August 6, 2019

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August 6th 2019
Published: August 6th 2019
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Today was another day to visit family. Who needs a destination when you can drive along secondary roads to get to where you want to go. That was the case today, starting with a visit to my cousin Mieke in Lith, a bit off the beaten track. They have a gorgeous “Dijkhuisje” built on top of the dike next to the Maas River, which means the back part of the house is at least one level lower behind the dike. Makes for interesting architecture. Her husband Frans is a very handy man that rebuilt the place from the foundation up after he retired from their restaurant business. He did an absolutely incredible job, even a home-made elevator in recognition of their retirement age. Their motorhome has a completely automated levelling system and Marion was quite taken by their volière (aviary) where they keep lots of breeding song birds. Frans is a man after my own heart, he’s my age and still drives a Honda Goldwing!

Before we got on the highway to visit second cousin Alette, we followed the Maas for several kilometres through small towns and past many cornfields. Beautiful countryside! Alette’s place overlooks the Waal Bridge in Nijmegen that was heavily contested in WWII and close to where there are Roman ruins. Nijmegen is the Netherland’s oldest city, predating places like Amsterdam, Maastricht, Delft and Leiden. While it suffered heavy losses in the last war, there are still some really nice old buildings.

After all of the snacks, desserts and coffees today, we stuck with a chicken Caesar salad for dinner. But of course a La Trappe beer, or two, once the driving was done. Today I sampled the Quadruppel at 10% and the Bock beer I talked about yesterday. The full name of the abbey we visited yesterday, I just noticed, is Abdij O.L.V. Koningshoeven. O.L.V. stands for Onze Lieve Vrouw, referring to the Virgin Mary.

We also learned this afternoon that our friend Hans, vacationing with his kids in Copenhagen, fell and broke his leg in two places. That vacation has now been cut short. Be well Hans!

Tomorrow is another long day, so early to bed.......

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