International Rover Meeting 2016, Netherlands
On the occasion of its 45th anniversary, the Rover Owners Club Holland invited to this year's international meeting from 6 to 8 May.
With the memories of the meetings of the last years in Varese, Linz and Bad Salzuflen, we have registered with anticipation for the meeting in Raalte. On our journey from Hamburg we were already able to slow down in Holland – 80km/ on the country road, speed-controlled traffic lights, no overtaking. It was just as comfortable with some program points and a few kilometers drive between the coffee and cake breaks through the ultimately two days of the meeting.
We have followed the differences in the mentality of the organizers with interest. The informal gathering on the first evening was just that, without greeting, without information about the course of the event. Of course, the Dutch participants knew each other, some (close to the border) German participants also and the Czechs and we Austrians finally found a connection.
On Friday the way led us to Beekbergen. The 39km route over small and smallest side roads bring us closer to the rural areas and beautiful forests. Our destination is called "Veluwse Stoomtrein Maatschappij", on well german a steam railway company. And what a one! Compared to the English museum railways, there is a wide variety of historical rolling stock and a wide variety of steam and diesel locomotives in a professionally managed operation run by 250 volunteers. Hats off also to the operations manager, who brings us closer to his railway in Dutch, German and with a few words in Czech.
The parked steam locomotives also provide a very nice background for photos with our cars – René Winters from ROCH literally works hard to capture extraordinary perspectives.
The program item for the afternoon has to do with cars again. We visit the Klassik Ford Museum, which is housed in a former paper mill. Again, we get our own guided tour through the small but fine collection of mainly Ford A models, but also some other beautiful classic cars.
To close the gap until dinner, we make a trip to Arnhem on our own, the more beautiful and closer Apeldoorn is already closed off because of the Giro d'Italia.
On Saturday, 25m walk from the hotel to the adjacent Harley-Davidson Museum, supposedly the largest of its kind in Europe, was announced. The collection is indeed impressive and if we had understood some of the stories and explanations of the owner, we would certainly have been completely thrilled.
Then we tried to get to Jansen Karosseriebau on the basis of the roadbook. Basically, with Dutch roadbooks you only need to know four or five words to be able to read them. Nevertheless, we got frayed after the third turn, following a group of Dutchmen. But when we begin to get angry about our own inability, the group also begins to turn wildly or turn in any direction. Our second attempt to get back into the roadbook also failed ... seems to have a bug, the roadbook. In any case, we find the opportunity to perceive the landscape more intensively and to enjoy the weather. In the driveway in front of the company building there are tasty pancakes on an outpatient basis and after dinner we visit the company. In addition to e.g. the Rover Specials, new bodies are also created here for other, high-priced vehicles according to the best craftsmanship tradition, but not always with the original means.
Saturday evening is traditionally the day for the gala dinner and the official part of an international meeting. In Dutch this is called the barbecue buffet and after inquiries the colleagues of the RFDeV and we get the opportunity to convey the greetings of our presidents and the gifts.
What remains are the memories of beautiful early summer weather, many very nice conversations and the anticipation of the meeting 2017 in Brno (CZ).