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 29/5-1/6 2003.  






Get up way too early, shake the tree until the birds say beep, and peel the baker out of his bed. There is only one thing that can get me up so early: A trip around Germany and Holland's leading cactus nurseries with NKS.

 A beautiful drive down through the beautiful summer land of Zealand, where nature is seen from the sunny side: deer, hares, geese, ducks, a fox family, cormorants, herons, pheasants, gray ducks, falcons, farm hens, wild hens and many other animals tomorrow forage on the green fields and the mirrored lakes and fjords.

Meadows and shoulders abound with brightly coloured flowers while cornfields stand lush greenery and waves in the light breeze. I can feel that I will not follow in the course of nature, that I am otherwise used to. Wheat and winter barley are slipping and the rapeseed fields are booming.

We stop once and pick up several cardboard and plastic boxes. Fyn is and will be "The bumped between Zealand and Jutland". At eleven o'clock, we cross the border - a couple of times. Picking up a couple of holiday Swedes on the second border crossing.
Such a border crossing really does discourage refugees and hobby smugglers - NOT. Here's not a soul, just a bridge over the highway.

Stops at noon and gets a sandwich and stretches our legs. The bus is guaranteed to be designed by an extraordinary little Japanese. New break at three o'clock, and then I have to fold myself together again.

The landscape is virtually unchanged. Only slight change is the width of the streams, they have turned into rivers! After a short break at half past six, there will be slightly larger dents in the landscape. The vegetation looks immediately unchanged, but the style of construction has changed. Have seen deer all day, and quite a few - though most in Denmark.

We land rested but also slightly broken at 7am at Hotel Am Park. We are in Hückelhoven, just off the southern tip of the Netherlands. An hour in Biergarden and then dinner.
Buffet: Mozzarella with tomato, eel, salmon, shrimp, fries, mushroom medallion, wiener schnitzel, bacon beans, carrots, salmon pasta and bell peppers. Cheese table, strawberries and fromage - followed by coffee. Crawling to bed at eleven.

30.5. After a hearty and varied morning meal, we drive half an hour to Specks Exotica in Erkelens-Golkrath. Great place with something near countless caudiciforms and little other succulents. I find three new families and some known ones I just have to have. It turns into 10 plants plus two for a Frenchman. Total price 93€ - DKK 600. A little expensive, but this should be the best place for me.

We drive after two hours, stopping right at Specks old place. New owner: Eden Plants, most succulents, but I find five plants, two new families. Price: 15€ - 100 kroner. This is getting wild - GREAT!

Coffee and cake in the bus while we drive on for an hour. Next stop will be Katze in Wachtendunk, Wankum, which is a small cactus spot. Great plants and even one for me. Also finds an exciting cactus for Rikke. Total price: 5€ - 32 kroner.

The driver has warmed sausages and bread, really well timed for lunch. We cross the border to Holland, and after three hours, Lakerveld finds in Lexmond. Known as the cobbler as he walks in clogs with even bigger clogs on the outside.

On the way we pass an uncommonly idyllic landscape cut off by canals, some at ten meters apart. The small, over idyllic houses are almost off the road. Only the well-kept front gardens and the channel with watering can separate. Thatched, shape-cut trees and shrubs, a myriad of coloured flowers, beautiful paved areas and lawns with each thatch in place.I am impressed by the driver's ability to find the locations - until I see his GPS.
Large house with exclusively cactus. Finds a single for Rikke that she has wanted. 8€ - 50 kroner. It is approaching 30 degrees - outside the greenhouses!

We land at the Hotel De Korenbeurs in Made at 18, and then have two hours to look at our purchased plants and take a well-deserved shower. 21 plants, the 17 to myself. Five new families, pretty good!
After a cool soda on the sidewalk, we find the tasteful dining room. Dinner is started by my side-woman in the bus, who is a professional cross-flute player - really beautiful.

The appetizer is vinegar marinated artichoke, green beans, pasta and salad. The main course consists of beef medallions, finely chopped vegetables, new butter roasted potatoes, a puff pastry / potato cake and semi-glace sauce. The dessert is pudding with coulis.
Down to the local to get some Leffe Brown and an Ice. I start to be ready, and I sneak home for a little nap at twelve.

