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Holland Zuyderzee Run
Thu 24th Mar 2005 to Mon 28th Mar 2005
organised by Central Scotland

Car Count : 5
[ show pre-run info ]

Zuyderzee Run

It was back in June 2004 when the invitation to help celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Dutch- NL Mx-5 Owners Club was first posted on our web site, it seemed too good an opportunity to miss, it also felt like an eternity to have to wait until Easter 2005 for the event to take place. Personally having been to Holland twice before but never with my Mx-5 and always wanting, but not quite getting round to driving over the Afsluitdijk Dam in Friesland, I was only too happy to sign up when this was included in the registration itinery.

Twenty-six cars in total from the UK would be travelling to Holland for the three-day event, this included five from Central Scotland and three from Tyne Tees. Since the Jocks and the Teesers have a longstanding affiliation it was soon decided that we would travel together from North Shields- Newcastle to Ijmude- Amsterdam.
Ijmuden is to Amsterdam as Prestwick is to Glasgow, to draw a comparison in distance. The overnight crossing meant we all had to add two days to our holiday leave, out on Thursday and home on Tuesday.

The big day finally arrived, Jim Logan and I travelled down from the West and across the A69 meeting up with Gavin, Chic & Heather and Dave & Caroline who had taken the East coast route, there to welcome us at the Terminal were Jim & Jenny, Chris & Marg and Mark & Jen. Colin & Hazel who helped to organise the ferry for us also turned up to see us off. After the usual waiting around the holding area, we soon were boarded and managed to keep the cars together. This crossing was a fourteen-hour journey so cabins were booked by all. Thankfully the North Sea was kind to us and we had an excellent dinner in the buffet restaurant, afterwards settling ourselves in the lounge to relax with a few drinks and enjoy one of the hardest working Band and Cabaret artists we had ever seen, this group of musicians and dancers were on stage from six o clock until two am.
In the morning we decided to skip breakfast opting to stop en route to our hotel in Lelystad some fifty three miles away, after a somewhat hectic drive on the early morning Amsterdam ring road motorway, the roads soon became less busy and with it a sense of calmness. Before long we were entering Lelystad, which could only be described as the Cumbernauld of Holland with more roundabouts than Dundee. It could be said that the last part of the journey was more interesting, although Dave and Caroline who perhaps saw more of the town than the rest of us would disagree.
Since we had arrived before any of the activities were due to start, it was sort of planned to get the train into Amsterdam in the afternoon, but after parking up the cars in the secure car park this was cancelled and instead we had a look round Lelystad Town followed by a few drinks in a little quiet pub.

The evening meal in the hotel was followed by the welcoming By Petra and Robin along with introductions to the Dutch members who helped plan the runs and would be our escorts for the next three days.
The participants were split into three groups of around seventeen cars and each group would do one run per day, planning was perfect as each group also had three or four Dutch cars in their midst to make sure the convoy was kept together. The three routes had titles and themes relating to the Dutch people?s historical battle to hold back the sea and reclaim the land.

Each day was made up of drives over dams, across ferries, through quaint little villages, visiting pumping stations, museums, windmills and boat trips to name but a few. The roads, although flat as you would imagine, did have their interesting moments, as some were narrow and high as they twisted and wound over the countryside dams.
On Easter Sunday our own Chic and Gavin dressed resplendent in the Kilt for the days driving and were the centre of attraction when we visited the fortress city of Elburg, Gavin was greeted by a local Dutch female and as she departed from a bar she shouted to him ?Hey Schottland Man? then proceeded to gesticulate by opening and closing her jacket in a sort of flashing movement, whereby Gavin responded with a dignified smile. The run ended in Lelystad  town square outside the hotel where sixty odd cars lined up for a group picture.
That evening and after we had dined, Mazda Europe gave a presentation on the new Mk-3 car, which most found interesting as a lot of the content  had not been seen before. The night ended in that quiet little pub we had found, only now it was not so quiet but suffice to say a good time was had by all.
Monday came and the weather was abysmal we drove the few miles to our first stop at Batavia wharf where we toured the full-scale replica of the merchant ship ?Batavia?.
Time and the Easter Traffic were to put paid to our Edam visit, so we bid farewell to our Dutch hosts and promptly set off for the ferry terminal.
Another good night aboard the ferry, although the crossing was a bit more choppier than the outward journey. In the morning after disembarking we had a photocall before saying goodbye to our friends from Tyne Tees and returning home to Scotland.

A thoroughly enjoyable long weekend was had by all, in excellent company and with many new friends made.


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Your Comments
29th Mar 2005 17:40 :: Gavin
Wow. What a weekend. 662 miles. Top down for at least 655 of them. The weather was great apart from Monday morning, but we weren't driving in it. Our hosts were excellent. The Ferry trips were very good. Good entertainment going over. First time driving on the Continent and it won't be the last. Many thanks to Colin Cartledge from Tyne Tees for organising our travel arrangements.

29th Mar 2005 20:40 :: chic and heather
Excellent weekend with enjoyable runs and visits. Good company in our group made the trip even more enjoyable. Thanks to Douglas and Colin
Look forward to seeing some more photos of what Gavin describes as good entertainment going over - especiaalt those showing Gavin enjoying the entertainment

30th Mar 2005 07:49 :: Jenny Dorgan
Great weekend. Highlights for us were the ferry trip over, the excellent drives, scenery, the planning of the visit by our hosts, the bar in Holland & Gavin's dangly bits. Best of all was your company.

30th Mar 2005 19:20 :: Douglas
Fantastic long weekend which just flew in, exceptional company both from Central Scotland and Tyne Tees, enjoyed the ferry over too, my highlight was at long last being able to drive across the Ijsselmeer on the Afsluitddijk (closed dike)and the view from the tower halfway across was spectacular.

31st Mar 2005 12:09 :: Mark & Jenn
Great weekend.
Highlights: The ferry cabaret, the bar at Lilystad (\'nuff said!) The drives, the scenery and the company.
Thanks to everyone.

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