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Published: September 27th 2014
The last 2 Days in our Motor Home 25 to 27 September 2014
We find ourselves preparing for the departure from our motor home rather than being tourists because we want to make sure all is well for the new owners (who are from Darwin) who take position of it on 29/9. We found a truck stop that provided a cleaning service for trucks so we thought we would get them to high-pressure hose the outside of the motor home. They did a fantastic job. We were sure that there was still some insects from Iceland and Finland on it before it was cleaned, particularly in the front of the vehicle.
On the 25/9 we drove from the Industrial Route of Germany, which we had thoroughly enjoyed, along the Rhine River. The day was at times, a little overcast but for lunch we sat on a bench seat near the town of Dinslaken and had our lunch. The sun came out so it was beautiful. We watched many long barges going up and down this busy transport corridor.
We had stopped at a little town previous to this, to walk through their pedestrian mall and to find the
tourist office so that we could get a map of the region but on visiting the local library who told us the tourist information centre didn't have the resources to provide such things, we went to a book shop to see if we could buy a map - no luck. So we relied entirely on the GPS and stayed on roads which were close to the river. This worked pretty well.
We crossed the border into the Netherlands and arrived at Arnhem which is a pretty big city. The oldest archaeological findings of human activity around Arnhem are two firestones of about 70,000 years ago. These come from the Stone Age, when the Neanderthals lived in this part of Europe. The earliest settlement in Arnhem dates from 1500 BC. In the 19th century, Arnhem was a genteel resort town famous for its picturesque beauty. It was known as "het Haagje van het oosten" (The Little Hague of the East), mainly because a number of rich former sugar barons or planters from the Indies settled there, as they did in The Hague. Even now the city is famous for its parks and greenery. The urbanization in the north on hilly
terrain is also quite unusual for the Netherlands.
We found a camp site on the outskirts of the city (about 23 kms) which was very quiet. Only one other motor home was in the park. It was a well appointed camp site, but much of its facilities were closed...including their indoor swimming pool! We did some of our washing including blankets and quilt covers, again, preparing for the new owners. There was a beautiful sunset that night and the night was cool with a couple spots of rain.
I DIDN'T TAKE 1 PHOTO TODAY!!!!! This must be a record for me. So I don't have any photos to show you. Amazing.
The next morning we did more washing and called Kerrie, Adam & Gemma who were at our place all together so that was good timing. We finished cleaning the motor home, and Mollie was sparkling!! After lunch we drove back through Arnhem and up to Utrecht, arriving at Turner Cars & Campers to drop our motor home off. This was a day early but we thought that if by a slim chance that he would be working, there would be a better chance of him working
on Friday rather than Saturday, hence going there a day earlier. We knew Donna was still on holidays but as we weren't successful in getting in touch with her over the past 2 weeks we were hoping her mechanic was there. No luck.
So we decided to call the fellow where we had stored the vehicle over the European winter. He agreed to store it over the weekend, knowing that Donna would probably take the new owners to the storage place. We drove to the storage place and then arranged a taxi to be taken back to the Park Plaza Hotel which was just next to the Utrecht Central railway station where we were going to catch a train to Paris the next day.
After settling in to the hotel we then went for a walk on the old area of the city, revisiting many of the sites we visited last time. It got a great atmosphere, but you have to dodge the 1000s of cyclists. The number of cyclists is incredible. Like the other 2 times we were in Utrecht, the centre of the city were have major works on its infrastructure. The are even putting a
tunnel under the city to try and ease the traffic problem. The changes will take 10 years so the taxi driver told us.
We found a Turkish restaurant to have a meal - yummy!
The next morning I got up and went for a run...mainly to drop off my set of keys for the motor home to Donna's place as I forgot to take them out of their 'safe place' in my bag. It was great to go for the run anyway. We received an email from Sandra and David, the new owners of the motor home. They were staying at the Ibis not far from us. However, I read the message to late, even though we rang their hotel, they weren't in. Oh well, we both tried.
We have reflected on the 10 months we have spent in our motor home over the last 2 years. What amazing experiences, learnings about the complex history of all these European countries, the sights we have seen, and very importantly, the wonderful people we have met along the way. I hope our house becomes over-run with international visitors as the years roll on. It was so convenient travelling with
the motor home. We had so much fun and Tom is a wonderful travel companion. We certainly work well as a team xxxooo. So we are now on the 'run-down' before we fly out of Madrid for Aust on17/10, arriving home on 20/10. We have 14 hours in Dubai on the way.
So we caught the train to Paris via Rotterdam at 1.00pm. We then picked up a car we had organised so we were ready for our Normandy/Brittany adventure in NW France.
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