Day Seventy Eight

Oh my, another day trapped in the car.  It’s a long way to the shop if you want a chiko roll…  One for the Aussies and AC/DC fans there, apologies to others.

We’re still in the beautiful green corridors, still amongst the corn fields. No children of the corn thankfully, no soft whispers and sighs entreating us to just step into the corn for a moment, we won’t keep you long…  It’s difficult to read Stephen King extensively across the decades and see a corn field in an innocent way ever again. 

The last section of our drive through  Germany is plushly grassed.  We pass through quite a few villages with their neat as a pin yards and well tended gardens.  Topiary is very popular as are cute arrangements: in one field are Mr and Mrs Farmer, hay bales dressed in farm clothes, with painted smiling faces, holding hands.  Many houses have cute features in their yards, ducks, ceramic animals and birds, mushrooms, hearts, gnomes, the things that please their owners, on display.  If I lived here, I could have a yard full of Beatrix Potter squirrels, bunnies and kittens and no one would blink an eye.  

The style of housing has changed over night, farm houses are now attached to massive mutli storied barns to their side. 

The first of the canals appear, signalling our proximity to the Netherlands.  With these come the cranes.   We have endless sightings of these elegant, tall, grey and white birds today as they sit patiently by the water, long beaks focused, hoping for supper, or take flight across the waterways.  No farm kitties on field prowl today, it must not be a work day.

We soon make the crossing into the Netherlands.  Where Germany was occasionally hilly,  the Netherlands are flat as far as the eye can see.  

It’s still dairy and horse country, but the houses are different immediately different. Red brick still prevails, with tiled roofs now, pitched steeply for snow. It’s been hotter here, the land is scorched and grasses are bleached yellow.    Greenery doesn’t return until quite a distance in.  

Canals are out in force, large and small they criss cross the fields providing irrigation and a haven for water birds.  Of all the places we’ve seen, I think the Netherlands has the most waterbirds by far.

The afternoon has a few false stops.  We fail to find an ancient monument at Arnhem. Later, we try for an early end to the day but the town is just too big and parking is a challenge.  

Later, Boxtel, a gorgeous cottage filled village has streets so tiny we struggle to get through.  Their traffic model is one lane of traffic for both directions, bike lanes either side.  It’s a pretty good one, slowing everything right down, but Chris loses patience at the last hurdle  and takes a final run on the freeway instead.  Suprisingly,  its banks are covered in heather.  

We end the day late, in Best, not the best of stops and not in the best of tempers. We’re both tired and more than a little grumpy.  I’m hoping tomorrow sees us free from driving, at least for a little while.  It’s taking its toll.