Bourtange / Zwolle 07.09.2014
After two weeks of hard work (comparing to the previous business trip I didn't have that much free time except a couple of go outs with colleagues) I needed offline 3-4 days. So I just rented a nice VW Golf and went to amazing Netherlands (I really love this country and not because of Amsterdam, though nobody believes me (: )
One of the places I wanted to visit so bad was fort Bourtange. It is located almost on the border with Germany, though it was not captured even a single time through all the history. The fortress has an interesting architecture: it is built as start fortress and surrounded by water. Unfortunately it's hard to see all the beauty from the ground, but a bird eye photo shows it all.
Despite the fortress has a notable historical value and there is a museum inside, right in the same place there live just normal Dutch. They drink coffee, dry their linen and enjoy the life. I’ve never seen museums where normal people live in (:
The main transport here is bicycles (of course). For all ages.
Every hour (at least it seemed so) there is a costume performance with (should be) interesting comments. Unfortunately they do not talk English or even German. And I didn't manage to learn Dutch yet. Though if you will listen attentively enough it might be possible to understand a bit. As I mentioned here a couple of times already, there is a common joke in Germany, that Dutch is when drunk German speaks English.
Though you shouldn’t simply run away as you do not understand their language. You still can watch how they fire from old guns from 17 century and eve how they use a real cannon. You can even take a picture afterwards.
The village which is located inside the fort is small. In the mid of last century it was not the best time for it. Though the government in 1960 decided to make here a museum and they completely restored the village. So nowadays it looks really good.
What really strikes the eye it is animal breeding. Sheeps, they are everywhere. And I have to say it’s really good sheeps. Maybe it’s cause of the sign to forbid entrance to wolfs (:
For extremely lazy tourists who prefers to avoid 5 minutes walk there is a special bus, who will take you to a parking just for one euro. Though without a car it would be quite difficult to get there. However the entire road to fortress is very picturesque and there are a lot of Holland villages. Like in a fairy tail.
After the Fortress I had to move on. As I was ahead of schedule, there was a change in a route and I was headed to Zwolle, where I was going to spend the night (according to the new plan). It is wonderful city.
There is nothing special in this city. Just another city for about 100 thousand people.
Amazing that city survived the World War II almost without damage. However during liberation preparation it was planned to bomb the city really hard. However it turned out that the city was liberated by a single person Leo Major. French Canadian guy with his army colleague went to explore the enemy position in the city, try to get in touch with allies in the city and safely come back with a bit of information for artillery so they would know how to bomb the city.
Unfortunately on the way to city his fellow was shot and Leo stayed alone. During the city exploration he captured a driver of a Nazi officer who led to the officer in a bar. It turned out that both speak perfect French and Leo told the officer that a massive bombing will start shortly and let them go. In the same time Leo went to the city and started to throw grenades on every corner, shoot to make Nazis panic and think that the storm of the city is started. Major part of Nazis soldiers (several hundreds people) left the city. That's how one guy liberated an entire city with more than 50 thousands citizens without any loss among population.