|Wonder boy of Assen|
Assen, capital of Drenthe province, may be of interest as a typical Dutch town with no pretension to anything, yet which to the outsider seems idyllic ... perfect ... though it is obviously less interesting than Groningen. The Drents Museum, I discovered, has a brand new building for big temp exhibitions, next to the old one which focuses on 'contemporary realism' and applied art. It also features a terrific archaeology exhibit with "the oldest bog body in the Netherlands." Yet another brilliantly laid out museum -- but who goes to Assen? (other than the Dutch I mean) The Grand Café of the museum looks like a good place to sample trad Dutch fare but is ultimately disappointing and overpriced.
Going since at least 1955, the TT, as I described in the guidebook, is a frantic motorcycle circuit and Assen's major event ... erupts into a festive, week-long blur of activity in late June. Not at all sorry to miss it.
|Heading for the purple zone|
75 -> 99 -> 91 -> 76
The Ballooërveld is truly desolate with some patches of desert sands though it's mostly clumps of scraggly heath. At Gasteren stands the Drentsch-Aa visitor center next to a dark barn. Left turn to kp 99, past the Gasterse dunes. then a wonderful stretch of deep woods -- the Boswachterij Schipborg -- to the village of Schipborg. Turf islands in a brook, horse pastures. Even lusher woods to the east followed by more sandy heath. 91 -> 76 goes back through woods and by hunebed D8.
|Assen to Drentsch Aa National Park|
|Return to Rolde|
Now I find myself back behind the church at Rolde, so I'm covering the same ground as yesterday. It's 6km back to Assen.
I returned late to Assen and had a mediocre dinner of tapas (albondigas de pollo, patatas bravas) at a pseudo tapas bar on the plein, across from where I had pizza the previous evening. By the time I got back to Anya's place it was close to 11, and she was distressed that I had not shown up at the appointed time, 8 pm. My bad ... I should've phoned her. But she wasn't angry, she was more relieved that I was alright. A friendly woman of 78 years, she told me she is a lesbian, left her husband after decades of marriage, two kids, for another woman. She made me a cup of elm blossom tea, then apologized if I found it too weird.