Kempen 19 March – Helen and the Biscuit Factory

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Oh dear.

Oh dearie me.

Last night whilst chatting to the Rodday family who live downstairs Frank happened to let slip that there’s a biscuit factory in Kempen which has a Werksverkauf (a factory outlet shop thingie). He said Gudula was there buying some more Prinz-Rollen (the factory is for the manufacturer Griesson de Beukelaer). Well I don’t particularly like Prinz Rollen but he said “they sell other stuff too”, I assumed more biscuits and waffles. He thought I ought to go and visit. Gudula duly arrived with a box of things which included chocolate biscuit fingers and stuff, it looked good. She said things were half price there.

So when I woke up this morning rather early (6am!) I plotted my day – which would include packing and loading the car to leave here by 5pm – and a cycle ride to the biscuit factory seemed well within my capabilities.

Poppy and I went out for an early walk. Long shadows but a clear day.

Poppy was bumbling around as normal in her yellow jacket.

We walked for about half and hour and then I had breakfast, plotted a route on my Garmin and set out on my trike.

This was today’s route:
19 March map

It was cooler today than yesterday so I needed my jacket and my buff around my neck.

I headed off towards Wachtendonk (north west) and passed this field of red cabbages.

You see a lot of these buildings in Germany – they make me think of East German watchtowers but I think this one is something to do with electricity.

I arrived in Wachtendonk.

In Obereyell I saw this rather lovely little chapel.

A recent build!

The view towards Aldekerk.


Interesting display outside a house – had they just got married?


I recognised this huge tank and series of buildings from a ride several days ago (when I went in the opposite direction). It seems to be a garden centre/nursery which also has a bit more going on…

This explains it.

This is looking across to Tönisberg and other areas which are this big lump of earth dumped by a glacier. I assumed I’d have to go over it. Fun!

The hill approaches!

Fortunately my route took me up a very gentle bit of hill and I soon arrived in…

And then…

It was getting a bit chilly now and some rainclouds were massing so I put my foot down a bit and tried to cover the remaining eight miles as quickly as possible.

I passed a golf course with lots of chaps out playing, plus passed lots of cyclists trundling along (generally older people going very slowly with shopping in their baskets)

As I approached Sankt Hubert the rain started and I half thought about going straight home but it was only a three mile detour to the biscuit factory and I thought I might as well have a look.

I arrived at Griesson de Beukelaer, parked my trike and locked it and took my bags in with me.

As soon as I passed through the door I saw this:

Those aren’t biscuits, they’re Lindt Chocolate! Yes, this factory also stocked Lindt stuff.

Fortunately it was only a fifth of the size of the Lindt factory outlet I visited in Aachen a couple of years ago. That factory did serious damage to my waistline!

Look at all these little Easter Eggs!

And a whole load of Ritter Sport!

I bought a selection of goodies (not THAT many really)…

I then headed back to Sankt Hubert where I bought some bakery goodies to take home to James (and some for me too, of course).

Once I arrived back at the apartment I put Alfie straight in the car.

Statistics for today’s ride:
Distance – 28.13 miles
Moving time – 2 hours 33 minutes
Average speed – 11.03mph
Maximum speed – 23.18mph
Average heart rate – 126
Maximum heart rate – 155
Calories burned – 1067
Climb – 147

It’s worth noting that whilst I’ve been in Kempen I’ve cycled 196 miles and my total climb is 1767 feet. I can do that climb distance cycling to Sudbury and back (50 miles) where I live. It really is FLAT around here!!!

The dog was beginning to look a little worried (she can always tell when things are going on and hates me packing) so I took her for another hour’s walk before doing some serious packing. I had this nice little pastry to give me energy for the tidying up!

On my last walk around the lanes I reflected on the really obvious difference between Germany and the UK – infrastructure. The German roads are almost all really decent and none have the wretched surface dressing that the UK uses so much at the moment (and that never works properly). Signage is largely clear, trunk roads seem to carry the majority of the traffic (there aren’t lots of rat runs that I’ve noticed) and the whole place is clean, tidy and neat. Cyclists are treated with much more respect so consequently there are loads more of them. People try to shop local and they enjoy their fresh bread at the bakery every day.

Of course, not everything here is great (I gather German TV is pretty hopeless – I’m definitely going to miss the BBC!) but it is interesting visiting somewhere which is roughly comparable in population and farming to Great Bromley, where I live in England, and seeing the differences. It’s noticeable that they don’t have hedges around the fields here, and I haven’t spotted any public footpaths (if such a thing exists here) so everyone walks on the roads, but when there’s only one car every five minutes that doesn’t seem to matter.

I’m really looking forward to coming back in thirteen months time to live – I have plenty of paperwork-type things to sort out in the meantime, but this will give me something to do next Winter!

So I’m packing up the computer now and getting ready for our voyage to the Hoek van Holland with the rush hour traffic. I may be some time!

And now I am home…

The journey to Hoek van Holland was fine. I parked the car near the Albert Heijn supermarket and Poppy and I walked up and down the main street looking for somewhere to eat. In the end we found a pizza place that didn’t mind Poppy coming in and I had a pizza. Afterwards I still had about an hour to kill so wandered off to see if I could find a cup of tea – there was a café just a few doors down that allowed dogs, did cups of tea and various bits of food and had free wi-fi, so I hung out there drinking tea and chatting with the café owner.

Pops and I went back to the car and got on the ferry. She wasn’t any more keen to get in the kennel on the ferry and I had to go back and check up on her after half an hour in my cabin (I could see her sticking her paw out of the kennel and kind of paddling it as if she were distressed). In the end I just had to leave her – she can’t come to harm in the kennel. There was a border terrier in the room with her and he was whining and howling a lot so I don’t suppose they had a particularly good night’s sleep.

The ferry arrived at Harwich on time and I was on the road back home by 6:45am, arriving just after seven and waking James up (well, Poppy woke him up by jumping on the bed!)

All in all an excellent holiday and although Poppy doesn’t seem to like the ferry she survives it and it makes for a much less stressful journey for me.


  1. Hola! I’ve been reading your weblog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Tx! Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent work!

    1. Thank you!

      In a month’s time I’m heading over to Germany/Austria/Switzerland for another long cycle ride (probably around three weeks) so keep an eye on my blog as I cycle around Bodensee/Lake Constance and then cycle back to Cologne along the Rhine!

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