Drenthe, Netherlands

Arrived in this rural northwest area of the Netherlands late afternoon on Friday, June 19, 2009. We are staying in a bungalow park which is a kinda of a fancy camping place. The two-bedroom unit is sparse which is normal in Europe with the basic essentials and nothing more. At first, I wanted to bolt for the nearest four-star hotel but knew that that was not going to happen so I decided to make the best of it. After purchasing an extra pillow, towel, chocolate, and pastries, I have decided that the unit will do for the week.

Landal Greenpark is within walking distance of a windmill and quaint thatched-roofed farmhouses. The people all speak “a little English” and are very friendly. The Dutch LOVE their dogs so the four-legged critters can be found everywhere – in restaurants, shopping centers, etc.

We have mostly just driven around (a car is necessary to really enjoy the region) and stopped when something looked interesting. This included the megaliths (prehistoric burial tombs), pannenkoek shops (pancake houses), Boomkroonpad (a walk across the top of a forest), and Westerbork (the transit camp Anne Frank was sent to before Auschwitz).

The Dutch put any possible combination of fruit, vegetable, and meats in their pancakes so you can eat these high-calorie yummies every day (and I have). They also have a bakery in every hamlet that is filled with many delicious breads and pastries.

The Netherlands is flat which makes it a great place to run so I have continued my half-marathon training. The weather has been cool so the minutes tick off much faster than they have in Clarksville.

This is not a popular tourist place but that has been a definite advantage – there are plenty of things to see, do and eat but no throngs of people.

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