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Travel – permanently curious - Speltbakers

Travel – permanently curious

We’re back to baking, the bread is back in the shops and on the market stalls, life is good, nights are short and the holidays are over. Isn’t it amazing how time moves on whatever we do and how all things come to an end – the good and the bad.  Yesterday was the first day to bake and I was not at all sure that I’d remember all the recepies and the routine but when you actually stand in the bakehouse at 2 in  the morning, all becomes routine and the holiday a short interlude that is slowly turning into memories and lovely photographs.

As every year, we travelled to Germany this summer to spend two weeks with family over there. We have always taken the long way in the summer and travel the roads and the sea. With only me driving this used to take two days with a break in London. These days, with more drivers in the car, we go straight through and drive the 1000km with two ferry breaks inbetween. We snooze in the car and some can do this better than others but whichever way, five people in a Transit Connect for 24 hours is not comfortable but well doable. The ferry creates the break and the snooze stretched out on benches – with possibly a little bit of beer or gaming thrown in. Comfort it isn;t but fun it can be and for us, something we have done every year and something which is a tradition and a definite part of our year. Travelling by land like this also give you a great idea how far apart places really are. Geography becomes reality as we reach the coast, wait for the boat and reach the other side of the Channel or the Irish Sea. England becomes a distance to be travelled through not only a point destination  and we learn interesting cultural facts like the fact that the Welsh close their motorways at night for roadworks and like to have their diversion signs in Welsh – a language with an inordinate amount of consonants. Every single year we come to Dover and see their amazing fortification on the famous cliffs and every year we say we should look at that and some year we will – but not this year. This year we arrived in Dover at 6 in the morming and discovered that they put out their recycling in bags in the street and that the seagulls think that’s feeding time. Also, no coffee shop is open except for a 24h Mac Donalds which was not the super success, as opposed to the amazing Beach Diner in Fishguard in Wales which was open early ( when we hit in on the way back) and served the best breakfast I have eaten for a long time. Locally sourced meat  might have been the key or possibly the 12 hours spent in the car......

Taking a break from family, we took 2 days in Den Helder in North Holland just for us, a 21st had to be celebrated with wind and surf and beach and so we hit the motorway again for 4 hours and left the hills of the Eifel near Cologne for the astonishingly flat lands of the north Holland. Courtesy of Airbnb, we had a lovely house in a very pedestriansised part of the town where everyone seems to cycle these lovely big bikes with comfortable saddles. Nobody wears a helmet and biccyle paths abound – as do canals and deichs. Walking, boating, cyling, my kind of place.

As always it was great to see another place, meet new people and do new things.  Often we think we’d like to travel and think that travel needs lots of money and time and in the end the majority of us just don’t go. So, since, neither time nor a surplus of money are on the horizon for After the bread round any time soon, I’ve opted for the tiny version of the grand tour. I travel for two days at a time, a weekend here, a day there. It all addsup to lots of new places and experiences and courtesy of the always available pasta and sauce , it is never really expensive. This time I got to visit an old submarine of the Dutch navy. Hugely interesting but an immensely tiny space for 70 men. A car with five people seemed massively luxuriously after that.


Ours is the age of cheap travel so make the most of it.


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