Friday 21st June 2013

Objective completed

It rained all night eventually letting up around 8am when I broke camp than as I was about to leave to set off to Oosterbeek (19km) it started again. The waterproof’s worked well yesterday so I set off from SVR De Krim site anyway. Google maps had directed me down a track which was lined with trees so I was protected for the most part from the rain and wind. About an hour in I decided to attempt to make some breakfast for the most part I have been eating sandwiches so I went for some mushroom rice, got the stove going okay but the rice your supposed to steam in the packet which was slightly to big for the pot I was using so after the required cooking time it was not quite done. I am so bad at this stuff! Fuck it I ate it anyway wasn’t to bad.

The track

The track

Breakfast spot

Breakfast spot

Then I continued trudging down the path, I must of missed a turn or something because I ended up coming out in the wrong place adding a few more km to my hike today and it’s still raining after a couple of hours of walking down this road I just had enough of it so I put my thumb out to the very next car coming and to my surprise he stopped. Quickly introducing myself I met another Gerben who very kindly drove out of his way to drop me in Oosterbeek all the way up until him picking me up it had been the most boring hike, within 5 minutes of us driving towards Oosterbeek we started to see interesting things but oh well I was going to get were I was going anyway. Gerben dropped me fairly close to the Airborne Museum which was one of my objectives in Oosterbeek. I said my thanks and jumped out heading off to the museum.

As museum’s go it’s pretty good but as a bit of a WWII buff I pretty much know the store of the battle in Oosterbeek and at Arnhem, the museum is in the original building used by the allies during Operation Market Garden has the airborne headquarters which is cool.

Keeping tally

Keeping tally

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Airborne HQ Hartenstein

Airborne HQ Hartenstein

Not far from the museum is the cemetery which contains the bodies of the British, Polish and Commonwealth forces who died in the area. I don’t mind saying the sight of all those brave men’s graves brought a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat. These man and many millions more are the reason we have the freedom’s we enjoy today we should never forget the sacrifices made. I’d like to think that I would be as brave if I was ever called upon.

I think the thing that saddens most was the number of unknown soldiers lying here, the youngest I saw was 19 the oldest 33. Every year the children of Holland come to put flowers on the graves of the fallen here which shows to what esteem these men are held.

The cemetery it’s self is located in a quiet area on the edge of Oosterbeek and is a very beautiful and peaceful spot with birds singing all around. I hope that the men resting here have found peace. I left my message of respect and quietly walked away to Oosterbeek.

IMG_0760 IMG_0767 IMG_0762

Before I got to Oosterbeek I had attempted to contact Jos from couchsurfing via text message but had received no reply so I assumed he had changed is mind about me staying over, so I started to look for alternative accomidation but there did not seem to be any campsites close by and I really wanted to spend a night indoors a lot of my kit was wet and I wanted to sleep in a bed. Also I had been walking for 6 straight days I think so I started to look for 2 nights accomidation in either Oosterbeek or Arnhem but was unable to find anywhere I could afford or that I could afford but could get me 2 nights in a room on my own. Eventually I booked 1 night in the Stay Okay Arnhem (a hostel chain here) so I headed for Arnhem by bus.

Getting to the Stay Okay I had a 4 room dorm to myself so I got all my wet clothes out to dry and even got my tent out and laid it out in the room. Unfortantly the only time I could get internet access was when I was sat in the bar and they kept serving me drinks so whilst I updated my journal and spoke to people on mIRC I got more and more drunk.

I met a couple of Danes who had travelled down to take their dad to see Bruce Springsteen at Nijmegen for his 60th birthday.

Henry at Stay Okay he kept getting me drinks

Henry at Stay Okay he kept getting me drinks

Drying out in the room

Drying out in the room

Stay Okay Arnhem

Stay Okay Arnhem

The Previous Day

The Next Day

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