Driel must be quite religious, but then a lot of countryside villages are (in contrast to the town). The other church is modern and has a high tower with a copper pointy roof. This roof is like a symbol of driel and visible from over quite some distance. This, Catholic, church is also bigger as the majority of the inhabitants of Driel are Roman...more
After the battle was over, Driel became a frontline village. Most inhabitants left and parts of the "Betuwe" were inundated (set under water). During the fights in September some civilians already were killed, but the village became almost a ghost town in the winter 44-45. After the liberation they returned and 'til now it's definately one of the...more
September 1944. The battle of Arnhem has been lost, but the mayor force of several thousand British are still trapped in Oosterbeek, North of the river Rhine. Surrounded and outnumbered by much better armed Nazi's they struggle to survive and then the command of withdrawl arrives in the hand of General Urquhart. First the tragedy of Driel took...more
Driel is situated on the Southern banks of the river Lower Rhine. Here it flows straight along the hills of the "Veluwe" that runs up to around 100 meter high North of the river. Driel itself is in the low riverlands and has had - like the rest of the "Betuwe" - it's share of floadings throughout the centuries. Now-a-days a delta level high dike is...more
When in the church, you will be treated immediately by all there is to know about the building and it's history and contents. Mr. Willemsen will tell you everything in full enthousiasm. Also about the organ, that has been "inherited" from a Welsh village with which Driel has warm contacts. Weather these contacts have anything to do with the...more
Trying to contact the family Willemsen for a look inside the church is surely worth while the effort. The small and old church holds a magnificent "kansel" (preachers chair) that dates back from 1714. The wooden sculpture is incredably fine and has spectacular great forms and figures (see also travellogue for a detailed look).more
Started as a Roman Catholic church, the most significant building in Driel is for sure the old Dutch Reformed church. The building dates back to 1400, the year that the village of Driel was already known in the environment as a fruit basket. Farmers here sold their products on the "illegal" market of medieval Arnhem, as the town didn't even have...more
The "tap" within the river Rhine of course also can deliver difficulties. When it's closed, ships wouldn;t be able to get along, if not there was a seperate lock system running by the island that has been created within the river. Yes, to let migrating fish pass, there's even a fish ladder built so that we hopefully one day will find salmon back in...more
When you stand on the riverdike near Driel, you gaze upon one of the wonders of water engineering in The Netherlands. Here the Rhine has been tamed by actually putting a "tap" in it. This "tap" is a movable dam. Just twenty kilometres upstream the IJssel runs North and this is quite economically an important waterway. However naturally this river...more
There is no bridge near Driel. There's one 10 kilometers West (Heteren) and there's three crossing the Rhine in Arnhem. However, near driel is the little environmental friendly ferry for pedestrians and cyclists. The ferry is going on solar energy and connects the small village with Oosterbeek.more
From Arnhem there is a regular bus connection to Driel and Heteren. This bus runs over the dike and offers you a wonderful view over the river and the rising hills on the other side. The same dike can be used by car or bicycle to reach the village of Driel.more
The river Rhine delivered for a long time the clay that was used to bake stones bricks from. Along the Lower Rhine alone there were almost a hundred brick factories, of which now-a-days only a few have survived. Some closed in the last decades, some already earlier. Sometimes the factories are left, slowly deteriorating in the river bed and falling...more
Driving along the dike of Driel you will see them several times. Large signs, often in the form of fruit, that tell where, when and especially which fruits are to be bought here. In a farmhouse down the dike or somewhere else, one can buy fresh fruits straight from the tree gardens and against low prices. Driel has a tradition of fruits and not for...more
Driel itself is totally "off the beaten path" and 99,99999% of the people will never go here or even hear about this place. Still, people that stay longer in Arnhem and have me as guide, will no doubt get a bicycle under their behind and are experiencing a ride along the dike to Driel and across the Rhine to Doorwerth and back. This bikingtour is short and definately one of my favourites. On a sunny day and finishing with pancakes at the nearby restaurant, a better day does almost not excist.
Driel has been a place that lay on the start of my Western bicycle-tours. It's wonderful wide open landscape and country roads invited to speed up and get started for the 60 to 120 kilometers that were planned for the day. Other times the "skyline" of Driel invited to visit a friend. Gera and Charlotte, two nieces where I was always welcomed warmly. Charlotte now lives in England, Gera still nearby.
Fondest memory: Gera. She was an unexpected girlfriend that was a niece of a girlfriend from my high school. As crazy as I was, we had some great times and ... started different lifes. However, we are still friends, now and then contacting and getting together again.