Day 13 – Voorst, Apeldoorn, Epe, Heerde, Hattem, Oldebroek, Elburg, Nunspeet, Harderwijk

Since some stupid stomach flu keeps me homebound this week, I used the opportunity to post an unposted trip: day 13, in the north-west of Gelderland. This trip dates from already quite a while back, 29 March 2013, when time was more abundant :)

Harderwijk

Started as a small settlement Herderewich, it gained importance in the thirteenth century after gaining town privileges. From 1648 through 1811 there was a university known for its promovendi such as Carolus Linnaeus. Nowadays Harderwijk is famous for the largest marine mammal park in Europe.

Although I drive through Harderwijk quite often to get to one of our favourite windsurfing spots, I have never actually been into the centre, which still accomodates some old architecture.

Harderwijk

Nunspeet

The name Nunspeet is derived from Nuwenspete which means “new reclamation”. The opposite is the village Elspeet in the same municipality, which means “old reclamation”.

Initially, the area was quite harsh to inhabit. In the 20th century they afforested the area, to avoid sand drift.

Nunspeet

Elburg

This is the third municipality in row directly connected to the Veluwemeer. For centuries the old town hall was located in the historical centre of the town. However, I couldn’t get there by bike, hence I only have this picture of this new poor-looking town hall. The heraldic symbol on the outside looks nice and shiny though.

There is a lot of sight-seeing to do in the centre, with old architecture and a large ditch around the town centre.

Although Jan Tuttel thinks that the El in Elburg and Elspeet have different meanings, he is not decisive. I think the reasoning of the INL is fair, with El referring to old (as for Elspeet), and burg to stronghold.

Elburg

Oldebroek

The name does not mean old pants (broek means pants), but broek is a variant of burcht, as we also saw in Elburg. The coat arms of Oldebroek is quite funny, as it’s been drawn  by a child:

Coat arms of Oldebroek. Click on the image to follow the source.

It depicts a silver shield with three alder leaves of vert.

Oldebroek

Hattem

Apparently, in 1989 Hattem was the only Dutch city to receive the European predicate “Best kept village”. Although I cannot find a true source for it. If you know of any, let me now.

It is without a doubt one of the nicest town halls I’ve visited so far. The aura, the colours, the only thing lacking is some steps :)

Hattem

Heerde

When I was taking pictures a squirrel appeared. I followed it for a while, but I lost it.

Heerde

Epe

The area around Epe, especially around Vaassen, contains celtic fields (raatakkers in Dutch) dating from the iron age. There appears to be a very active community that charts all historical events, and has a very detailed timeline of the municipality: http://www.ampt-epe.nl/historie.

Epe

Voorst

The name Voorst occurs in at least eight accountable places in the Netherlands, and in many more derivations (e.g. Voorsttonden). An English reader can recognise the English forest in Voorst. In the middle ages a forst or foreest was an area consisting of forest, fields and lands, especially in a hunting context. For a more detailed etymologic interpretation, see the same linked document.

Voorst

Apeldoorn

The last municipality is also the biggest. It comprises the village Radio Kootwijk. Named after the broadcasting station with the same name.

Apeldoorn


km: 250
km total: 2599
done: 9 (71)
to do: 344

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Day 13 GE

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Voorst: 52.236701, 6.109722
Apeldoorn: 52.215610, 5.963549
Epe: 52.349230, 5.986023
Heerde: 52.388646, 6.042876
Hattem: 52.474317, 6.069948
Oldebroek: 52.445966, 5.899551
Elburg: 52.441907, 5.855395
Nunspeet: 52.376737, 5.784068
Harderwijk: 52.351995, 5.622512
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Harderwijk
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Nunspeet
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Elburg
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Oldebroek
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Hattem
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Heerde
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Epe
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Voorst
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Apeldoorn

Day 16 – Opheusden, Buren, Tiel, Culemborg, Lingewaal, Geldermalsen, Neerijnen, Zaltbommel, Maasdriel

The next couple of posts will not be in chronological order. I’m a bit lagging with uploading the pictures here, and insert some random comment alongside of it. The pictures are always uploaded very quickly to the facebook photo album. They will also be posted here, but there might be a short delay. More like an apology for mainly the Google spider, all my favourite Russian spammers, and for the few human readers 😉

Today there was a fair in Nijmegen, and to avoid all the busyness, I decided to (almost) round up the province Gelderland, and head for the west.

