DUTCH DREAM WEEKENDS
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Benno de Groot (54)
Chairman of the Dutch Hearth Industry and Committee Member at the Municipality Museum of Heerenveen. Benno is married to Pauline and has two sons (25 and 21 years old)
FRIDAY 19:00 hrs
MEETING UP WITH OLD STUDENT FRIENDS
There is nothing better than to meet up with some old student friends at the end of the week. We meet on a terrace near the German border. In the beautiful surroundings of Westerwolde (Southeast Groningen), we enjoy our first couple of beers in the fortress of Bourtange, a unique historical defence which is without comparison.
In this place, one can almost smell the gunpowder from 1672 when Bommen Berend, the illustrious bishop from Münster, tried to conquer Groningen. Our complex stories are even more enjoyable on these former battle grounds.
FRIDAY 20:30 hrs
DINNER WITH FRIENDS
We have dinner in the city of Groningen. As a lively university city, Groningen has the youngest average population in the Netherlands. The number of restaurants from which we can choose is fantastic. After dinner we feel as young as students again, and dive into the Gruninger nightlife. We start at “De Drie Gezusters” and end up at some place we do not want to remember.
We enjoy our brief sleep in one of the old soldier barracks in the fortress of Bourtange .
SATURDAY 9:00 hrs
BREAKFAST IN MAASTRICHT
What is a better place to start the day than in Maastricht: the capital of good life? This old Roman city wonderfully developed into the city for the European citizen.
We take breakfast at “Onze Lieve Vrouweplein”, directly opposite the famous basilica “Onze lieve vrouwe, Sterre der Zee”. Before our coffees, we sneak into the basilica and light some candles for Maria; one never knows…
What a lucky coincidence when we are having coffee at the Vrijthof. that Andre Rieu, the local maestro himself, treats us to an outdoor coffee concert in the sun. Perhaps this was the result of our candles!
SATURDAY 15:00 hrs
It is time for some outdoor activity. We jump onto our bikes and ride the Turfroute in South East Fryslan. During our 60 km route we enjoy the scenery and the countless number of straight man-made canals which were created to facilitate the peat winning. Afterwards we pay a quick visit to the Museum Heerenveen and learn more about the social consequences of the peat winning which started here in the 17th century. How odd that so close to the wealth in the mansions and castles of Oranjewoud, people had to live in such impoverished circumstances.
We quickly fill our stomachs in Leeuwarden, Cultural Capital of Europe 2018.
SATURDAY 20:00 hrs
In the picturesque small Frisian village of Jorwerd, we attend the annual “Iepenloftspul”. The local theatre society performs “De Kloklieder fan Nij Daam” in the local Frisian language in the garden of what was once the garden of the local notary.
Sunday 09:00 hrs
The Sunday morning with the family starts with a relaxed walk along the beaches of Cadzand in Zeeuws Vlaanderen. We enjoy the strong wind blowing our thoughts out of our minds. Fully energized, we return to our beach hotel and enjoy breakfast.
It is Tee Time. We start our 18 holes on the golf course in Oostburg. The course is known as one of the best courses in the Benelux. We never take the time for golfing, but in this dream weekend we practice with our new wooden clubs. We use the first two holes as practice ground, but after the fourth hole the level of the play rises.
While playing, the family members engage in some good and interesting conversation and enjoy each other’s company.
We take a late lunch on the wonderful terrace at the clubhouse.
Sunday 16:00 hrs
It is time to go home again and prepare for the week ahead. On the way back, we stop at the island Neeltje Jans. The Delta Works are famous throughout the world. They were built to ensure safety of the population and to prevent a recurrence of the 1953 flood disaster.
Whilst driving home we listen to my wife’s favourite CD of Patrick Bruell.