Day 18 – Dronten, Noordoostpolder, Urk, Lelystad, Almere, Zeewolde

Another interesting day. Not only because this was probably the worst weather I’ve driven in so far. Even worse than driving through the snowstorm (okay, that might be pushing it a little) on Day 11. There was wind over 8 bft, so much rain that cars would stop, in the evening there was enough lightning that would regularly light the sky, and on the way back the highway was covered white with pieces of hail. But, although I was completely wet, even all my underwear, it was a nice ride, with beautiful scenery. Especially the rain showers in the distance where a beautiful sight.

But another reason is that Flevoland is probably the only province that can be done in one day, especially now the days are getting shorter. With 6 municipalities, and 4 of them on the same island, it was a nice trip.

Dronten

Dronten is a relatively young municipality, as are the other municipalities in Flevoland. In 1962 the first inhabitants arrived, and immediately there was a discussion whether it should become a town or a city.

During the preparations of Dronten, remainings of aeroplanes from WW2 were found. On the photo you can see the memorial that they built to commemmorate the victims.Dronten

Noordoostpolder

Noordoostpolder is the municipality with the largest area of the Netherlands (not if you also consider water bodies). The municipality also holds the newest town in the Netherlands: Schokland, a former island, before they impoldered the area. Not a very large town though, as there are only 4 housekeepings, a museum, a restaurant, and the house of the light guard.
All the towns in Noordoostpolder are named after former towns, before the impoldering. At least for me it’s quite difficult to imagine driving on a road, where not even 100 years ago, the sea was destroying towns. Quite some nifty engineering.Noordoostpolder

Urk

Urk, another one of those former islands. Until 1939 it was an island, and in 1942 when the Noordoostpolder was impoldered, it became part of the main land. However, the inhabitants still considered themselves to live on an island: they don’t say in Urk, but on Urk. Also, it is one of the most devout municipalities with a close community. This becomes apparent in their genes as well. Because the community was so close-knit, they also married within this community. Hence, the Urkers have many heritable diseases. For example the disease of Van Buchem is only known for people with roots in Urk.Urk

Lelystad

The first inhabitants arrived in late 1967 and in 1980 Lelystad became a municipality. Until 1986 Lelystad was not part of a province. The city, municipality, the province, and an important pumping station, are named after the godfather of the Zuiderzeewerken, Cornelis Lely. Lelystad is the third polder, and knew a steady incline of inhabitants. Only after the fourth polder was finished, Almere, there was a strong decline, of people moving to Almere, since it was closer to Amsterdam and het Gooi, especially for the commuters. (The fifth polder was never realised) But now, there are living people again, and it seems to be thriving.Lelystad

Almere

Although for a moment Almere was the biggest city in Flevoland, Lelystand has regained that title. But still, it is in the top-10 of largest municipalities of the Netherlands.Almere

On my way to Zeewolde I saw a nice opportunity for a panorama. Too bad I suck at taking them, otherwise this could have been a very nice picture.

Oostvaardersdijk

Zeewolde

Zeewolde became an independent municipality in 1984, and is the youngest municipality that is not the result of fusing.

I’m still not completely used to the days getting shorter. When I’m working it seems to get gradually darker, but on the road, all of a sudden it’s dark.Zeewolde

I also really like their flag:

Original by Quistnix. Click on the image for more info.


km: 346
km total: 4055
done: 6 (108)
to do: 307

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Flevoland

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Zeewolde: 52.331749, 5.544752
Urk: 52.663579, 5.602007
Noordoostpolder: 52.709717, 5.747583
Lelystad: 52.507778, 5.475771
Dronten: 52.523737, 5.716505
Almere: 52.371769, 5.221452
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Dronten
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Noordoostpolder
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Urk
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Lelystad
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Almere
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Zeewolde

Day 17 – Alphen aan den Rijn, Rijnwoude, Boskoop

This post celebrates the 100th visited municipality. And since the days are getting shorter again, this means we are approaching the end of the year. In turn, this means that some municipalities are undergoing some changes. Today’s trip is about three of these municipalities: Alphen aan den Rijn, Rijnwoude, and Boskoop. They will fuse the first of January into Alphen aan den Rijn.

In 2008 there were talks that Boskoop and Rijnwoude could fuse on a voluntary basis in 2011. Many municipalities were approached, but none of them wanted to collaborate. A study showed that fusing would even be financially malignant for Rijnwoude.
Fast-forward to 2010. This time the provincial executive took the command, and involved the municipality Alphen aan den Rijn into the discussions. This time the negociations were effective, and two and a half years later, they are finally going to fuse.

This is not the end of the story. The inhabitants were able to elect a name from a set of names, weighted according to the number of inhabitants. The winner was the name “Rijn en Gouweland”. However, Alphen aan den Rijn did not acknowledge the chosen name. Now Boskoop and Rijnwoude are quite offended, and unanimously stated a motion of no confidence. They say using the name Alphen aan den Rijn makes it look more like an incorporation, rather than a fusion. The minister of the interior is asked to solve this matter. In the meanwhile, the working name of the municipality is abr. To be continued :)

Alphen aan den Rijn

After a quite uneventful trip with slow traffic and overtaking being prohibited on the provincial roads, I arrived in Alphen aan den Rijn. Come to think of it, there are many places called Alphen in the Netherlands. At least every important river has one (Alphen aan den Rijn, Alphen aan de Maas, Alphen aan de Lek). The fact that all Alphens are close to the water is no surprise, since this is explained by its name. It originates from the Germanic alf, which means water course. There is also another explanation which says that the name come from alv, which means calcareous sandy soil. But this is not true for all Alphens, so I don’t know. I like the first one better.

Alphen aan den Rijn

Rijnwoude

Rijnwoude

 

Boskoop

Internationally known for its tree nurseries, Boskoop is a middle-large town in Zuid-Holland. Although Boskoop is located on a thick layer of peat, in contrast to its surrounding towns and villages, winning turf was never one of its main activities. The ground was found to be very suitable for tree nursery. For centuries they dedicated themselves to the cultivation of fruit and fruit trees (in particular apples). One of the only cooking apples available in the Netherlands is the goudreinette, originally known as the schone van Boskoop (beauty of Boskoop). The apples are not particularly beautiful, but the texture and taste are exquisite, and perfect for cooking.

Boskoop


km: 305
km total: 3709
done: 3 (102)
to do: 313

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Day 17 ZH

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Alphen aan den Rijn: 52.129308, 4.659516
Rijnwoude: 52.129012, 4.588820
Boskoop: 52.074813, 4.656901
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Alphen aan den Rijn
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Rijnwoude
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Boskoop