Neder-Betuwe

First in line, the municipality Neder-Betuwe, located in Opheusden. Neder-Betuwe is also the name of the region. In Dodewaard, one of the towns, the nuclear reactor plant with a boiling water reactor has been decommisioned. Although it has been out of service for over 15 years, it will not be completely removed and demolished because they have to wait for the radioactive decay. With a 40-year waiting period of safe enclosure, the plant is expected to be demolished in 2045.

Neder-Betuwe

Buren

The town centre of Buren, is also called the “gemeentepaleis”, the town palace. According to the architects the design of the town hall is inspired by organic architecture. It costed almost 16m euro.

Buren

The town hall is indeed huge, but 16m euro? Decide for yourself. Besides that, the surrounding park costed an additional 2m euro.

Tiel

Although I didn’t take the effort to take pictures of the centre itself, I can really recommend it if you like old buildings and architecture. There are a lot of buildings with inner courts that you can look into, and the general atmosphere just feels historic.

On the other hand, the town hall is nothing like that 😉 You should see the contrast for yourself, with the buildings at the other side of the street.

Tiel

Culemborg

Culemborg, formerly known as Kuilenburg, was a free state where the laws of Holland were not observed. As long as the debtor remained in Kuilenburg, the creditor was not allowed to enter the city. The Dutch saying “naar Kuilenburg gaan”, going to Kuilenburg, means withdrawing oneself from responsibilities, or going bankrupt.

Culemborg

Yes, the the revolving door was indeed closed, and although the rest is just glass, they must have thought that protecting the entrance was sufficient :)

Lingewaal

Another municipality in the Tielerwaard is Lingewaal. The area is very sparsely populated and rural. The town hall is hidden behind a residential area.

Lingewaal

Geldermalsen

On my way to the town hall of Geldermalsen in the equally named town, I passed the village Acquoy. I was doubting how to pronounce it. Some research on the internet shows that I am not the only one. I too thought it would be pronounced the French way, but apparently it is ‘akkooi’, and not ‘akwoi’, and definitely not ‘akkwah’ (I don’t speak IPA 😉 ). The next thought was, what does it mean? At home I learned that -oy (and similar suffices like -ooy, -oyen, -au, and -auwen) often indicate the presence of a forest on a river bank.

Geldermalsen

Neerijnen

The town hall of Neerijnen is beautiful with its moat, and green surroundings. A environment worthy of a castle.

Neerijnen

And the obligatory self-shot.

Neerijnen

Zaltbommel

Similar to the town hall of Neerijnen, the municipal office of Zaltbommel is not reachable with the motorcycle. Although in the first case I could understand it in some way. In the case of Zaltbommel I was rather surprised as the office is on an industrial area.

An interesting historical fact about the city is in its name. Zalt-bommel means the salty orchard. It originates from the time where the sea would have influence on the saltiness of the soil, through the river the Waal, before the direct connection between the river and the sea was closed. However, fruit trees don’t grow in salty soil, so…

Zaltbommel

Maasdriel

Originally the name of municipality was Driel, but the Germans changed it in 1944 to Maasdriel, to avoid confusing it with Driel near Heteren. If you understand Dutch, this page has a nice argumentative etymologic breakdown for Driel.

Maasdriel


km: 235
km total: 3404
done: 9 (99)
to do: 316

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Day 16 GE

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Buren: 51.956366, 5.424756
Culemborg: 51.957021, 5.227756
Geldermalsen: 51.881842, 5.282036
Maasdriel: 51.771205, 5.337812
Neder-Betuwe: 51.933508, 5.630173
Neerijnen: 51.832746, 5.280540
Tiel: 51.885843, 5.434540
Zaltbommel: 51.799366, 5.257047
Lingewaal: 51.882455, 5.111625
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Neder-Betuwe
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Buren
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Tiel
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Culemborg
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Geldermalsen
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Neerijnen
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Lingewaal
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Zaltbommel
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Maasdriel

Day 15 – Doesburg, Rijnwaarden, Zevenaar, Duiven

Finally an update again! After having my motorcycle torn apart for weeks, it was good to have a proper ride again.

I had some issues with my clutch and incoming shaft of my gearbox. We had to remove everything, essentially only leaving the engine in its place.

