A great day with some very special people

Apeldoorn Travel Blog

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Train station Apeldoorn

Today was my third TB meet-up. I had been to one in Friesland and one in Leiden but this was the first one I actually organised myself which was a lot of fun! Initially the plan was for me to go to a presentation about Australia, held by a Dutch travel company. To a lot of people that might sound strange as I lived in Australia for almost six years. The reason for me to go here was to spy. Yes, to SPY. I would love to start a travel organisation specialising in Australia sometime in the future, and I am doing a lot of research which includes checking out my potential competition! So I had a date and a time but decided I might as well make the most of it and see a bit of Apeldoorn or have coffee with a couple of people.

Waiting at the train station
I posted a message on TB asking if anyone was interested and suddenly I was organising a meet-up in a town where I had maybe set foot twice in my life! In the end Anna was recruited to help organise as people wanted to stay longer than was possible for me and it turned into a two day meet-up.

I took the train from Meppel (with my mum and youngest daughter initially as they were travelling to Ireland today) and after a couple of changes arrived in Apeldoorn with about an hour to spare. Luckily Carla got there early as well and we sat down at cafe La Place at the trainstation with some coffee and caught up on everything that had happened since we saw each other last in Leiden. Then Maike arrived and we waited around for a little bit for a few others to arrive.

At the Graaf van Vlaanderen
Maike was coming to the presentation with me, and we were waiting for Philip and his brother Mark (in vain, as there had been a slight miscommunication). Carla was waiting for Brett and two friends who were going to go on a walking tour in Apeldoorn (also in vain, as there had been another slight miscommunication)... Then Daniel (Frostbourne) arrived and he decided to join Carla. Maike and I ended up getting a taxi to the presentation which was being held at Hotel Cantharel on the outskirts of Apeldoorn. There we met Jacqueline who had also decided to go, and Philip and Mark arrived soon after.

The presentation was ok, although nothing to write home about. I think I could have found a lot more information on TB than this organisation was giving us, it was all the standard stuff. A few things that bothered me was that even though the people presenting had lived in Australia, they could not pronounce anything correctly.

De Graaf van Vlaanderen
And they completely forgot about the ACT (Australian Capital Territory), which I know is small but it is quite important as it houses the government! I did meet some other visitors there who had just come back from Rockhampton, where I lived for all my time in Australia, so it was fun to talk to them about it. One thing I did learn was that there are waterbuffalo's in Australia, I did not know that.

After the presentation we went back to the train station and met up with the others. From there we walked to De Graaf van Vlaanderen, where I had reserved space for the group. It was not easy to find as there is no sign on the outside but apparently they are still in the process of getting permission from the local government as is a protected building... It's a bar with a lot (and I mean a lot!) of Belgian beers, and I wanted to make it a little bit international.

Eef, Rudy and Maike
Bart, Anna and I all bought a round to celebrate our respective birthdays. Jessica had come on her own and was about to turn around and drive back home because she couldn't find the place, when I noticed her messages on my phone. So luckily I was able to talk to her and explain a little bit where the place was.

After leaving the bar we walked to Mediterrance, a restaurant where I had booked an all inclusive buffet. Soup, salads, meat, fish and other side dishes, beer, wine, soft drinks and coffee and tea, all you can eat and drink (within three hours) for €27,50. Not a bad deal I thought! All the food was Mediterranean style and most of it was quite nice. We had an excellent time here, and it made it very special when Anna, BJ and myself got leied, and later on were given a dessert with fireworks and some wonderful presents from our fellow TB-ers! Thanks again guys.

;)
.. Grace and Edwin arrived a little later in the evening as well which was great!

Just before leaving the restaurant we had a group picture taken with some chocolate letters (great idea Jos, as if we weren't full enough yet! :P) by the chef, who had a very hard time understanding the words: stand on the chair! We then went outside and some of us (including Daniel who was staying in Meppel for the night and myself) had to say our goodbyes... So Carla, Eef, Daniel and I walked back to the train station and got on our respective trains, or so we thought.... The train Daniel and I were supposed to get on arrived at a different platform, and the train which was at the platform we thought we were leaving from took us to Zutphen! (I know, I should have double checked.

Rudy
..) Anyway, from Zutphen we did make our way to Meppel but we might as well have partied on for another hour and gotten the last train as we would have been home at the exact same time! After a last drink it was time to call it a night.

It was a great day and I'm glad I got to talk to some people I hadn't spoken to (in real life) before. Still it was not enough though, but with a group this size that is hard to do. But there will be other meet-ups!

I would like to thank a very good friend of mine who unfortunately couldn't be there but made sure his presence was felt through others!

PS: The quality of my pictures is not great unfortunately but I didn't want to "flash" people all the time. You get the idea though!

Biedjee says:
LOL @ Steve! Must've been at the wrong party - all I got was a travel book and some chocolate letters :-)
Posted on: Nov 17, 2008
pms70 says:
Nothing like that Stevie, although that might have been even more fun! LOL
A lei is one of those Hawaiian flower necklace things, so getting leied (not sure if this is the correct term or not but I liked it) basically means someone putting one around your neck...
Posted on: Nov 17, 2008
Stevie_Wes says:
This sounds like a fun gathering pal (despite the humorous amount of "miscommunications" and missed transport links ;D) It makes me miss the vibes of Tb Meetups although Leiden remains my only one to date, it remains in a special place in my travel-heart. By the way what does getting 'leied' mean. Is this a humorous typo or is it a Dutch word lost on me? Frankly the sentence clause "BJ and I got leied" almost sounds pretty rude in English ;D lol I'm sure all can be explained.
Posted on: Nov 17, 2008
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Train station Apeldoorn
Train station Apeldoorn
Waiting at the train station
Waiting at the train station
At the Graaf van Vlaanderen
At the Graaf van Vlaanderen
De Graaf van Vlaanderen
De Graaf van Vlaanderen
Eef, Rudy and Maike
Eef, Rudy and Maike
;)
;)
Rudy
Rudy
Carla
Carla
Daniel
Daniel
Anna
Anna
Bart-Jan and I
Bart-Jan and I
Anna, BJ and I
Anna, BJ and I
Walking to the restaurant
Walking to the restaurant
Waiting in line at the restaurant
Waiting in line at the restaurant
Waiting in line at the restaurant 2
Waiting in line at the restaurant 2
The chef
The chef
Jos, Philip, Anna and Carla
Jos, Philip, Anna and Carla
Lieke, the salad buffet and Melissa
Lieke, the salad buffet and Melissa
The table
The table
The table from the other side
The table from the other side
Eef
Eef
Eef and Melissa
Eef and Melissa
Hmmm
Hmmm
Brett
Brett
BJ, Mark and Jacqueline
BJ, Mark and Jacqueline
Jessica, Anna, Philip, Maike, Liek…
Jessica, Anna, Philip, Maike, Lie…
Jos
Jos
Maike
Maike
Dessert
Dessert
Presents!
Presents!
Grace
Grace
Mark, Jacqueline, Rudy, Marthijn, …
Mark, Jacqueline, Rudy, Marthijn,…
The group!
The group!
I love TB
I love TB
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photo by: johanhoogstad