The Hidden Village

During WWII a number Jews worked with local Dutch residents to build a “village” in the forest where the Jews could hide from the Nazi soldiers. Together they dug deep caves and built them into underground huts where many Jews would hide for two years — 1942-1944. They were fed by residents in the nearby village, had access to two doctors and a dentist and were near a water source. The Jews were sure to speak softly so not to be heard, and they wore dark clothing to not be easily seen. If someone in the village had gotten seriously ill, the police would take them to the hospital on the back of his motorcycle. The policeman would pretend he was arresting that person.

One day a Nazi soldier spotted a young boy carrying water from place to place. While the soldier went back to report this to his commander, the boy ran to the village and told them that he had been seen. They ran from the village and of the 87 who were there, all but 8 escaped. Those 8 were killed after being forced to dig their own graves. 

This was an extremely interesting place to visit and a very interesting, and sad, story to hear.

Along our bike path today we stopped to look at the “Oreo” cows. We had seen some of these cows on an earlier day, but didn’t have time to stop for a camera shot.

Today we rode on “Old Land” and “New Land” (Nieuland). The new land was made by pumping out water to the sea and building up the land. When they did that it the 1960s,, they actually found ships and airplanes or at least parts of them from under the sea. The new land is well,  new by comaparison, and there are no quaint little villages or old beautiful buildings. Much of it is open land or newly constructed buildings.

Fortunately we spent the marjority of our day on the old land ;’-). Our mid-morning coffee stop was in one of those wonderful villages — Elburg

Our biggest challenge today was not the 44 miles we rode, it was the severe headwind for the last 5 of those miles! Finally, after what seemed an interminable time, we arrived to board the Lena Maria in ZeeWolde, for an afternoon sail to our port for the night in Spakenburg.

Spakenburg is a fishing village. The harbor is too shallow for the sailing fishing boats to have a keel, so they are equipped with lee boards that they lower on either side depending on the current and wind.

Today was our penultimate ride for this tour — tomorrow we part ways with our cycling buddies.

Every evening Francine posts a list for the next day’s route and other information. Note the sad face ;’-(

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