From Hilversum to Teuge
We intended to make our first flight of 2020 on January 20. But when we arrived at the airfield and had taxied to the pump, just when we were to start fueling there was a power failure. After power was restored, we could not get the pump to activate our fuel card anymore. The system told us that the card was already in use, and also the airfield staff was not able to reset it. So we had to postpone our flight.
Electric power failure (20 Jan 2020)
No fuel on 20 Jan 2020
Friday, 7 February 2020 was the next available opportunity with good weather. I made a flight around the Veluwe to Teuge, and from there to Seppe, and then back to Hilversum.
Take-off was from runway 13. After leaving the traffic pattern I set course to the east in the direction of Harskamp. The restricted area over the military training ground at Harskamp was not active, and I could cross. I flew over the De Hoge Veluwe National Park, a cultural heritage formed early in the twentieth century by the married couple Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller. There is also the Museum Kröller-Müller, which holds the second-largest Van Gogh collection in the world: almost 90 paintings and over 180 drawings. It reminded me of the actor Kirk Douglas who played Vincent van Gogh in a 1950s movie. Douglas passed away on Wednesday, and his funeral was today.
Some Van Gogh paintings in Kröller-Müller; Kirk Douglas in "Lust for Life"
Next I passed the Country Residence/Museum Jachthuis Sint Hubertus, the former residence of the Kröller-Müllers. The St. Hubertus Hunting Lodge was designed by the prominent Dutch architect Hendrik Berlage. The building was completed in 1920. The couple used the house mainly as a country house. Only in their final years did it become their permanent residence.
“The marshlands, lizard-laced heathlands, swathes of ancient pine, oak and beech forests alive with woodpeckers and red deer, and dramatic open-drift sands would be reason enough to visit this 5500-hectare national park, the largest in the Netherlands, but its Van Gogh art museum and sensational sculpture park dotted with contemporary art pieces make it simply unmissable.
The land was purchased in 1914 by wealthy German-Dutch couple Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller. He wanted hunting grounds, she wanted a museum site – they got both. It was given to the state in 1930, and in 1938 a museum opened for Helene's remarkable art collection, collected between 1908 and 1919 and sizzling with world-class masterpieces. Visitors – by foot, bike or car – pay an admission fee to enter the national park at one of three entrances. Buy tickets online or from ticket offices at entrances.”
Moving to the north, I passed Radio Kootwijk, the name of the former broadcasting station. After WWI, the government decided to build a long wave transmission station enabling permanent contact with the Dutch East Indies using radio telegraphs. A ring of five 212 metre high masts around a central mast at the foot of the transmitter building were built. The radio transmission centre was officially put into operation in May 1923, initially for Morse telegraph traffic. After a few years it became apparent that the long wave connections were outdated, and a switch was made to short wave frequencies. Due to the development of new technologies like Communications satellites, Radio Kootwijk lost its position as main overseas wireless connection point of the Netherlands. In 1980, the last transmission mast was blown up. The main building of the former transmitter park, named "Building A", was appointed as a monument.
East of Radio Kootwijk lies the Kootwijkerzand, the largest drifting sand area in Western Europe.
Former Radio Kootwijk station
Then I followed the highway to the west to the western edge of the Veluwe, and then continued along the Veluwe edge to the north. Northbound I passed the towns of Putten, Ermelo, Harderwijk, Elburg, Wezep and Hattem. Last year Veleda and I Visited Elburg.
Between the northern edge of the Veluwe and the River IJssel lies Hattem. As a Hanseatic city, Hattem flourished in the Middle Ages. This is still apparent from the merchant's homes in the old town centre. High walls, a town moat and guarded gateways provided extra security. Parts of the original town wall have survived, just as the fourteenth century Dijkpoort.
While the town is small, there are many museums to visit. The 15th-century Agnietenconvent, or convent of St Agnes, is now home to Museum Elburg. This museum hosts both permanent and temporary exhibitions about the town's history. The casemates, one of the oldest still-existing cannon cellars and the wall house where the poorest of Elburg's citizens lived are part of Museum Elburg as well.
From Hattem at the northern edge of the Veluwe I then followed the eastern edge of the Veluwe to the south. Especially interesting to see are the Castle Cannenburch in Vaassen, and the Palace Het Loo in Apeldoorn.
The Castle Cannenburch was built by the infamous field marshal Maarten van Rossum (c.1478 - 1555) in 1543 on the ruins of an old castle. The building complex which contains many elements of the Renaissance architecture is completely surrounded by water.
