The long and windy road, and nothing else between Emmen and Roswinkel.
We arranged a final (for this year) farewell family gathering in a village in Drenthe, and my brother-in-law Hans suggested riding the bikes would be the best way to get there. That suited me fine. Drenthe is a super cycling destination.
Drenthe, in the north of the Netherlands on the German border, does not offer a lot of organised entertainment. They make some fuss about Kabouterland (‘Gnome Land’) though those of us over five find it a bit childish. It’s in the village of Exloo, which English speakers think is an amusing place name, but that’s where the fun ends.
Yet Drenthe is a very popular holiday destination for Dutch people. The main reason is that the cycling is brilliant – thousands of kilometres of quiet, flat, well-surfaced country roads and bike paths, through fields and forests, past thatched farmhouses and pretty villages. Continue reading
A very Dutch churchyard, modest, orderly and quiet.
This week we paid a visit to Mevrouw T’s grandparents, who for over forty years have been lying side by side in a churchyard in the northern village of Roswinkel.
The Dutch Reformed church at Roswinkel, 1759.
Everyone loves a good cemetery, and the example in this unprepossessing Dutch village of less than 1000 residents kept us happy for quite some time.
The graveyard stands a little way apart from the simple church, surrounded by a hedge and lined by oak trees, still leafless in the early spring, their twisted branches silhouetted against the leaden sky.
As far as we know, nobody famous has ever been buried in Roswinkel; the same names crop up over and over on the headstones – Kuipers, Luttjemans, Boesink, Santing and Pagters. The Christian names recur too – Jantien, Hendrik, Hans, Albert, Grietje. Continue reading
Belgian draught-horses always pull a crowd.
The little Dutch village Roswinkel, population just a few hundred, comes to life once a year.
It’s an unremarkable spot in the northern Netherlands province of Drenthe.
Roswinkel has no great museums, castles or stately homes. Yet it’s managed to hang around for over 750 years, making it about the same age as Amsterdam. And each year it stages an ‘Oogstdag’ harvest festival. Continue reading