It was another delayed breakfast this morning and we let Wim and Diny get through their bathroom routines before we got ourselves up.
We didn’t have to get our own breakfast this morning as they had coffee and croissant with ham, cheese and apricot jam ready for us.
We were certainly in relax mode here and before we knew it the time was approaching midday and we had an electric fondue to buy and post back to NZ.
Diny knew the best place to buy one and they got the bikes out as the shop, Media Market, was located in the shopping area downtown just a couple of kilometres away.
Gretchen was a bit unsteady at first as it has been 3 years (the last time we were here) since we had last ridden a bicycle. All she had to remember was the old saying ‘once you have learnt to ride a bike, you never forget’.
My difficulty was that the seat kept moving up and down on me and we had to stop in at a bike shop where Diny organised the owner to tighten the seat up with a spanner.
Wim and Diny had organised a route that avoided mixing in with buses and cars as much as possible, even if it meant a slightly longer cycle, and we made it to the cycle park in one piece.
There are cycle parks all over the town and this one had a guy in charge who clips on an identification number to the handlebar and gives you a receipt to produce when you come back to pick up the bicycle and ride home.
With so many people cycling these cycle parks are usually busy but today being Monday and a quiet shopping day, there were few people around.
There were three options for the electric fondue so it wasn’t too hard to make a decision and with our goods purchased we proceeded to use the free wrapping paper outside the store to get the parcel ready for posting on the way home.
After we ‘bought a seat for the parcel on the aeroplane ‘at €34 which was more than the cost of the fondue itself we continued our cycle back home again making it there in one piece.
After coffee Diny had an outing organised for us to visit a chocolatier in the nearby village of Hattem.
The bicycles were left at home this time and we took the car to the village which was about 5km or so away.
The deliciously sweet smell that only chocolate can exude hit our senses as we opened the door to the shop.
There was a whole range of chocolates for sale but first we got to see how it was made by watching a young woman in the preparation area who was making specialities for a real estate agent to give to a client for whom he had sold a house to.
She had made a house from chocolate and decorated it to look life like and such was her handiwork that it looked too good to eat.
We explained how the three different types of chocolate, white, milk and dark had to be kept moving in churns at set temperatures that varied by 1C for each type so that it could be handled for whatever was being made from the chocolate.
We ended up buying a small supply for ourselves at what seemed like very good prices for handmade chocolates before we took a stroll around the shops of the small village. Being a Monday many of the shops weren’t open and neither was the Gnome Museum which Diny thought we might like to have a look through.
With a little drizzle falling we headed back to the car and home.
As there were two important matches from the Euro 2016 tournament on TV tonight Diny organised dinner for the period of time between the two games.
We settled down with a beer and nibbles and watched the early game from 6pm where Italy defeated Spain 2-0.This was carried by BBC on Wim and Din’s cable TV.
However, we discovered that the BBC channel that they could receive wasn’t covering the England vs. Iceland match which England had to win to make it through to the quarter finals. However Diny had found that the game would be shown live on a Belgian channel they could receive but it would come with a Belgian commentary.
With another tasty dinner eaten, this time chicken cordon bleu, we settled back down to watch the England team win. Right......wrong!
In what must have England’s most humiliating loss of many years they exited the tournament by losing 2-1 to the minnows, Iecland.England and their multi mililon pound players were just hopeless despite the fact that they spent the majority of the game in their oppositions half.We guess it goes to show just what the underdog can do with grit and determination.
Wim offered us a wine before bed to help ‘drown our sorrows ‘at England’s loss but we thought better and headed for sleep with the knowledge that we had a long drive to near the border of Northern Germany and Denmark as we get the trip north to Norway, our ultimate northern destination, underway.
PS:get into the swing with Mungo Jerry and his all time classic hit Push Bike Song,available on Youtube
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