Rotsoord second visit

Saturday 30 march 2019 another visit to Rotsoord. The weather was much better than the first time I went there. Now I got a good impression for writing the article for the magazin Kampioen of the Ditch Automobile Assocciation.

In the wine and wisky shop Kwestie van Smaak(Matter of taste) I had a small conversation with the sellers there. Below a picture of the various types of wisky

Next to the watertower, there is the restaurant De Zagerij. Here one can see on of the industrial rememberance of the city of Utrecht.

For the little children there is Nieuw Rostoord. A garden with animals, and enough space to play while the parents enjoy their tea or a softdrink.

When you leave Rotsoord at the Diamantweg, turn right and go to the bridge to enjoy the view over the Vaartsche Rijn.

Left Jutfaaseweg and right Rotsoord

Walk along the Jutfaaseweg back to the railway station Vaartsche Rijn. But be careful, on the waterside there is only a cycling path.

Utrecht-Rotsoord first visit

I am following a course ‘writing travelreports’ organized by the Dutch Automobile Association (ANWB). In a nutshell, speakers are teaching how to write an attractive story about a trip, about a cite etc. As final piece the order is to write something about a part of the Dutch city of Utrecht. My daughter in law came with Rotsoord, being a part of Utrecht which is developing itself into a new area where you can eat, drink and relax. I decided to write about his part of Utrecht.

Leaving Utrecht Centraal station by sprinter- train in direction of Geldermalsen/Rhenen, the first stop is Utrecht Vaartsche Rijn. Go out of the station in westerly direction and you find yourself in Rotsoord.

Looking at the second picture you see from left to rigth the Jutfaaseweg, Vaartsche Rijn and left Rotsoord. At this moment the building of an hotel is started. But if you walk along this building area you will notice that there are various places where to sit eat and drink.

View from the Jutfaaseweg

The area is called after a house built in the 17th century by Adrian Oort. He called the house Rotsoord. Begining 1900 all the houses were demolished and a furniture factory Pastoe came instead. This furniture factory was famous by international companies. Expat staff were sent there to by furniture for their house abroad.

Also a big watertower was built to improve the watersupply. Now one can find a nice restaurant in this tower. Sitting there you have a nice view over the city.

The water tower

If you look for wine or wisky’s, there is a shop called ‘Kwestie van smaak’ (matter of taste). here you find a broad selection of wines and wisky’s.

walking through the streets, you come along the Pastoe factory. On the side there is a picture of the factory in the old days.

The factory in the time when no other building/house were present

There is a walking route and on every important spot is a big sign where one can ready and see how it was it the past.

I went there on a rainy grey day. But i have been told and on sunny days you can enjoy yourself there very much. In a blog about my second visit, i will write more about this area.

Keukenhof 2019 – second visit

Wednesday 27 March a second visit to the Keukenhof parkinglot to see if there are Dutch tourbuses. It was almost a trip in vain. There were more Arriva-line buses than tourbuses. Therefore I do not think I will go back the next days.

Keukenhof 2019 – first visit

Since March 21, 2019, the flowershow Keukenhof in Lisse-Holland opened the its doors till May 19, 2019. My particular interest is to see which Dutch buses are coming with tourists.

Next to these buses, buscompany Arriva has four shuttles:

line 852 – Amsterdam RAI/Europaplein-Keukenhof vv

Line 854 Leiden centraal-Keukenhof vv

Line 858 Schiphol Airport-Keukenhof vv

Line 859 Hoofddorp station-Keukenhof vv

Arriva are using buses coming form all parts of Holland. New are this year various buses form their concession Limburg. The buses used are the ones Arriva took over from the EBS buscompany (concession Waterland=North of Amsterdam)

Modern Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostella part 7 – farewell

The last day of the trip arrived. Before going back to the airport in the afternoon, I went around in the city.

A final farewell was paid to the FEVE station. I was lucky because just at hat moment El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo arrived. Unfortunately i stood on the incorrect platform.

Before boarding the bus to the airport at the bus station, I took some time to take various pictures.

At the airport this wonderful trip ended.

Modern Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostella part 7 – again many hours by train

Today back to Bilbao. The FEVE train leaves Leon around 14.00 hours. All the points of interest were visited. And there was plenty of time to pay attention to the public transport.

Before exploring the city I looked for the FEVE station as this was not on the same place as the RENFE station. The cathedral was still closed. A visit was paid to the busstation first.

Going to Bilbao, there was the possibility to take the train to Cistierna first and to wait there the train to Bilbao. Arriving at the station, there was no train. A cleaning woman brought me to the station master. “No you have to take the replacement bus to Asuncion. The bus leaves the same time as the train. And indeed there was an ALSA-bus as train replacement. but before going to the bus i passed a supermarket as the journey to Bilbao would take more than 7 hours.