Stadtholder William III had the Baroque Het Loo Palace built on the Crown Domain Het Loo between 1684 and 1686. Since 1984, the palace is a state museum open for the general public. However, the palace is currently being renovated and closed until mid-2021.
Palace Het Loo
After Het Loo I continued over Apeldoorn to the south to cross the highway A1, and from there to Sierra point, which is the traffic pattern entry point for Teuge. I joined the right-hand traffic pattern of runway 08 to land on that runway. After landing and settling the landing fees, I taxied to the west apron to have an uitsmijter ham/kaas (bread with ham, cheese and eggs) at the restaurant "The Cockpit".
Right base runway 08 Teuge
Cessna at Teuge aerodrome
From Teuge to Seppe
After finishing the uitsmijter and a coffee I went back to the plane. I checked the notams, and decided to fly to Seppe after flying around the Veluwe. After departure from runway 08 and the left-turn out, I further climbed to the south-west to continue along the western edge of the Veluwe. To the south I passed the towns of Lieren, Loenen, Eerbeek and Dieren. Then further on I passed the castle Middachten at De Steeg. Middachten is a private estate that has been in family ownership for more than 800 years. Currently, it is held in the 25th generation.
Dieren, River IJssel
De Steeg, Castle Middachten
Continuing to the south, I passed Rheden and Velp. Over the last couple of years, we are invited to a "Haring party" in Velp. Haring is the Dutch name for herring. The Dutch are really into with the season's first herring, called Hollandse Nieuwe, which starts appearing at the beginning of June. The arrival of this treat is usually front-page news. It's safe to say that herring is a bit of a Dutch culinary icon.
After Velp we continued over Arnhem with a good view on the bridge over the lower Rhine. I previously reported about this bridge and the infamous Operation Market Garden in 1944 in this recent trip report. Next after Arnhem I continued to Oosterbeek and Driel, and from there to Seppe.
Bridge over the Lower Rhine at Arnhem
On the way to Seppe I passed the town of Heusden, a fortification surrounded by sturdy earthwork ramparts with bastions, moats and ravelins. Heusden's history began around the year 1200 with the establishment of an urban settlement beside the River Maas. Its heyday was the construction of the fortifications. From the end of the 16th century Heusden was a garrison town accommodating thousands of soldiers. The Second World War inflicted much damage. After the war the town was fully restored.
When I passed the Gilze-Rijen Air Base I requested a low approach, but that was not approved. I continued to Seppe, where runway 07 was in use. After landing and paying the landing fee, I had a thee in the restaurant.
Approaching Seppe airport
From Seppe to Hilversum
After Seppe it was time to return to Hilversum. I crossed the West Brabant region in the direction of the Biesbosch.
The Biesbosch was created over time after a large area of the polder lands were submerged in the St. Elizabeth flood in the year 1421. Before this, the Biesbosch was part of the Grote Waard, containing cultivated land and a number of villages that were swallowed by the flood. About half of the flooded area has been reclaimed over the centuries, but the Biesbosch became an important wetland area for waterfowl and has a rich flora and fauna. It is now one of the largest national parks of the Netherlands.
More about the Grote Waard and the Biesbosch in this recent trip report.
Hollands Diep, Moerdijk bridges
North of the River Merwede I passed Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld, part of the Damen Group. Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld is specialized in delivery of custom build small- and medium sized vessels for harbour and terminal operations.
Then I crossed the Alblasserwaard, one of the familiar Dutch landscape of drained peat meadows. During the Middle Ages, people started to exploit and drain large areas of peatland for agricultural purposes and, later on, for fuel and salt extraction. It very much formed the landscape as it is today.
Hardinxveld, Beneden Merwede
River Giessen, Alblasserwaard
South of Hilversum airfield lies Utrecht, one of the Netherlands' oldest urban centres and for centuries its religious heart. The Gothic-style Dom Tower of Utrecht that was built between 1321 and 1382 is with 112.5 metres the tallest church tower in the Netherlands. Utrecht was the most important city in the Netherlands until the Dutch Golden Age, when it was surpassed by Amsterdam as the country's cultural centre and most populous city. The central sections of the tree lined canals have distinctive double-level sides inset with what were once medieval warehouses. Utrecht is host to Utrecht University, the largest university in the Netherlands, as well as several other institutions of higher education.
At Hilversum airfield the staff was spreading chalk to treat moss in the grass. The plane became a little dirty after landing and taxiing to the parking, so I first washed the plane with a garden hose before going home. It had been a nice trip.