So, town centers. It was a sunny sunday afternoon, and I was still recovering from some nights with little sleep, but there was also this anticipation of getting on the road again. There were some town centers nearby that I hadn’t visited before: Rijnwaarden, Doesburg, Didam, Zevenaar, and Duiven.

Since Rijnwaarden is difficult to reach, being in a corner between the river Waal and the German border, it seemed like a huge detour. And to avoid having to ride back and forth on the same route, I decided to visit the municipality Doesburg first.

Doesburg

Doesburg is one of the 16 hanseatic towns in the IJssel and South Sea area and later became part of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. Initially the place is called Duisburg, as the German city which is still known as such. The town center of Doesburg is apparently famous, or to say, the part of the town center depicted on the right of the picture is famous, most notably for its impressive wine stock. But there were people all over the place enjoying the weather and looking at me funny, so I took a picture of the current entrance.

Doesburg

Rijnwaarden

Then I went of to Lobith, where the town hall of Rijnwaarden is located. On the way I already saw directions to all other municipalities I was to visit. But I stuck to my plan :)

Rijnwaarden

Because of the responsibilities municipalities will have to bear the first of January 2015, there is a lot of discussion about a possible fusion. For Rijnwaarden this is no different. The political parties are looking at the possibilities of a fusion with Rijnwaarden, Zevenaar, Duiven, and Westervoort. One party (PvdA) wants to include Didam as well, however, that city is currently part of another municipality (Montferland). This soap is going to be continued.

Zevenaar

Next stop, Zevenaar. Not much to say about this town.

Zevenaar

Duiven

Now a town of which I rarely visit the centre, but only get to the peripheral commercial zone, since the nearest IKEA is located there. Duiven used to be a small and quiet town, until the board of province decided that it needed to grow, as to accommodate commuters for larger cities as Arnhem and Velp. Now, it is known as a sleeping municipality because everyone leaves to work in the morning, and returns in the evening.

Duiven

I also returned home in the evening, but fortunately not to Duiven.


km: 120
km total: 3169
done: 4 (90)
to do: 325

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Day 15 GE

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Doesburg: 52.015224, 6.133738
Duiven: 51.948659, 6.024744
Rijnwaarden: 51.860025, 6.119809
Zevenaar: 51.928452, 6.075839
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Doesburg
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Rijnwaarden
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Zevenaar
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Duiven

Day 11 – Wageningen, Rhenen, Veenendaal, Renswoude, Woudenberg

First some apologies for skipping day 10. I will post it in the coming days. Today five municipalities, the first in Gelderland, the four others in Utrecht.

Wageningen

The first municipality of today is Wageningen. Both famous for having a university with many international students, being placed on the world rank list with 152 different nationalities inhabiting the municipality,  and playing an important role in the surrender of Germany, as this was the place where the surrender documents were signed. But this is all nothing compared to the interesting fact that there are remarkable few basements in the historical altstadt 😉WageningenThis picture was hard to take, since it was market day, and the square was literally stuffed. Had to make my way through the crowd with my bike. But it’s a quest, it’s supposed to take a little effort :)

Rhenen

For me this town is also known as the hilly town, as it lies on the Utrecht Hill Ridge, in the province Utrecht, as are the other municipalities for today.

Rhenen

I like the art work in front of the town hall, so if anyone knows who made it, let me know. I would like to know what it is about.

And the obligatory self-shot:

Rhenen

Veenendaal

Veenendaal

I like this town hall’s architecture, although it is quite recent and modern.

Renswoude

Earlier I was in Rhenen; it turned out that Renswoude is related in name. The name comes from “Rhenen-s woude”, which can be translated as Rhenen’s forest. Around 800 it was also named this way, but in Latin: “silva Hrenhem“.

With around 5000 inhabitants it is the smallest municipality in Utrecht, and one of the smallest in the Netherlands. Even though we have had a lot of municipalities fusions, Renswoude escaped unscathed every time. This is especially interesting since the municipality only contains one town. In the last referendum in 2007 98.4% was against fusing with neighbour municipalities Scherpenzeel and Woudenberg. With an attendence of 83.7% this is a clear sign from the inhabitants.

2013-02-09 15.24.53This town was actually quite freaky. From the pictures it is not clear, but behind the window on the right on the first floor you can see some faces. At first I thought someone was just sitting there in folk costumes. Turns out there are two human-size dolls. They had me there for a bit.