The journey to Cistierna took one and half hour. The countryside was more country than houses. I understood why FEVE runs only ones a day a direct train to Bilbao and back. It was good to take the train to Cistierna first as there was again enough to see.

Cistierna FEVE 2733-2734 to Bilbao

The journey went well till Mataporquera. Normally the trains Leon-Bilbao and Bilbao_Leon cross here. But today there was no crossing. The rather corpunlent conductor came to say that due to an deraillment of a cargo train a bus will bring us to another station. This bus would come after at least one hour. “If you like, there is bar close by.” He and the driver walked over there. Also a young couple left the station area. Not trusting the whole situation, I stayed close to the station.

Finally the bus, a small bus came. Next to the driver was the conductor of the train from Bilbao which should have come to Mataporquera.

Mataporquera C0llejo 106

This train conductor was a rather noisy person. A normal phone conversation could not be made. And during every loud conversation he cursed. A long stop was in Sotoscueva to wait for a passenger.

Sotoscueva Callejo 1056

In Mercadillo the train was waiting to bring us to Bilbao where the arrival was only half an hour later than planned.

With the arrival in Bilbao I closed the circle of the round trip. I stayed in the same hostal as at the start of the trip, the same day was attending me at the reception desk. She recognized me.

Modern Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostella part 6 – Finally the destination

The next day, Wednesday 3rd of June 2015 I was going to reach my destination, Santiago de Compostella and it famous catherdral and the statue of Saint James.

The schedule for today was, travelling from A Courna to Santiago de Compostella around midday, visiting the cathedral and in the evening by train via Ourense to Leon where I would sleep the next night.

No real early riser as the train I made a reservation for was leaving A Coruna at midday. The day started cloudy and due to the Ocean close by, rather foggy and fresh. Nevertheless I walked through the city and made here and there pictures. It goes without saying also from buses. Around eleven I travelled by bus to the station. The busstop there was in front of the busstation for long distance buses.

A Coruna my RENFE train to Santiago de Compostella

And so finally I stepped on the platform of the station Santiago de Compostella.

Santiago de Compostella

Walking up hill to the cathedral I did not stop taking pictures from amongst others the city buses.

After visiting the cathedral and touching the statue of Saint James I looked for a place to eat. There was enough time to explore the city a bit more and in time I was back at the station. Here I found an old locomotive and carriage belonging to the Association of train hobbyists of Galicia.

The train to Ourense was full. It was good that I had a reserved seat. Before boarding long distance trains, one has to pass security like on an airport.

In Ourense I had to change trains.And in between I made a peakview at outside the station.

Ourense RENFE 232-013-8

The trenhotel I had to take arrived with delay. To Montforte de Lemos the average speed was 30 km/ph. The route was very curvy. In Montforte de Lemos the train stopped around 20 minutes waiting another trenhotel. So time enough to make at least pictures on the platform.

At midnight Leon was reached.

Leon RENFE 252-013-8

The hostal was next to the railway station. Was not easy to find. I had a print from Google maps. But the whole situation was changed. The old station building was closed. This was not yet mentioned on the map. Around thirty minutes past midnight I closed my eyes. It was an exiting day. Adn in Santiago de Compostella it was warm and sunny.

Modern Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostella part 5 – From Ferrol to A Coruna

After arriving in Ferrol the first thing was to find a place to eat. No walking distance, Plaza de Espana, there were a few bars annex restaurants. They all offered the menu del dia. On a blackboard you can see what the menu is. I paid 4.50 euro for the menu plus drinks. The barman gave me a map of Ferrol. I had a few hours to ‘kill’ before going by train to A Coruna. Of course i took pictures of the buses I saw.

In time I walked back to the station. here both FEVE and RENFE trains are departing. The FEVE trains to Xubia and further and the RENFE trains to Betanzos and further. There was time enough to take various pictures before boarding the train.

My train to A Coruna was scheduled to depart at 17.16 hours. A two-set diesel train completely empy. But during the journey some passengers boarded at other stations.

RENFE diesel train inside.

The only long stop was at Betanzos-Infesta. Here the train had to wait for seven minutes on the arrival of the tren-hotel from A Coruna to Barcelona. Time enough to make pictures.

Betanzos_Infesta arrival of the tren-hotel from A Coruna

The tren-hotel arrived, I went back inside the train and the journey continued to A Coruna. Citybus line 5 brought me to the hotel where I would stay for the night. Due to the ‘summertime’ long day light I could do city exploring and taking pictures. The evening meal was taken at the Maria Pitti square.

Around ten ‘o clock I went to the hotel for the night.

