Our time was up at the bungalow park in Dwingeloo, so we packed up and headed south. We planned several stops along the way beginning with Staphorst. We made a short stop at a little variety store there and bought some souvenirs. We then drove through the town to see the colorful houses which have mostly green and blue shutters and trim that make them distinctive from other towns. The people who live there are known to be very traditional and conservative; some still wear traditional dress.
Our next stop was the Paleis Het Loo in Apeldoorn. We ate our packed lunch and purchased coffee at the Prince Hendrik Garage Café, which is directly across from the Royal Stable. After lunch, we walked to the Palace along the long tree lined driveway. Part of the palace was covered with scaffolding, which detracted from it somewhat. It was still nice to see, though. Queen Wilhelmina first resided at this palace and her daughter Juliana also stayed there during her reign. It apparently was relegated to museum status a few years ago and opened to the public. We weren’t willing to pay 14 euros or take the time to tour the inside. Dick and I browsed through the stables to look at the old royal cars on display and see Queen Beatrix’s retired horses.
We then drove a short distance to Arnhem to see Dick’s birthplace. His parents lived in a boarding house there while his father served in the army (mandatory conscription). It’s now a very nice bed & breakfast. We took a bunch of pictures outside and tried to find someone at home to no avail. Just as we were about to leave, the woman of the house drove in. She was very nice and let us go inside and see what the rooms now looked like. The house has been in the same family for 100 years! Dick’s parents posed on the balcony, where his dad announced his birth. It was very special to be able to visit this place with them and hear their stories about their stay there.
Our final destination was another RCN campground/bungalow park just outside of Chaam. We arrived there around 5 pm and got settled right away. We lacked some towels and decided to buy some at a store in a nearby town. When we got there just after 7 pm, we realized that all of the stores were closed except the grocery store. We bought a few provisions there and then hurried back to the park to eat dinner at the snack bar before that closed too! We had some yummy croquettes and frites.
Dick’s Om Jaap and Tante Joke were also staying at this park just a couple of bungalows away. We walked over there after dinner to meet them. They were very nice and made a great effort to communicate even though it was apparent that they didn’t know English very well. Jouke seemed to understand some English, but didn’t speak any. They gave us some tips about places to visit in the area, recommended Breda and gave us a couple of guides.
Today’s curious sighting: A peacock strolling around the palace grounds.