Woudenberg

Woudenberg is also a small municipality with only one town. Apparently there is a large pyramid in Woudenberg, built by napeleonetic soldiers around 1800:

Courtesy by Kattjosh (click on image for the source and author info).

Although I have not seen it, it looks like something I would like to visit in the future. Especially the obelisk looks nice.

Woudenberg

As you can see, it started snowing. It was the first time I had to drive through the snow, and it was amazing and fun. Fortunately, the snow was fresh, and the roads were still clear of packed snow and ice. Just using my heated handgrips was enough to prevent me from cooling of too much.

In a car you don’t realise how much snow is getting on your windshield if you have wipers. On the motor this is a totally new experience, where you have to wipe it off yourself. With rain this is not necessary, as the wind will dryblow you. With snow, this is not going to work, I can tell from experience 😉


km: 142
km total: 2149
done: 5 (55)
to to: 360

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Day 11

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Day 11: 52.022078, 5.554962
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Renswoude
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Woudenberg
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Veenendaal
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Rhenen
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Wageningen

Day 8 – Ede, Scherpenzeel, Nijkerk, Putten, Ermelo, Barneveld

Today (24 november) was a trip we looked forward to for weeks. We were going to visit Barneveld, and for us a visit to Barneveld means that we are eating spare ribs :) But first we had to visit some other municipalities.

Ede

The day started cloudy, but dry. Even before we got through the first city, I had already lost my father and sister, in the busy traffic of Nijmegen. Beforehand we discussed the route a bit, although apparently there was some some misunderstanding. This resulted in them going via the highway, whereas I wanted to see some local scenery. After waiting quite a bit to see if they would follow, I returned and went for the highway as well. In the end I found them, and we went for the local routes all the same.

The villages we crossed where really crowdy, as Sinterklaas is coming up, and everything is buying the presents already. Fortunately, the town hall of Ede is outside the city centre.

The work of art is called Samen (“together”), as the two ‘ellipses’ are actually one line.

Municipality: Ede
Location of town hall: Ede

Scherpenzeel

Next stop is the municipality Scherpenzeel.

The town hall is located completely remote from the towns it governs. From the size of the building you would expect that there many people work here, however there is only one parking spot for board members:

Scherpenzeel

Municipality: Scherpenzeel
Location of town hall: Scherpenzeel

Nijkerk

The city is actually quite nice, however, wherever you look, there is one giant factory ruining the view. My first impression of Nijkerk’s town hall was that it resembles a coffin, both in shape, aswell was having sleek curtains along the sides.

Right next to the new town hall is the former town hall. Albeit not the nicest town hall either, it at least “feels” like a town hall.

A funny fact about Nijkerk is that numerous early explorers of the new world were from Nijkerk. They helped building Nieuw Nederland (nowadays known as New York). Schenectady was one of places founded by Arent van Corlaer from Nijkerk, in 1662. To this date, the municipality Nijkerk still has political relations with the city as a twin town.

Municipality: Nijkerk
Location of town hall: Nijkerk

Putten

In the Dutch Wikipedia on Putten there is this interesting story about a case of radioactive contamination in Putten in january 1958. Apparently, during a treatment in the hospital, a needle head with radium stayed in a 5 year old girl’s nose. At home, the girl threw up, and the vomit was thrown into the fire. Later, the ashes were scattered over their garden. This caused all their grown vegetables to be contaminated as well, leading up to the whole family being contaminated in the end. The garden was completely dug up, and together with the fire stove, packed up in concrete. The Royal Navy dropped the package into the sea.

Municipality: Putten
Location of town hall: Putten

Ermelo

In an earlier post I already looked at the etymology behind the suffix “-lo”. In the first reference to Ermelo, the place was called Irminlo. “Irmin” can mean something like divine or exalted. Nowadays there seems to be more heath than forest.

Municipality: Ermelo
Location of town hall: Ermelo

Barneveld

Finally the municipality for today, as it was getting dark already. Barneveld is famous for its poultry-breeding and trading. That’s why I think it is a bit ironic to go there for spare ribs :)

The national egg price is determined in Barneveld. Even the light rail connection that goes through Barneveld is called the “chicken connection”. Go figure.