Modern Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostella part 4 – a long journey

Today 2nd of may 2015 an early riser and a long journey. Between Oviedo and Ferrol there are only two trains a day. The first one is already leaving at 07.30 in the morning with arrival in Ferrol around 14.30 hours. Being a train ride of almost 7 hours. And since this train leaves early, I needed to get up early as well. In the bar of the railway station I took breakfast. Croissant, coffee and jus ‘d orange.

In time I walked up to the platform from where my train to Ferrol would leave. Of course a picture is taken of the train which would bring me to Ferrol. this train has the nickname Apolo.

FEVE 24726-2476 Oviedo

Without knowing that in Trubia the train would change direccion I choose the first seat in the first carriage. The train left in time. I was one of the few passengers on the train. And in Ferrol it turned out that i was the only one who made the Oviedo-Ferrol ride completely. The first part was under the ground. After 19 minutes the train arrived in Trubia. Here the driver walked to the other cabin and the train parted after three minutes in oposite direccion. Now I was siting in the last carriage and on the last seat. In one door the window was open. I could make pictures without the mirroring of the window. But also pictures through the window were taken. Like the next one. This is the train from San Esteban via Pravia-Trubia to Oviedo.

FEVE 3303 together with 3304) to Oviedo at Vega de Anzo

The first ‘big’ station was Pravia. here the lines Gijon-Aviles, Pravia-Ferrol and Pravia-San Esteban are coming together.

FEVE 3632+3631 Pravia

The Apolo train looks old fashioned, in the inside however it is very comfortable. The seats are good for this 7 hours journey.

The train is passing many stations before reaching Ferrol. Most of them are closed. Or only a small platform in the middle of nowhere. The next pictures are giving an impression.

As een on the last picture, in Ribadeo there was one minute to take a quick picture outside the train as we have to wait for the train from Ferrol to Oviedo. A big part of the route after Luarca, the train followed the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

Close to Marzan with the Ocean at the background

A ‘big’ station was Burela, a small town with a fishersmens’ port.

During the journey passengers were joining and leaving the train. A conductor were selling tickets as at almost all stations it is not possible to buy them. In Viveiro the train stopped for at least two minutes, waiting for the train from Ferrol. The train personnel were leaving the the train, so I understood that it would be longer than two minutes. During the time I took pictures I kept an eye on the the driver and the conductor. When they would board again I did the same.

The journey continued passing again abandoned stations.

FEVE 2476-2426 waiting at Cerdido

The next station were there was enough time to take pictures was Xubia, close to Ferrol. Waiting time was two minutes, but it took longer before the incoming train arrived. In the meantime I took pictures and other passengers enjoyed the nice weather. It was around 27 degrees.

Finally after 7 hours Ferrol was reached.

After taking a few pictures it was time to leave the station and looking for a place to have lunch. After a couple of hours I will come back to take the RENFE train, right picture, to A Coruna where I will stay for the night. But more on this part in a next blog.

Modern Pilgrim to Santiago de Compostella part three – a rainy day

Today 1st of Juni 2015 an early riser. During the night it rained heavily and when I left the hotel it was still light rain and rather dark. The first stop was planned in Torrelavega.

After Torrelavega the next stop was Puente San Miguel. During work days this station is the end of the ‘cercania’ Santander-Puente San Miguel. Here the trains tot Cabezon de la Sal and to Oviedo have a stop as well.

Here I waited for the train to Oviedo. Still light rain. But that did not stop me from looking around. The stationmaster(a lady) asked me for my destination. “I will ask which platform.” After a minute she came outside again. Platform 2 at the other side. So I crossed the tracks and waited on platform 2 the train to Oviedo.

FEVE 2709-2710 to Oviedo Puente San Miguel

I boarded the train for a ride of almost 4 hours to the next stop El Berron. The train was rather full. It was Monday morning and there was no holidays. At a station a group of students joined the train. It seems that they were on an excursion. The next pictures gave an impression of the stations along the route.

In El Berron I decided(was planned) to leaver the train. El Berron is a crossing of the lines Santander-Oviedo and Gijon-Laviana. East-west and north-south. Here I stayed around thirty minutes for the necessary pictures and continued with the train from Laviana to Oviedo.

Already from the train I saw the hotel where I booked a room for the night. A simple. hotel, type hostel. No eat or drink facilities. I left my backpack in the room and with a map of the city, received from the lady at the reception desk, I started to explore Oviedo.

Of course a visit was made to the famous cathedral and of the various city buses.

Before going to sleep.items for the next day were bougth in the supermarket which is on top of the station. The next day the trip to Ferrol, more than seven hours, was on the schedule. So food and drinks to buy . And at ten o’clock I closed my eyes.