31.5. The clock rings at six. A bit dizzy, I tumble out of bed and, after all, can take pleasure of; it wasn't me who was hanging out in the pub drinking Leffe.
Light, hearty breakfast, the hotel's standard is taken into account. The bus is leaving, and we have an hour to get in gear. I philosophize about the cleverness of having bought additional memory for the camera. Had room for 150 photos, and expanded by 500. Considered taking the PC with me so I had unlimited space. Have taken 20 pictures so far! A few of some coloured flowers, the others of the greenhouses and my fellow passengers. Since we only stop at the gardens and some gas stations, there are no landscape photos, but I have from a previous trip. We also drive through a totally flat landscape with an incredible number of greenhouses.

The Grootsholten in Honselersdijk is a great place. Many of the tables are filled with private collections, but there are also many small exciting plants for sale. I find two new families from the wish list, as well as two that were not on. They are a little woody, but now they were there, and the price was reasonable. Nine plants, 27€ - 175 kroner.
After about two hours, people come out sweaty, burdened by large boxes. We drive for a short time, and get to Hoogvlieti Hellevoetsluis, which is a small place, with a lot of plants in a long and narrow house. I find six plants for 19€ - DKK 125. Nothing really exciting, but very sweet, and at a reasonable price. A bit exciting is an Adansonia madagascari though.

The idea of ​​how to find room at home, becoming more and more abstract, but what - I'm having fun! And no less important: I won't be sorry for NOT buying something exciting.

Ice break at a gas station, and then we land at Lintsen in Ak Zwijndrecht. Pretty big, but a bit neglected. Many dying plants and a pronounced lack of water across the board. I find a large Calibanus hookerii (have one already, but it dies), a Talinum paniculatun (which I cannot germinate) and two other "duplicates". Total price: 13€ and the last cents - DKK 90.
Soaked, we drive half an hour back to the hotel, where we have two to three hours to puzzle, register and pack plants, before the dinner. I get mine down into a 40 × 40 centimetre box, as well as a six-wine bottle box. 40 plants in total, 35 for myself from 14-16 new families. Pretty satisfying for 180€ - 1300 kroner plus the trip to 2400 kroner.
I have relaxed, my back does not hurt, and I have a well-deserved break. A quick shower, then look down and get something cold before eating.

Starter: Three kinds of dried thin meat strips with finely sliced ​​potatoes with dressing: husar salad. The main course is Swine medallions with blanched Christmas salad, toasted rice, French fries and a mixed blanched salad.

1.6. Up at six, breakfast and then entertainment at the bus, as people come knocking with their boxes. They are packed in the right order, and to everyone's amazement, there is actually room for more. Other times, empty seats, the hat shelf, the floor and people's lap have been filled. There is talk of the possibility of passing by, for example, Specks again!

At eight o'clock we roll north. If I haven't mentioned it before, I'd like to repeat: The Netherlands is VERY flat! If it wasn't for all the canals and the small scrublands, the adorable houses with beautiful gardens and of course the sun, it would be a sad sight.

Germany is a bit dull; there are high scrub long roads that completely obstruct the view of the fields. We meet the first queue at noon, but it is over quickly.
We use the time to create a small status and competition. How much money have we bought for? 40 people have spent 8200€ = 62,130 kroner. One person accounts for 7500 kroner alone, another settles for 45 kroner.
A short eating / pee break, and then on by the annoying autobahn. A stop at the border store, and then we cross the border at six. A couple of small stops to drop off people in Jutland and Fyn, and after 2500 kilometres, we end in Copenhagen at half past ten. A really good trip, which I am definitely game for another tour next year.

The following days, I realize how many plants I have actually bought. Not only do they need to be potted and mashed into the already overcrowded windowsills, they must also be included on my website, where each plant is registered on 12 pages. The pots cost the same as the plants themselves; should have chosen red plastic pots instead of white clay pots.


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