It proved to be virtually impossible to make a decent picture of the former town hall. To get the whole town hall in frame, I had to walk into this alley, but with 14feet, the alley just wasn’t long enough. Anyway, you get the idea:

Municipality: Barneveld
Location of town hall: Barneveld


km: 186
km total: 1791
done: 6 (40)
to to: 375

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Day 8

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Ede: 52.045654, 5.674996
Ermelo: 52.300854, 5.618056
Nijkerk: 52.226078, 5.482864
Putten: 52.261475, 5.607576
Scherpenzeel: 52.081234, 5.469689
Barneveld: 52.139698, 5.586285
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Ede
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Scherpenzeel
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Nijkerk
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Putten
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Ermelo
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Barneveld

Day 4 – Bronckhorst, Berkelland, Lochem, Zutphen, Brummen, Rheden

Bronckhorst

Today we did the last few municipalities in the Achterhoek (“rear-corner”), the eastern-most part of Gelderland. Maybe not a famous region for foreigners, but what if I told you that the first Grolsch beer was brewed in Groenlo in the Achterhoek in 1615? Already sounds more appealing right? Grols is by the way a dialect of Groenlo, and Grolsch meant as much as ‘of Grolle’, as Groenlo was called back then, so that solves the mystery of the name.

Bronckhorst was the first municipality for today, known for being the largest rural area of the Netherlands. The name Bronckhorst was chosen after several municipalities fused in 2005. The name refers to a famous and distinguished knight banneret family Van Bronckhorst that was in control of the area and possessed many buildings.

At the moment of writing, and for the past two years, the municipality Bronckhorst has the most energy-efficient town hall of the Netherlands, costing about 20 million euros. Apparently this took quite a cut out of their design budget as this is the result:

Municipality: Bronkhorst
Location of town hall: Hengelo (Gelderland) (52.044765,6.304350)

Berkelland

Continuing counter-clockwise we arrive in the Berkelland. This is a recent municipality as well, Borculo, Eibergen, Neede, and Ruurlo merged in 2005. Interestingly enough, the three of them, except Ruurlo, already shared a administrative unit between the 11th and 18th century: Herrschaft Borculo (or “Heerlijkheid”). The Herrschaft was bought by prince Willem V in 1777. Therefore, to this date, queen Beatrix of the Netherlands still wears the honorific title Lady of Borculo.

Municipality: Berkelland
Location of town hall: Borculo (52.116722,6.526694)

Lochem

Lochem is also a very old town. A charter from 1059 mentions that Lochem already had a church. Time passed, and the town was plagued by the Spanish army, the Germans and who knows what, and was frequently set a-lit. After things calmed down a bit, they built a new town hall in 1634-1640. Which is now of course the former town hall.

At first I sat on the bench in front of the new town hall, like this:

When some elderly people asked us what we were doing. We explained a bit about this weird quest, and they almost got angry we did not take a picture of the old town hall. Which was literally next to the new town hall. We promised them to take a picture of it as well:

I am glad we got to see this town hall as well, as it maybe one of the loveliest buildings I’ve seen. On the sides there are names of former majors and a flag of their town. Too bad they stopped with this tradition…

Municipality: Lochem
Location of town hall: Lochem (52.161713,6.415246)

Zutphen

Zutphen has been inhabited for over 1700 years, and has the most incredible history. It started as a settlement on group of river dunes. The town survived many crises, and was even destroyed by an attack of Vikings in the 9th century. It was even the residence for the royal house, and joined the Hanseatic League in the 12th century. Because of its location it has been part of many wars. Since one of the easiest things to do to annoy your enemy was to burn down the houses, Zutphen’s counterreaction was to subsidise the usage of bricks for buildings.
When you enter the centre of Zutphen, the remains of a prominent city are still there. Also, there is a big wall around the centre, and a lot of the old buildings are still standing.

Oh, and it was raining. A lot.

Municipality: Zutphen
Location of town hall: Zutphen (52.140072,6.194921)

Brummen

Brummen is a nice green municipality, quite old. But I don’t think anything has every happened here. I hope that at least they will finish their town hall one day since this is their temporary town hall:

Municipality: Brummen
Location of town hall: Brummen (52.088276,6.147001)

Rheden

Although we tought that Brummen was the last town hall for day 4, we went home and literally drove past this town hall and had to return.
The town hall is so big that when I wanted to get the whole thing on the photo, you could hardly see my bike anymore, even though it had the lights on. Go figure.

