This is Park Rijnstroom. It is by far the most beautyful parc in Alphen with a rich history. In past times there was a society called "Martha Stichting". This was a benificial organisation specialised in raising children of all classes.
Nowadays these buildings are restyled into a cultural centre and a cinema/theater. Restaurant and party-center "Alfred's dinner" is also located here.
And above all it's a beautyfull quiet parc to walk and to enjoy the sun.
Every year on the third wednesday of september there is a special market in Alphen aan den Rijn. It is called the jaarmarkt (yearmarket), and is the biggest one in our country. The entire centre of town is used to put stalls and there is plenty entertainment.
If you are not into crowds you should avoid this day to go to Alphen, it is the bussiest day of the year. This picture is taken at 10 in the morning, the market just started.........
SERVAS, Arnound and Ayako
We met Arnound, Ayako and Roseangela through SERVAS, an international hosting group and they were kind enough to invite us to stay with them on our trip to the Netherlands. They surprised us by welcoming us into their home with a reminder of OUR home, they raised the Israeli flag in front of their home to proclaim our arrival, FANTASTIC ^O^
Meet Arnound and Ayako, the couple with whom we spent a very enjoyable time, too short a time, yes, admited, but then when you meet nice people it makes for a very good reason to return.
This is Roseangela, Arnound and Ayako's daughter, she is a couple of years younger than our daughter, but in the same "mind frame" catagory, TEENAGER, so I am sure that many of you know what that means. A very sweet person, but with an iron streak like almost all teenagers (or is it stubborn ;O))) We enjoyed talking and comparing her life to that of our daughter, but it took us a while to help her over the shy part.
Alphen, the city in our neighbourhood
Although Alphen aan den Rijn is not very big, for the people living in the north east corner of Zuid-Holland it is the city to go shopping. We call it just Alphen. The aan den Rijn part just states where it is located, on the banks of the river Oude Rijn. And we already know that......
The municipality Alphen aan den Rijn has 70 660 inhabitants and an area of 57,68 km² of which 2,52 km² is water. Besides the main town, Alphen, it also has the small villages Aarlanderveen and Zwammerdam in its borders.
The website of the municipality is: http://www.alphenaandenrijn.nl/ it is in dutch only.
Alphen has some great tourist attractions:
- Archeon, an archaeological themepark. It has areas where the live in the netherlands in the prehistory, roman period and middle ages is simulated. The buildings are from that dates and people live like they would have in that periods.
- Avifauna, a birdpark with species.
- Wet and wild, a water themepark at the Zegerplas. Here you can do waterskiing on a cable, without a boat.
- windmill de Eendracht, a windmill from 1898. Open to the public every saturday afternoon.
- the windmills of Aarlanderveen, the only working 4 step windmills in the world.
More info at our Aarlanderveen page.
More info on tourism in Alphen aan den Rijn: http://www.vvvhetgroenehart.nl/ (in dutch)
A short history:
The area around Alphen aan den Rijn was already inhabited 2000 years ago.
In the roman period the castellum Albanianae was at the spot where you now find the towns centre. The romans built the first bridge over the Rhine. From the roman emperor Claudius (41 - 54) the roman army was located here at the north border of the roman empire.
In 1122 the old Rhine was dammed at Wijk bij Duurstede. The river that flowed through Alphen was no longer the main route of the river Rhine. That is why it is called Oude Rijn (Old Rhine). It never flodded since.
The name Alphen is almost certainly coming from the castellum Albanianae, which means settlement at the white water.
Some historic information about Alphen at the website of the historic society:
Windmill de Eendracht
Windmill de Eendracht was built in 1898 with parts from de Twee Gebroeders (1752) a windmill
that was no longer in use in the Zaan area. The windmill is in use as a grindingmill, it was bought by
the municipality in the 70´s and is managed by a foundation since.
Volunteers run the windmill every saturday.
When we visited the windmill it was national windmill day and the windmill reopened after a period of restoration. For that occasion they made pancakes with the flour milled here.
The pancakes were free and delicious...........
Inside the windmill one can see the mechanism that makes the grinding stones turn.
Grain is going in.....
........... flour is coming out.
In the old days they used to bake their own bread in these ovens.
No, Dannie and Gonnie are not buying flour. They are buying a booklet about the windmill. That is where all the info came from.
Rudy is taking the pictures.....