Day 9 – Asten, Someren, Cranendonck, Heeze-Leende

Today’s trip has a somewhat different reason behind it. For no particular reason I wanted to visit Belgium at least once this year. Summer passed, and I still hadn’t visited our neighbour country. To cross off this resolution, I headed for Belgium, and visited some municipalities along the way.

Asten

The day started with rain, and it was not going to stop raining for even a single moment.

The first town hall is Asten’s. From the outside it is not clear that it is the town hall, and people were in such a rush because of the rain (very poorly depicted in the photo, as it was coming down in bucketfuls) that they didn’t want to confirm my thought. This is the only clue they give you:

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Asten… sounds like a bell! — Municipality Asten

Funny detail is that when I stood on the sign, the bells (from this church) would indeed sound. The sign also refers to the Royal Eijsbouts bell foundry located in Asten. In 2006, it manufactured the largest bell ever made in Europe: it weighs over 36000kilograms.

Asten

Municipality: Asten
Location of town hall: Asten

Someren

Earlier I reported that the Veluwe has nice heath, and forests. It was nice to learn that to the south we can find similar landscapes. Not as vast, but it still provides for a nice scenery.

The town square in Someren was being prepared for christmas activities. With just a little stable and some christmas trees, it still looked a bit meagre. But then again, the weather was really awful. My gloves were soaked to such an extent, I was hardly able to get them on again after drying my hands with a towel.

Someren

I have some pictures with me on it as well, but the rain covered the lens with some blurry spots. Not that you are missing out or anything 😉

Municipality: Someren
Location of town hall: Someren

Cranendonck

Moving on to Budel, where it turned out to be an utter mess. Where last trip it was crowded because of Sinterklaas, now it was crowded because christmas was approaching. From this picture you cannot see the multitude of people and parked cars.

In the spirit of previous posts, a short etomological explanation of the suffix “-donck” or “-donk”. A donk is a inhabited hill that clearly stands out from its environment. In the province Noord-Brabant, where we are now in this trip, it particularly means a high sand hill or a ridge along a stream valley.

Cranendonck

It was a strange experience to see all these Belgium license plates on cars. Since I live closer to the German border, I am used to see the white plates with black characters. I forgot that I headed for the Belgium border, and, for a moment, was absolutely clueless about what was causing this overload of tiny white plates with red characters.

Municipality: Cranendonck
Location of town hall: Budel

Heeze-Leende

The town hall looks nice with the stained glass, I think it might well be one of my favourite contemporary town halls. It looks a bit futuristic with the blue lights inside and overall architecture, but still it has “that” old feel.

Heeze-Leende

Municipality: Heeze-Leende
Location of town hall: Heeze


Belgium

Belgium, at last! According to my GPS I was atleast 10ft across the border. As far as I was planned to go anyway 😉 since it would be turning dark any moment.

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km: 221
km total: 2012
done: 4 (44)
to to: 371

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Day 9

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Asten: 51.403016, 5.744666
Someren: 51.385694, 5.714032
Cranendonck: 51.273520, 5.576154
Heeze-Leende: 51.378778, 5.578220
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Asten
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Heeze-Leende
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Someren
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Cranendonck

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