Just before we were leaving this morning, we talked about a possible route for that day. I kept saying Rhenen instead of Rheden, confusing my father to no end. He must’ve thought I was really stupid, because I was convinced Rhenen was next to Roozendaal (another municipality in Gelderland). But actually, Rhenen is a municipality in Utrecht (another province). In the end we settled on a route, and it was a nice sunday afternoon.

Municipality: Rheden
Location of town hall: De Steeg (52.017941,6.057190)

While driving, my mind always wanders off a bit. Driving through Hengelo, Ruurlo, Burculo, Groenlo,I was thinking about what the -lo would mean; its etymology.

It turns out that loo or lo, is a historical name for a forest. A very specific type of forest, as it may only be occupied by broad-leaved trees and bushes, and it must be a place where humans can live. Usually it was near a settlement, and contained small fields.


km: 190
km total: 585
done: 6 (23)
to go: 392

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Day 4

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Bronckhorst: 52.044765, 6.304350
Berkelland: 52.116722, 6.526694
Lochem: 52.161713, 6.415246
Zutphen: 52.140072, 6.194921
Brummen: 52.088276, 6.147001
Rheden: 52.017941, 6.057190
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Bronckhorst
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Berkelland
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Lochem
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Zutphen
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Brummen
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Rheden

Day 3 – Lingewaard, Overbetuwe, Renkum, Westervoort

Lingewaard

The municipality Lingewaard is a bit controversial. In 2010 when they had a shortfall on their budget, they increased the land value tax with 50%. Also there have been cases where council members or even the major would fraud with their expense account.

Totally by accident it turned out that today the major would resign because of such fraud. As you can see the media are also at the scene. It was funny though: I was taking some pictures, and looking at my iPad where to go next. This must have looked like I was a reporter, because the onlookers would ask me all kind of questions about the situation. At  that time I didn’t even know something was going on. But I can give you a hint: if someone is fully clothed in protective gear with the most lousy camera you can imagine, it is probably not a reporter 😉

Municipality: Lingewaard
Location of town hall: Bemmel (51.890003,5.896541)

Overbetuwe

To the west we find the municipality Overbetuwe. Together with Lingewaard it forms the subregion Over-Betuwe. Well, nothing to say besides it might be one of the dullest town halls I know.

Municipality: Overbetuwe
Location of town hall: Elst (51.918556,5.845767)

Renkum

In 1970 the 1000th anniversary of Renkum was celebrated. Although no-one knows how old the town actually is, they just guestimated on some references. For more than 800 years it was a small hamlet, but during the 19th century that changed. As you enter Renkum you can immediately see that is a wealthy town now. Everything is very spatious, green, and the houses are stately and big.

One of the unique things for Renkum, and perhaps even for the Netherlands, is that they decided to remove an industrial zone in favour of giving the area back to the nature. The goal is to connect two big areas with wildlife such that wildlife can roam freely.

The experience of taking a picture in front of the town hall was a bit awkward. People actually stopped working and looked out the windows to see me set up my tripod, configure the countdown-timer and run back to my back to make it in time. Ah well.

The town hall is located in Oosterbeek, a town very famous for memorial services of WW2. It is home to the Airborne museum, and the Airborne war cemetery where 1754 soldiers, pilots, and marine forces are buried. The most of them died during operation Market Garden in september 1944. The cemetery is very impressive to say the least.

Municipality: Renkum
Location of town hall: Oosterbeek (51.988205,5.842227)

Westervoort

As it was a weekday and getting rush hour, I was glad to be on a bike. I zifted through the traffic-jam and found myself in Westervoort in no time.

The town hall is very difficult to find. From the surrounding roads there is no sign that there is a town hall, other than some signs that send you in a certain direction. However, since the commercial zone you have to go through to get to the town hall is forbidden for motorised vehicles, the signs send you to a interjunction, and leave you there clueless. Anyway, I parked my bike, took my tripod and took this picture:

Municipality: Westervoort
Location of town hall: Westervoort (at the green arrow) (51.962521,5.968843)


km: 87
km total: 395
done: 4 (17)
to go: 398

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Day 3

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Lingewaard: 51.890003, 5.896541
Overbetuwe: 51.918556, 5.845767
Renkum: 51.988205, 5.842227
Westervoort: 51.962521, 5.968843
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Lingewaard
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Overbetuwe
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Renkum
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Westervoort

Day 2 – Ubbergen, Millingen aan de Rijn, Oude IJsselstreek, Aalten, Winterswijk, Oost Gelre, Doetinchem

Ubbergen

First on the list is Ubbergen. Its location is funny because on the north there are mainly polders, while on the south it is very hilly.

