EP9: 2004 - Zwartsluis, Netherlands

This years Europrez meeting was in the Hotel Zwartwater in the pretty town of Zwartsluis, in the Netherlands. Mo (our Honoury Englishman) did a fantastic job of organising it. Due to my foot still being very bad, we made this a short trip like EP8. In addition the aim, like last year, was just to be there. So, we didn't do any of the planned rideouts. :(,

To make our trip as easy as possible we stopped with Carlo and Gabi in Antwerp. Over the years it has become a well loved tradition (for us anyway) to stay with them, on both the way to an EP and on the return. Getting to them this year was a bit interesting as the whole of Antwerp is undergoing major road works.

From Carlo's we set off early to meet Karin for lunch. We had previously stayed with Ton and Karin on the way to EP5. After a lovely lunch in Maarsen, thank you Karin, we left for Zwartsluis.

We arrived quite early to find only Mo and the Karlsruhe reprobates waiting on the terrace:

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Stefan Darryl and Mo
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Gina and Jeff Sascha and Darryl

Sascha had painted up a number of models in the correct paint for their owners. A GS each for Kate and Ingrid, and an R1100RS for Darryl.

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Ingrid's GS, Darryl's RS, and Kate's GS
A pair of GS's
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Kate's GSs

The first evening. Catching up with old friends.

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Donatella, Sabine, Dirk, Stelios hiding behind Bruno and Clemens Pascal, Nelly, and Dieter
Carlo in the forground with Georg to his left and Sven-Eric to his right.


Looking out from our balcony.

The early arrivals were able to park together.
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Those that came later had to abandon their bikes wherever they could find room.

Getting ready for the day's rideout.

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Sascha's LT and Darryl's RS.
Both have had special paint jobs, unfortunatly Sascha's is too subtle to show well in the photograph.
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Carlo and Tommy getting ready to go. Alex's R1200GS.
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Darryl, Rudy and Kate. Mo's bike.
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Rudy's R1150R. More bikes, the GS is Stelios'.
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Milling around in the car park. More bikes, the GS is Ingrid's.
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More milling around in the car park. Zozzo modelling the latest fashion.
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Carlo. Yet more milling around in the car park.

Eventually people start to climb onto their bikes.

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Mo playing silly buggers. Sascha rolling.
Eventually they start to line up for the off.
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Mo and Sascha sitg down for a crap while they wait for the others.
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They're off.
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Pascal and Nelly with Georg and Dorothee. Carlo

We, however, are not riding far today. At Mo's suggestion we visited the picturesque and unusual town of Giethoorn.

First though, some lunch.

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Paul on the left with Donatella, Stelios,
Thomas, and Ingrid on the right.
Armand's son, Bruno, our lovely waitress,
Donatella and Stelios.
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This lovely sculpture was in the centre of
the patio.
Paul and camera.
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Donnatella and Bruno. Just after we ordered, the heavens opened.
Fortunately the restaurant had room for us inside.

Behind the restaurant:

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A typical Giethoorn foot bridge. The hire boats and tour 'busses'.

So we went on the tour:

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Leaving in the tour 'bus'. An earlier one returns.
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Jeff and Ingrid with Bruno in the background. On the canal.

Giethoorn is a very pretty Dutch village, except that Canals replace roads, driveways, and even 'off road' parking bays. Pedestrians crossings are replaced with a very distinctiver small bridges and all the houses seem to all be lovely thatched cottages with very well manacured lawns.

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A wedding boat (sorry for the blurry photo).
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It wouldn't be Holland without a caravan or two...
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Then it was out onto the lake.
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On an small island in the middle of the lake was a lovely big house with a very nice garage. Not sure how you would get a car to it though.
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Then back into the canals of Giethoorn.
Gina in bike "uniform".
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Back to the cafe. Some moles at the front of the house next door.
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Gina (still in bike uniform) photographing Jeff tormenting the ducks. The boat park outside the back of the cafe.
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When we got back to the hotel Kate's bike rolled over to exactly 38000 miles.
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Some more general car park milling.

Friday evening started with the traditional sharing of the goodies everyone bought.

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Olives, peppers, cheese, and other goodies. Carlo and Karin.
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Pascal and Gina. Gina making faces at her camera.


The firedoor at the end of the hall looked out over the river and small marina.

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The breakfast room was a conservatory along the riverfront.

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We (Tommy, Gabi, Gina, Kate and I) wandered into Zwartsluis for a light lunch.

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Over the bridge into town. Along the river from the town.
Gina, in photographer uniform, and Ice Cream.

After lunch we returned to Giethoorn and hired a boat. This time we did the full village.

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Tommy did a great job of "driving" the boat.
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On the way back to the lake. Thatch after cutting.
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Gina and Gabi getting ready to cross the lake. My turn to drive.


Getting ready to leave. First though we get some pictures of the model bikes with their counterparts.

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Darryl proudly poses with the model of his Silver Phoenix. I remembered to get a photo of the Silver Phoenix's cylinder head for Jeremy.
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Ghislain and Zozzo leaving.
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Ton and Karin with Darryl. Nelly, still eating breakfast.
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Carlo and Darryl. Thomas.
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Ingrid. Karin.

We left with Carlo, Stelios and Rudy. Pascal and Nelly catching us up on the way to Antwerp. After a lovely lunch in the Eleventh Commandment we said goodbye to Pascal and Nelly who were off to catch a ferry for a holiday in Scotland.

In the evening we had a fantastic dinner with Frank and Annemarie Fensie. Paul and Stelios went mad as the Greeks won the football. :)

Many thanks to Mo for organising and for everone else for making it such a great EP!