Yesterday was beautiful weather vacillating between 25C and 30C, an ideal day to stay outdoors. And like half of what the population in Holland would do, we grabbed our fiets (bikes) and pedaled ourselves under the warm rays of the sun. Heerlijk! (Nice!)
We cycled to another town called Bunnik (in Utrecht) and visited a fort, a small castle, and a pancake restaurant.
On the way to Fort Vechten with colossal trees festooned along the driveway. This is by the way, typical Dutch. The Dutch likes everything organized, and I mean everything, even the trees.
FORT bij VECHTEN in Bunnik
Before the Blitskrieg technology, the Dutch used the water together with the fort as a defense weapon in fighting against their enemies. I am not adept to explain further the details of their strategy but it said that they can submerge a whole area, for example Bunnik-Utrecht, with the use of the fortress and the waterline around it. The enemies will have to go through the water and capturing them would be quite easy.
Fort bij Vechten was built between 1867 and 1870.
This is just one of the MANY fortresses in the area... and I guess it has something to do with the terrain. The Dutch indeed used their landscape much to their advantage in protecting themselves against the enemy.
And Eons ago, well approximately 2,000 years, the Romans settled in diverse locations in the Netherlands. It was alleged that there once stood a huge Roman Palace in the outer entrance of this fort.
This is in the inner entrance of the Fort. See those 3 small windows? Those are window canons. Watch out!
We didn’t stay long in the fort because there was an ongoing private event. The area is open for theater shows, cultural presentations and excursions, and I believe can also be rented out for private parties.
Here I am, on my bike to Rhijnauwen.
RHIJNAUWEN in Bunnik
This is the perfect spot for nature lovers. The place is situated in the middle of the farmlands and forests along the Kromme Rijn river (a water line that goes through Germany). On a sunny day, like yesterday, the whole area can be seen ransacked by many Dutchies, and even tourists, all of them saddling on their ubiquituos bikes.
The Dutchman wanted to do some canoeing, but we arrived in Rhijnauwen a bit late. And as a matter of fact, I was not really up for it. I prefer the boat than the canoe! So we strolled a bit and found this... a small castle dated back in 1394, called the Rhijnauwen Castle. It is currently being used as a Youth Hostel.
The small Rhijnauwen castle with people partying in the front yard.
The Rhijnauwen castle’s poortgebouw (gateway) is now transformed into a lively Café.
We decided not to take our drinks here, but left our bikes instead in the corner of the gateway. We then walked through the arched entrance towards the direction of the forest to the Theehuis Rhijnauwen (Tea House Rhijnauwen), specializing in the lekkerst (delicious), well most likely, pancakes in Holland. It was past 5PM on our watch, not bad to have an early pancake dinner.
This is the other side of the castle’s poortgebouw (gateway) from the side of the forest.
The entrance of Theehuis Rhijnauwen... notice the bikes? In the other side of the road, hundreds of bikes were parked.
Pancake houses are typical family restaurants in the Netherlands. If McDonalds is to other countries’ family eating places, Pancake houses is equivalent to the Dutch. They abound in every nook in this country from north to south. In fact, I have been to a few others, but certainly, this one in Rhijnauwen has to be the best... serving only the finest pancakes I have ever tasted.
Theehuis Rhijnauwen’s backyard facing the Kromme Rijn river (you can't see the river in this picture, darn).
There were very few people sitting inside the restaurant, I guess everyone wants to sit under the shining sun. You also have the option to rent a canoe (or a boat) and sail through the whole stretch of the Kromme Rijn river, which actually was the Dutchman's idea for the day, but...
And the Dutch are nature junkies. You can visibly see how they preserved the life-breathing surroundings in these pictures.
The Dutchman’s dinner. He took a half-half pancake: Apple with powdered sugar and Cheese with Bacon strips.
My dinner, Fresh Fruit pancake with powdered sugar. Take note that the size can be deceiving because these pancakes are THIN!
Weekend BAZAAR in Vleuten
And today (Sunday), we went to the Utrechtse Bazaar in Vleuten. To get inside the bazaar, you have to pay € 2,50 per person. We didn’t expect it to be druk (busy) with shoppers, but it was.
As soon as we stepped in, I bid goodbye and separated ways with the Dutchman because he is such a pain in the butt to be with when shopping. I bought those chic ankle length farm-maid-gypsy-latin inspired skirts (a white and a chocolate brown), the trend this summer. They are oh-so damn hot sexy by the way...
Then we had some Shaormas which surprisingly was really appetizing and not heavy. And the Turkish bread was... ah, still hot. Yum!
All in all, the whole weekend was an active and a pleasant one.