Image by toerisme-ubbergen.nl.

The village Beek (“brook”, or “stream”) was named after the many sources that begin in the ridges. The water flows down in brooks, and in early days this gave rise to a flourishing laundry industry. Around 1900 there were over 80 laundries in Beek. Unfortunately, the only things that reminds of this thriving industry are the stately mansions.

As you can see my old man is accompanying me. He has like a navigational device in his head or something; an impressive wealth of information about places and roads. Especially since my Garmin Zumo is still at the repair centre, he is very valuable to have around 😉

Municipality: Ubbergen
Location of town hall: Beek-Ubbergen (51.830135,5.921803)

Millingen aan de Rijn

To get to Millingen aan de Rijn we had to take a large detour. Although I knew that they were working on the road that leads to Millingen aan de Rijn, I would not have thought that it would take that long.

The name Millingen aan de Rijn is in fact not correct, as Millingen does not border the Rhine but lies at the Bijland Canal.

The major of Millingen aan de Rijn wants to dissolve the municipality and merge with other municipalities such as Ubbergen and Groesbeek (see Day 1). However, they refuse to merge since the financial situation of Millingen is very abject.

Municipality: Millingen aan de Rijn
Location of town hall: Millingen aan de Rijn (51.864101,6.046606)

Oude IJsselstreek

The region is known for it iron history. In the area around the river the Oude IJssel they mined and processed iron ore. The first blast furnace was built in 1689. Funny to know is that your kitchen equipment is very likely to be built by factories that originated here because of the iron industry.

The ride from Millingen to Gendringen (respectively 1 and 2 kilometres of the German border) takes you through a rural part of Germany. We crossed the Rhine at Emmerich am Rhein. Interesting to note is that this place belonged to the former country and later duchy Gelre, of which our province Gelderland originates.

I got some comments on that I should be on the photos as well. So now you know what I look like, we can move on to Aalten.

Municipality: Oude IJsselstreek
Location of town hall: Gendringen (51.877575,6.375270)

Aalten

Also close to the German border is the municipality Aalten. On 1 january 2005 the municipalities of Dinxperlo and Aalten were dissolved, and merged to a new municipality with the temporary name Aalten. However, in 2008 there was a heated discussion about the name of the amalgamated municipality. The executive board wanted to set down the name definitively, whereas council members from the towns as Dinxperlo and Bredevoort wanted to have their name involved as well. A referendum showed that the majority chose for the name Aalten. Needless to say that some people are still upset about this choice.

The town hall has a lovely inner court, but for some reason I ruined this photo with a stupid pose. If you ever want to visit this town hall yourself: do not follow the signs, as they will lead you around in circles. It took us almost twenty minutes to find the town hall, even though we asked several inhabitants for directions.

Municipality: Aalten
Location of town hall: Aalten (51.926998,6.581422)

Winterswijk

Winterswijk is the most eastern municipality of Gelderland.

Wheras Aalten’s town hall has a nice inner court, Winterswijk has an ugly and closed (at least on sundays) inner court. The whole building feels very distant.

Weirdly enough, Google presents a different town hall at the same location. As often, this new town hall cannot even touch upon the beauty of what I suspect, is the former town hall.

This is what the new building looks like:

Municipality: Winterswijk
Location of town hall: Winterswijk (51.968979,6.714792)

Oost Gelre

Closer to Aalten than to Winterswijk we find the municipality of Oost Gelre. On 1 january 2005 the municipalities Groenlo and Lichtenvoorde were merged into Oost Gelre. Originally the official name was Groenlo, but in practice the name Groenlo-Lichtenvoorde was used. A year later they opted to use Oost Gelre as name. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Gelre refers to the former county and duchy and thus indirectly to the province Gelderland, and Oost means as much as east.

As you can see the entrance would be more suited for a hospital.

Luckily, they did not tear down the old building. Although they did put an ugly streetlamp in the way 😉

Also, this town hall is located on the Varsseveldseweg. Mind you that there are two streets with the same name in Lichtenvoorde. And of course we thoroughly searched for a town hall in the wrong street first. The town hall is in the centre of the town.

