Day Eighteen: Last Day in Apeldoorn: (Year 18: 1985) - Grampies Go 50 for 50 - CycleBlaze

October 8, 2017

Day Eighteen: Last Day in Apeldoorn: (Year 18: 1985)

Flash Back to 1985:

This was the year for our first fully loaded bicycle tour, into the Rockies with Joni and Laurie. Look at how goofy our packing is. Cycle touring itself has come a long way since.

The photo of Walter with the computer still reveals the 1983 Franklin Ace. That makes it two years old. New and more powerful computers will soon come as a flood. The information revolution is a backdrop to all our lives since that time.

Fully loaded tourists! One of our first longer distance family tours. Note the old style Bell helmets, and no waterproof Ortlieb bags.
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The family is the centre of our lives and continues to grow up strong and healthy.
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Dodie's Dad Walter took to the computer at age 74. He was a good chess player, but the machine often gave him a hard time. Sort of like Kasparov vs Deep Blue, which was yet to come.
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Bicycle touring, computer revolution - it's a wonderful world!


Fast Forward to 2017, the Netherlands:

The hotel staff let us know that it was Maria who had masterminded the wine and roses display for our bed, and today was her first day back at work. So naturally we thanked her as much as we could for her empathy. We arranged to stay in touch. There are a lot of really fine people in the world, but they are few enough that once you find one you need to hang onto them. Some of the best people we know were casually bumped into on the road. (Except for Tricia Graham who we love but have never met!)

Dodie and Maria. We are glad we met her and learned a little of her life and plans.
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Dodie is rating her physical fitness at 80% recovered, which we are saying is good enough for now. That means we probably could have set off today, but the one more day we have booked here of course will not hurt.

We had the idea of going to the Apenheul, which means Ape Hello (according to Google Translate). It's a small zoo with only monkeys. As mentioned yesterday, the cost for two is 43 euros, but you can try buying tickets on a kind of Dutch e-Bay. Typically the tickets then go for 25 euros. I tried to register on the site, but they seemed to choke on my phone, which is from Estonia. They wanted something from Netherland, Belgium, or Germany. Oh well, no monkeys.

With no monkey business on the agenda, we headed downtown for some excitement. Dodie wanted to walk, which is unique because of the knees. However since being bashed up by the car she has not been so focussed on knees!

We immediately noticed again how quiet Apeldoorn is. It's Sunday, sure. But almost every darn thing is closed, and the streets are deserted. There is more to it than that, though. The buildings are so solid and clean, the streets are so beautiful and clean, it's just the incarnation of solid, quiet, and clean.

Here in dead quiet Apeldoorn, danger can still lurk. A fairly fast moving car came around this corner, but we avoided it because we heard but did not see it coming.
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One of the houses on the walk to downtown. The date on it is 1842. 175 years old, it looks new.
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Among the few people out were two dog walkers, and we took the opportunity to make contact by saying hello to the dogs. In the first case the dog was very old and rode to the park in a bike basket. In the send case the dog was very young and got carried downtown when it had walked too much. Both owners were so pleasant, and so concerned over their dog's welfare, it was a pleasure to talk to them. The second one, who was downtown, also made a point of calling attention to the clean and quiet streets, and the absolute lack of homeless people or panhandlers. He was proud of the economic system and health care system of the country, and as is common these days, held it up in contrast to the US, where he had travelled extensively.

Beautiful park on the way to downtown.
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In the middle of downtown the big man with the little dog expounded on his pride in the Dutch way of life.
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Look Melissa, bunny slippers. You would have to come when the shop is open, whenever that might be!
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Typical empty street of downtown Apeldoorn.
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This tree was planted by the Canadian army in 1945. Not sure why they planted this one tree here, but presumably is was symbolic of hope for the future.
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We continued our walk, and now as "experts" on Dutch bikes, we enjoyed looking at all the parked ones and noting their various features. One rather universal feature is that none is small enough for us!

On the way back we stopped into the Grote Kerk, sort of to see if it was just as boring as last time. I again remarked on the way in that a few pink cherubs really wouldn't hurt. Inside, a service had just ended and people we gathered around. I thought the friendly vibes among them was worth recording, and snapped the shot below from a distance.

The Grote Kerk. We like this thing because as one of the tallest buildings around it helps us not get lost in Apeldoorn.
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Queen Wilhelmina, who died in 1962. Actually it was Beatrix, who came after that that was known for the fancy hats. There is a Beatrix hat exposition currently in the het Loo palace.
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A lady then left the group, not in response to the photo but on seeing us strangers in our goofy yellow raincoats. She came up to us and invited us down for a coffee. After a brief chat she excused herself, I think because English was a bit of a strain, and handed off to a young girl to occupy us. I found that she was 18 and had just gone to begin medical school in Nijmegen. But since this was the weekend, she was back at her parents' place in Apeldoorn. Her father is a hematologist, bit she said she would rather work more directly with people. She has a 6 year program ahead of her before going into a specialty.

Without any pink cherubs to help, it appeared these people had achieved a valuable atmosphere in their church.

Congregation in the Grote Kerk.
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There was what looked like an eiscafe (ice cream shop) on our way home, but it only would only open later. I went back out later on my bike but discovered they had only soft ice cream. Dodie reminded me if I wanted eiscafe I would have to go to Germany. Ok, fine, I'm leaving (tomorrow).

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