Arnhem, The Netherlands December 22, 2008
This morning we arrived in Arnhem. We had a short drive around the ring road where we saw the John Frost Brücke (the bridge too far), the drug boat, Basilika St. Walburgis, and Eusebiuskirche as well as Altes Rathaus, which is connected to a very modern town hall. Then we went to Nijmegen to see the Canadian cemetary and the war museum Nationales Befreiungsmuseum 1944-1945.
At the museum we saw some interesting exhibits including a folding bicycle that was issued as part of the British paratroopers' kit during Operation Market Garden.
There were general war pieces to put things into context and things that were particular to the area including clothes made from parachute silk and a canvas boat used during the fighting around this area. There was some disturbing history about the Jews in the Netherlands. Evidently the non-Jews weren't too interested in what the Nazis were doing until the general population began to suffer as well. Of the 140,000 Jews who were sent to the camps, 104,000 died. Most of those that came back found that the levels of anti-Semitism hadn't changed and that they couldn't reclaim their property. Reparations were not made until later.
I also picked up a brochure on the bicycle museum in Nijmegen, Nationaal Fietsmuseum Velorama. Unfortunately we didn't have the chance to go there and the brochure is only in Dutch. But the illustrations are great
We came back for lunch and in the meantime the weather had improved. It was really the first mild, sunny day we've had. So we walked into town since we are parked so close to the center. I found the local bike shop but it was closed. They mostly sell Gazelles and I saw lots of them being ridden and parked around town. Arnhem is definitely a bicycle town and I took this picture of a bicycle delivery vehicle just for fun. Then I met Peter at the library, where he was checking his email. There was enough time left on his €1 for me to check mine. Then I walked around a bit, just to enjoy the weather.
When we got back we sat in the lounge, having had tea with John and Judy. I got some knitting done in the late afternoon.
Viking was having a clearout of their end-of-season clothing and had two-for-one windbreakers so Peter and I each have a new windbreaker. I guess it goes along with the two-for-one cruising.
This evening we had a lecture on the Dutch and the Dutch Royal Family by Walter. It was amusing and he said he got all his information from Dutch guides so we have to assume the joking tone is genuine.