Municipality: Oost Gelre
Location of town hall: Lichtenvoorde (51.988110,6.563269)

Doetinchem

The last town hall for today is Doetinchem. Although its history dates back to 800 CE, most buildings are fairly recent, as the allies bombed the hell out of this place in WW2.

I wonder what the dome is on top of the town hall, maybe it’s the major’s room?

Municipality: Doetinchem
Location of town hall: Doetinchem (51.963062,6.292366)


km: 223
km total: 308
done: 7 (13)
to go: 402

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Day 2

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Ubbergen: 51.830135, 5.921803
Millingen aan de Rijn: 51.864101, 6.046606
Oude IJsselstreek: 51.877575, 6.375270
Aalten: 51.926998, 6.581422
Winterswijk: 51.968979, 6.714792
Oost Gelre: 51.988110, 6.563269
Doetinchem: 51.963062, 6.292366
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Ubbergen
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Millingen aan de Rijn
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Oude IJsselstreek
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Aalten
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Winterswijk
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Oost Gelre
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Doetinchem

Day 1 – Beuningen, Druten, West Maas en Waal, Wijchen, Heumen, Groesbeek

Beuningen

I live in a small village called Weurt, in the municipality Beuningen. Weurt has always been a small village. References to name of the village have been found in letters from 815 CE! The village was originally populated by some farmers, but during the 19th century the population increased rapidly due to new job opportunities at the brickyards on the riverside. And in 1818 Weurt joined the municipality of Beuningen.

This first town hall was nothing new for me, as I have been here before to pick up my driver’s license and passports. But it was nice to take the picture and finally get this party started.

Municipality: Beuningen
Location of town hall: Beuningen (51.863262,5.780643)

Druten

I always thought that Druten had a out-of-proportionally big town hall. Now I know that compared to other town halls this one appears very humble. The style is not really my thing, but because I used to pedalbike past this building a lot during high school, it still holds some sentimental value.

Municipality: Druten
Location of town hall: Druten (51.890202,5.606648)

West Maas en Waal

No time to dwell over almost forgotten sentiment, because the town hall of West Maas en Waal was going to be the first in the series of town halls I have not seen yet.

Municipality: West Maas en Waal
Location of town hall: Beneden-Leeuwen (51.883614,5.517679)

Wijchen

On the way to Wijchen I passed the most amazing scenery. With the sun in my back, and hardly any wind, the ditches alongside the road had a very deep shade of blue. Combined with the vast green pastures and all sorts of livestock, this made me realise that you don’t have to travel very far for nice views. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures, but I am certainly going back there to make up for this!

Entering Wijchen was entering known territory again. The town hall itself is not really appealing, but the castle on the other side of the road is well worth a visit.

Municipality: Wijchen
Location of town hall: Wijchen (51.807175,5.728619)

Heumen

Heumen’s town hall is very recent. They moved just 200 meters down the same road, but to a building with very little character. We used to drive past the old town hall whenever we would visit our granny. One day we realised it was occupied by a day care organisation. It took a while to figure out where the new town hall was located, but it turned out to be very nearby.

Municipality: Heumen
Location of town hall: Malden (51.781086,5.851969)

Groesbeek

The last town hall for today was going to be Groesbeek. The surroundings are very famous for tourists, especially the Zevenheuvelenweg (“seven hills road”). Although there are only 4 hills in reality, and the road is not very long, it is a nice drive. It is home of one of the largest road running races held in the Netherlands (15k).

But that is not why I like visiting Groesbeek. Just around the corner there is an ice cream shop with Redbull flavoured ice cream. If you are in the neighbourhood anyway, it is well worth the visit.

Municipality: Groesbeek
Location of town hall: Groesbeek (51.777611,5.932317)


Finally I kicked off this project. It is fun to see that you can live in the same area for over 20 years, and still get to see new things.

km: 85
km total: 85
done: 6
to go: 409

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Day 1

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Beuningen: 51.863262, 5.780643
Druten: 51.890202, 5.606648
West Maas en Waal: 51.883614, 5.517679
Wijchen: 51.807175, 5.728619
Heumen: 51.781086, 5.851969
Groesbeek: 51.777611, 5.932317
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Beuningen
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Druten
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West Maas en Waal
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Wijchen
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Heumen
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Groesbeek