11-Oct-2009 -- After visiting CP 53N10E at 8-Oct-2009 I spent some days with my friend in Hamburg. This friendship started in the kindergarten in the Netherlands, we are now 65!
Returning to the Netherlands I took the northern route over Bremen, Oldenburg, Leer, direction Groningen (NL). You have to be careful with the name Groningen; the city of Groningen is the capital of the province of Groningen.
In this northeastern part of the Netherlands, close to the town of Stadskanaal is CP53N07E, not yet visited by me. And at only 12 km from the CP a friend and his wife run a Bed & Breakfast.
Two reasons not to take the exit to Groningen but to continue at motorway A31. After another 40 km I took exit # 17. I followed my navigation system, crossed the border of Germany and The Netherlands via a small but very old road called the Hassebergerweg to the “Hassehof” (52.9468 °N, 7.1519 °E), the house of my friend in Sellingen. This 100-year-old farmhouse now houses a modern B&B accommodation.
From Sellingen to the CP goes via small agricultural roads through the typical landscape of East Groningen. When approaching the CP from the East it is better to turn right in Vledderveen. If, like me, you don’t, you have to turn left at the !-mark in #6 to a parallel road which after 200 m turns to the right and runs in parallel with a larger road. Driving this way you pass by the Vledderbos, a park like forest that looks very geometrical from the air.
Arriving close to the CP it was raining cats and dogs. I parked my car alongside the road at an entrance to the field and waited because a bright spot in the sky promised better circumstances.
Through the raindrops on my window I had a faint view of the CP. The bright spot marks the open sky above the city of Stadskanaal. After a quarter of an hour the rain stopped and I walked into the field and found the 2 x 5 zero position. The whole field and the CP are overgrown mainly with Common Chickweed (Stellaria media). The N, E, S and W photographs show the flatness of the field and the dark clouds above. The West view is more or less identical to the view through the raindrops.
Since the 15th century people harvested peat in this region. After digging the peat a sandy soil rested. In the 20th century the cultivation of rye and potatoes replaced the peat business. Immense differences between poor workers and rich owners of ground and agricultural based industries made this area a bastion of the Dutch communist party.
Growing potatoes is still a common activity; photograph #9 shows enormous heaps of potatoes waiting for transport. The insert shows the leaves of a young potato plant.
Sometimes you see peculiar names of villages “Kopstukken” is the name of a village but it is also a Dutch word for people performing above standard. Another village is named “Hongerige Wolf” which translates to “Hungry Wolf”. Typical for this area are long straight roads (#8 bottom).
For the transportation of the peat long channels were dug. Alongside these channels houses were built and elongated cities were formed like Stadskanaal. Stad means city or town and kanaal means channel. The city of Stadskanaal is built along a channel with the same name Stadskanaal. Photograph #10 shows two opposite views from the bridge.
This visit is my 50th visit to a CP but it is the 48th unique visit, so for a celebration there are still two CPs to go.