Highlights from the Bakeation in the Low Countries
Read more about the Bikers' trip to the Low Countries
ENKHUIZEN CAUSEWAY + HOUTRIBDIJK
The Houtribdijk is a dike in the Netherlands, built between 1963 and 1975 as part of the Zuiderzee Works, which connects the cities of Lelystad and Enkhuizen. On the west side of the dike is the Markermeer and on the east is the IJsselmeer. The 27-kilometer-long dike was intended for the Markerwaard, but this polder is now unlikely to be constructed.
Enkhuizen was one of the harbour-towns of the VOC, just like Hoorn and Amsterdam, from where overseas trade with the East Indies was conducted. It received city rights in 1355. In the mid-17th century, Enkhuizen was at the peak of its power and was one of the most important harbour cities in the Netherlands. However, due to a variety of reasons, notably the silting up of the harbours, Enkhuizen lost its position to Amsterdam.
Nowadays, Enkhuizen continues the maritime tradition and has one of the largest marinas of the Netherlands.
ERIC THE VIKING (Eric Wobma) – VOLENDAM – NL
Eric the Viking is an old friend of Dave’s from when he worked in the film industry in Luxembourg. They’ve not seen each other for several years.
Volendam is a characteristic Dutch fishing village. "Anyone who wants to see the real beauty of Holland, goes to Volendam". As a result of its completely insulated location, this village preserved its character for six centuries, also because of the tough vitality of the fishermen. The characteristic small houses, which together with the canals and the drawbridges form the most picturesque spots, present the visitor an atmosphere of geniality and romance.
SCHEVENINGEN – NL
Scheveningen is a proper seaside tourist town on the outskirts of The Hague. It’s also home to an annual international sand sculpture festival where amazing pieces of art are created from imported sand on the seafront.
DUTCH APPLE PIE – FRED DE ROODE
The Dutch are proud of their apple pies and almost every café will have a version of their own. Recipes are distinct in that they typically use cinnamon and lemon juice and decorated in a lattice style. Recipes for Dutch apple pie go back centuries. The basis of Dutch apple pie is a crust on the bottom and around the edges. This is then filled with pieces or slices of apple.
Recipes for Dutch apple pie go back centuries. There exists a painting from the Dutch Golden Age, dated 1626, featuring such a pie.
KINDERDIJK – NETHERLANDS
Kinderdijk is the only place in the world where you can find so many windmills concentrated in such a small area. This is one of the reasons Kinderdijk has been added to the UNESCO world heritage list.
The Kinderdijk milling complex consists of 8 stone brick windmills of the waterboard Nederwaard which were built in 1738, 8 thatched windmills of the waterboard Overwaard built in 1740, 2 stone windmills of the polder Nieuw-Lekkerland built in 1760 and 1 windmill of the polder Blokweer which was built in 1521 and burned down in 1997. The windmill has been restored and has been operational since the spring of 2000.
ZEEUWSE BOLLUS – HARRY SONNEMANS
A bolus or jikkemine is a sweet pastry from the Dutch province of Zeeland. They are made by baking a type of dough in a spiral shape and covering it with brown sugar and cinnamon. The shape of a bolus differs between bakers. They are often eaten with coffee, and the flatter underside gets covered with butter.
The bolus was first created in Zeeland in the 17th century by Sephardi Jewish bakers. There are signs of the Portuguese Jewish community that inhabited Zeeland at the Jewish cemetery in Middelburg. These Jewish bakers created the predecessor of the Zeeuwse bolus. Later bakers from Zeeland perfected the art of the bolus, using steam ovens to keep the cinnamon pastry tender.
Harry Sonnemans runs the bakery with his brother. It was passed down from his grand-father to his father before the brothers took it over. They use the same traditional recipes and methods as their family have done for decades. The brothers work alternate days and when not in the bakery Harry can be found working on his collection of VW vehicles. He’s built a ‘swimming car’ which he is hoping to ‘drive’ across the North Sea to England one day.
The Delta Works is a series of construction projects in the southwest of the Netherlands to protect a large area of land around the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta from the sea. The works consist of dams, sluices, locks, dikes, levees, and storm surge barriers. The aim of the dams, sluices, and storm surge barriers was to shorten the Dutch coastline, thus reducing the number of dikes that had to be raised.
Along with the Zuiderzee Works, they have been declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
BRUGES - chocolate heaven and beautiful medieval city.
The historic city centre is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The current city boundaries still coincide exactly with those of the medieval city and the spaces but this does not mean that there is no room for modern architecture and modern work and living spaces.
Bruges boasts 52 chocolate boutiques, the chocolate museum Choco-Story, a chocolate trail and a chocolate fair. It goes without saying that Bruges is the world’s capital of chocolate.
DOMINIQUE PERSOONE – THE SHOCK-O-LATIER, BRUGES
Dominique is a man who likes to ‘shock with the choc’. His background is as a chef but he is passionate about chocolate. He creates chocolates combining the flavours and tastes he loved as a chef with his current passion for chocolate. He has created chocolate with bacon, grass, Cuban cigars … the list is endless. He is also the mastermind behind the chocolate shooter, a device for snorting chocolate originally created for the Rolling Stones.
THE ATOMIUM, Brussels – BELGIUM
A totem on the Brussels skyline; neither tower, nor pyramid, a little bit cubic, a little bit spherical, half-way between sculpture and architecture, a relic of the past with a determinedly futuristic look, museum and exhibition centre. The Atomium was the main pavilion and icon of the World Fair of Brussels (1958), commonly called Expo 58. It symbolised the democratic will to maintain peace among all the nations, faith in progress, both technical and scientific and, finally, an optimistic vision of the future of a modern, new, super-technological world for a better life for mankind.
The peaceful use of atomic energy for scientific purposes embodied these themes particularly well and, so, that is what determined the shape of the edifice. At 102 metres high, with its nine interconnected spheres, it represents an elementary iron crystal enlarged 165 billion (thousand million) times. It was dreamed up by the engineer André Waterkeyn (1917-2005). The spheres, though, were fitted out by the architects André and Jean Polak.
LEA LINSTER – FRISANGE
Lea is a multi-award winning chef from Frisange in Luxembourg which is also the location of her main restaurant. She was winner of the Bocuse D’Or in 1989, the first and only woman to have done so. She has been cooking at the highest level for more than 25 years, always with a Michelin star. Her motto is ‘Avec Amour’ as she likes to cook with lots of love.
VIANDEN CASTLE – LUXEMBOURG
Vianden Castle was constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries on the foundations of a Roman 'castellum' and a Carolingian refuge. It is one of the largest and most beautiful feudal residences of the romanesque and gothic periods in Europe. Until the beginning of the 15th century it was the seat of the influential counts of Vianden who could boast their close connections to the Royal Family of France and the German imperial court. Henry I of Vianden (1220-1250) is known as 'the Sun Count' for it is during this tenure that the holdings, lifestyle and influence of the House of Vianden reached its zenith. His ancestors were influential in the Ardennes, Eifel and Luxembourg regions for hundreds of years.