Bike excursion to the Betuwe


RUW Bicycle Binnex FINAL

What: Bike excursion with visits to bell pepper and strawberry horticulture, Doornenburg Castle and the Open Air museum
When: May 24th – May 26th

The bike excursion started off with a not all too bright weather forecast, but we were armed with raincoats and trousers. On our way to Angeren the weather gods stayed favourable and we could even enjoy the sunshine. Biking along the flood plains we even saw horses chase away some resting goose, which made a splendid sight.

At our arrival in Angeren we prepared our dinner in the traditional Mongolian yurts. The yurts can be compared to a one room apartment, as they contained beds, stools and a stove. Dinner was enjoyed together and afterwards it was time to have a campfire. And what could top a campfire? Campfire with marshmallows. The organization forget to buy these this year (but next year we’re definitely having them), but luckily some participants brought these themselves.

The next morning we got up early to visit a strawberry farm. To our surprise the company had vending machines with fresh produce, jams and sauces. The owner, Arno de Beijer, guided as through his glass house, stating that they tried to sell as much as produce directly to the customer. This proved to be quite effective as we plundered the vending machines for fresh strawberries afterwards.

Castle Doornenburg was next on the program and we had a guided tour through the castle. Boys will be boys, and I’d never thought that most aged above twenty could get so enthusiastic about dressing up as knights. But, ah well, after a very much 21st century foto shoot it was time for lunch. With strawberries of course.

Horticulture is not new to the Betuwe as we found out at an old horticulture complex which was turned into a museum: Mea Vota. This museum is  kept going by volunteers and they still cultivate grapes in order to make wine from them. As Dutch grapes do not contain as much sugar as their more Southern counterparts, they add sugar to obtain higher alcohol percentages.

The last stop of the day was at Jan van der Harg jr. Together with his parents he cultivated bell peppers in a glasshouse of 8 ha.  Under humid conditions and nearly 25 °C the bell pepper fares best, but we were glad when we got into a friendlier climate in the hall. Here we were explained that the carts in the greenhouse automatically drove to the scale and that the system could then immediately tell from which section this amount of produce was coming from.

Once again it was time for dinner, but this time we didn’t have a campfire afterwards for it was raining. So it time to have pub quiz without a pub, but in a yurt. It ended in a tie, and afterwards it was time for chatting. It was a very cosy evening.

We set off from the camping to the Open Air Museum the following morning. We took the old tram which originates from Rotterdam and visited the different sights of the museum. We walked around for two hours, after which we directed our bikes to Wageningen.

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