Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, October 07, 2013

Finding somewhere to park
Assen to Jisp - 6th September

The centre of Assen did its best to convince us it was washing day as we pottered about in the morning with Trish and Andrew  discussing life over coffee and cake before somewhat reluctantly moving on.  Although we never did get to the bottom of the street decoration, we suspect that it may have been some sort of celebration of a long, hot and unusually fine summer.

Unhappily for those who really needed their laundry dry, there were signs that all of that was about to end.  The skies became increasingly overcast as we headed north and they finally began to dribble just a bit about the time we drove through Sneek.  About half an hour later we were midway across the thirty kilometre dyke that stops the ocean pouring into the Zuiderzee and after that into the whole country for that matter, when things became decidedly worse and we found ourselves driving in something approaching gale conditions.

Even with the miracle of the telephone App telling us where to go, finding an unmarked guesthouse in a street that was not quite wide enough to allow a car to pass while simultaneously trying to decide whether it was simply raining very hard or if indeed we had run into a canal was just a little problematic. Eventually we found what seemed to be the only small car-sized piece of land above water level even remotely close to our accommodation and parked, a little relieved to have arrived at our destination and not to have to move until the morrow.

But our relief was short lived.  The Bistro below our room was fully booked for the evening, with a hundred guests apparently intent on partaking of a special goose-derived menu, and not a place left for ourselves.  This of course left us seeking sustenance in a village elsewhere, and more importantly perhaps, giving up our parking space for any of the hundred diners at the bistro.  We wondered as we departed, whether we'd have any chance at all of finding a car space on our return within kilometres of our spot.

We need not have worried.

On our return we discovered that every one of the diners had arrived by bicycle, and while there were still scores of them enjoying their feast, their bicycles were piled high along the canal banks, and our car space was left thoughtfully vacant, ready for our return.

This is the Netherlands after all.

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