate, beer, and pommes frites. We were going to  ride bikes around the Mosel Valley in German to visit castles and wineries.  This sounded fantastic!

Instead, Karen was in the hospital for most of the time I was there.  I spent some time with her the day I arrived (after attending the 10-year-old’s dance recital and the 12-year-old’s circus show), and the next morning before she went into the hospital. I did take the opportunity to beat her in scrabble, partly by making her laugh so hard that her injured innards hurt.   Christoph’s parents were helping out – it took two of them to cover what one Karen usually does, and they were very kind in doing so.

Tricht, coming from the train station

Another view of Tricht

The river and Tricht

Meanwhile, the train system was down for repairs, so I couldn’t even go into Amsterdam that Sunday.  I hung out in Tricht with the family instead, and went for a

The Milka bike

ride on one of Karen’s bikes in the Dutch countryside.  Karen has two bikes.  One of them has a child seat on the back, so I took the other one, the Milka bike.  Karen won this in a contest to come up with an advertising slogan for Milka chocolate in Dutch. She claims that she doesn’t speak Dutch well, but I suspect that she’s lying….er…. being a perfectionist.

Holland is very, very green.  Granted, I was coming from Israel (not very green) and live in Tucson (much more brown than green, and most of the greenery has sharp thorns or needles on it).  But, YOWZA, it’s green there! The Emerald City looked drab in comparison – and that’s a horse of a different color!

GREEEEN! (The cows are probably helping out some by fertilizing the field.)

It looks too perfect to be real.

These sheep have a much easier life (and softer food) than the ones at Ashkelon!

Many of the fields contain sheep, cattle, or horses.

The countryside, in addition to being green,  contains windmills (though I didn’t get pictures of one), thatch-roofed houses, and traditional, thatch-roofed hay storage structures that are open on the sides.

Thatch-roofed house

It’s also one of the major fruit-growing areas in Europe – when I was there, it was cherry season, and I’d guess that the other stone fruits were close to ripe or ripe, too. The apples were not quite ready yet, but they looked pretty!  There are also a lot of trees – small ones with fruit, and big ones arching over the road.  And did I mention how green it was?

Currants, maybe?

Apple trees - I can only imagine how much apple butter they can make from this!

Apples by the road - I would have been tempted to take one if I'd thought they were ripe.

Some of the fruit and other products are sold locally.

Kersen are cherries. You can also get coffee, tea, homemade apple tart (pie?), and pure fruit juice or syrup. (Hey, I never claimed to speak Dutch.) As far as "Boerderÿ ÿs", your guess is as good as mine.

They also grow corn, though apparently it’s not sweet corn, and it’s primarily intended for livestock to eat, not for people.

Corn field

And, of course, there are wildflowers too.

Riding on the Dike or a Dam or something, and looking down at the flowers and the road below.

I rode to another village, called Enspijk, and then rode through and around it a bit, before heading back to the house for dinner.

Enspijk from a distance - that's the church spire in the background

A water spigot in the middle of the village. The sign says "Aangeboden Door: Stichting Elfdorpenspel Enspijk 1995." This translates to ""Presented by: Foundation Elfdorpenspel Enspijk 1995" "Elf dorpen spel" means "eleven villages game", so maybe it was part of an inter-village sports event, but I'm totally making this up (with help from google translate).

Leaving Enspijk, you can drive up to 60 kmph.

There’s a small river that flows through the area, and people run boats of all sizes on there, apparently.

People getting ready to play on the river. I saw them coming downstream later on in the boats.

A motorboat on the river

There is a cost to this beautiful bright green.  It rains a lot there.  Karen’s been complaining about it being cold and rainy all the time in Holland since she moved there.  But it’s beautiful when it’s sunny and warm!

Trees arching over the road

I didn’t get any pictures of windmills in Tricht, but I did see a scooter that was decorated with them!

Patriotic scooter?

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