Weekend trip: Kidsreporter visited the second Netherlands

Nijmegen. At the invitation of the NRZ, two child reporters left in May with their families to the “second Netherlands”. The first account comes from the Kasper family in Geldern, who had a lot of experience in Nijmegen.

“After an hour’s drive, where we could already see a lot of greenery and animals, we arrived at the Oortjeshekken hotel on Ooijpolder near Nijmegen. As the hotel already looked so cozy from the outside and we had read before that all the rooms are different and have been used differently in the past, we were very excited. And indeed: we had two beautiful and very different rooms for us. We looked at them as well as the terraces (the stork’s nest was very close to one) and the beautiful green area outside and went for a walk. The weather was great for the great loop through the Ooijpolder and around Lake Bisonbaai, but unfortunately too cold for swimming. We saw many water birds such as swans and ducks, but also the first wild horses and cattle.

Trip to Africa

The next day we met for a delicious breakfast. We were visited by many small birds that flew up very close and probably wanted some of our food. Then we went to the African Museum. Since the exhibition was inside and outside, we started outside when the weather was fine. There were many different houses from different African countries, and you could enter some of them. Some were empty, but in some there were also things like carpets that were made in Africa and simple furniture and kitchen utensils that we no longer have in Germany.

The interior with various exhibition rooms was also very interesting. We were able to see African costumes, art and also monuments. In addition, we read a lot about human development and human rights in Africa before heading to our next destination, Fort Pannerden.

Fort with escape rooms

On the way, we saw many wild horses again. As we did not have that much time, we were delighted when a small electric car from Fort Pannerden pulled up to drop us off at the entrance. At the checkout, we decided on an “escape room” as part of the program. Although “peace” is not correct: there were several rooms in which we had to solve many tasks involving the four elements of fire, earth, water and air.

A nice employee explained to us how it works, which took us to a great viewing platform from which we could even see Kleve. He also told us a bit about the history of Fort Pannerden, but also about the formation of many hills and mountains by the elements. On the way back to the car, we decided to take a walk to get a better look at the many wild horses and their foals that were very trusting. Although it’s still better not to touch them because they are not pets, but really free wild horses!

Eventually we went to the Thornsche Molen restaurant for dinner and came back to the hotel late and tired to bed.

Pancakes for water!

On the last day, we drove to the center of Nijmegen to visit the museum “de Bastei” as the first point of the trip. Here we had an exciting guided tour with Mr. van den Elzen, during which we were able to ask many questions. We started outside outside the bastion and learned a lot about the architecture and the ruling nobility at the time, and also saw some older photos from the past.

In the bastion itself, there was a lot more interesting stuff to know about the bastion’s history and functions back then, but there was also something to try, like the digital cannon. Then there was information about the rivers Waal and Rhine, but also about nature. Thanks to VR glasses, we were able to discover something to participate in the permanent exhibition at one station.

There is an exhibition at the top that changes every year. Until the end of this year, various small rooms will tell about the animals we know from fairy tales. Here you were allowed to touch everything, unlike what you are used to from museums.

This is important not only for children, but also for the blind, for example. There were also stations where you could hear something. At the end of the tour, we were allowed to enjoy the view from the museum’s glassed-in bay terrace on Waal and Nijmegen before starting back up the stairs and raiding the gift shop.

Then the “Pannenkoekenboot” tour took place. Again, everyone was friendly, the boat was beautiful, the pancakes were delicious and the view was amazing. At the end of the weekend, there was a little walk around Nijmegen before going home. Although we agree that we would all like to come back soon to discover more of the “second Netherlands”.

Protocol: Jule Kasper

More articles in this category can be found here: Niederrhein

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