Old Dordrecht

I’d never been to Dordrecht, it was just another town in Holland. It was just a name on a sign as we drove along the A20 from Hoek van Holland to Utrecht. Until I went. Then it became another pretty Dutch town, packed with history and interest. I reckon you should give it a whirl if you ever go to Holland. It’s got the old Dutch charm about it that Volendam has but it’s not commercial.

It was Monday when we went so most of the shops were closed, as they do all over Holland, Belgium and Germany. It was quiet and peaceful. The shops that were open were mainly antique, second hand stuff and a couple of street side cafes.

We found a garden with bits of a shot down Lancaster bomber in it. Preserved in memory of the crew who died in the crash. In England the land would most likely have been snapped up by some greedy property developer, moved the scrap iron and built a basic, boring brick and breeze block two up, two down flat then flogged it for some ridiculous price to some mugs with more money than sense. In this beautiful town the memory of the brave crew is preserved.

The town is accessible via road of course but it’s easier to park up in Rotterdam and get the river taxi.

If you are travelling in Holland, it is best to buy an “OV” card, which stands for Openbaar Vervoer (public transport). They cost €7.50 and last up to 5 years. You need a minimum of €4 on (€20 on a train).  It’s like the London Oyster card but far more flexible and way cheaper.

All you do is, each time you get on a train, tram, bus or river taxi, is flash your card in front of a scanner when you get on, and flash it in front of the same scanner when you get off. The cost of the trip is automatically deducted. You can see the balance as you do this as well. Every town, village and city in Holland has exactly the same system so you can go anywhere in Holland on one bit of plastic.

However, if you go overdrawn and are still travelling on it you can get fined. It’s a brilliant system though, you can top it up to a maximum of €150 by coin, or if you have a Dutch bank account, which we do, by debit or credit card.  It won’t even take American Express! And definitely not RBS!

Some pictures of Dordrecht.

dordrecht01 dordrecht02 dordrecht03 dordrecht04 dordrecht05

 

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2 comments

  1. There are some sheepish towns in the UK.

    A little local heritage centre is looking after an engine of a WWII plane until the locality where it was found are able to provide proper care for it.

    I had heard that when the auto pay system first was used in Holland it was exceedingly expensive. It sounds like structural adjustments have been made.

    Like

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