Nice to be in The
Again we all drove a lap
of honor before we parked and occupied the square with our
Spiders. An impressive sight and the citizens could not keep
their eyes of the Spiders. Unfortunately the rain started to
pour down again after a few minutes, but this time we were
prepared. We were already at the bar and talking about this
great arrangement and all the work Cobi, Erwin and Mathijs and
the Dutch Spider Register had done to please us. Thank you
Our Belgian friends were
well prepared and seemed to like to sit under the umbrella.
Another funny thing I noticed was that every item had an Alfa
Romeo logo on.
Claudia and Dirk from Germany introduced the first FWD Spider
I have seen in Limburg. It was a black 2,0 TS with a strange
GPS? navigator. This computer could tell every small and tiny
road anywhere. I was very impressed. Stina had her doubts, she
is my navigator. The next day one Spider got lost and missed
the wine yard, it came just in time for departure and never
got the opportunity to see the wine cellar. Guess who it was.
Yepp, the GPS was not in the mood that day and Stina said she
would never let me down. Great
.I just had to stop the
Alfa to take this beautiful photo. No matter in what direction
you looked, there were Spiders all over. There were Spiders
from Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Holland, Italy, France,
Switzerland, Scandinavia, USA, yes, a lot of Spiders. This is
something that will make the winter a bit shorter in
Scandinavia. The sound of the alloy twin-cam engines was
tremendous. And when glancing in the rear view mirror, could
there be a more beautiful sight than a lot of Spiders? The
Luxembourg Spiders close to our round-tail are of the 4th
Ma Cobi took well care of
us. Suddenly she just stood there guiding us all in the right
direction. The instructions are getting better and better, but
it happens now and then that we get lost. In such moments it
is good to have faith in Cobi, Erwin and Mathijs and the rest
of the organization. It is common to see Erwin in his 4th
series Spider in the mirror overtaking us all. Then we know
that we are on the wrong way. We are very polite when Erwin
stops his Alfa and points the opposite direction and we just
obey. Well, Erwin is bigger and stronger than most of us and
he has a Spider so what else could you do but follow him.
This was just hundred
meters down the hill from the wine yard and we all lined up.
The round-tails here belongs to me, the black one to Klaus
Mohr and the last one was from Holland. I am not sure who that
driver was. Anyway, if you see yourself, please send me an
E-mail and I will add this information.
We had quite a lot of
Duettos and 1750 Veloces here at our meetings. Hans deKok has
laid his hands on a red Duetto and as they had a green Coda
tronca before, Petra and Hans now have to struggle about the
cars. You could have worse troubles.
Back to basics again.
Suddenly the Spiders were slowing down ahead of us. Stina, who
really is fond of dogs got very excited. The reason may be
seen on this photo. The border collie was very motivated and
this moment stayed with us. Time was the same as a hundred
years ago, the peace and tranquility was total. The roads the
organization had chosen were as always fantastic. Up and down,
across and under, left and right turns.
I have seen so many
interesting and beautiful places here in Holland, thanx to
these Spider meetings. Since there are so many local people
who know the area and every single house, we get the
opportunity to drive in places we never ever have heard of
before. This is what makes the meetings so special.
We all felt very special
when we noticed the flower arrangements on the streets. The
friendly Dutch people had made quite an effort to celebrate
us. Holland is known to me as the Golden garden, but this was
even better. My feelings were very strong, I wouldn't dare
touch the flowers with the wheels. Unfortunately, someone told
me later that the village was celebrating something else.
Again, an umbrella and a
Spider. Who might that be? Could it be the Spaan family? Right
you are. Priscilla holds the umbrella and Christian Spaan has
spotted something interesting. I think it was a black 4th
Series Spider, don't you? Stina and I were invited to join the
Spaan family on Sunday and that was something. I felt like a
kid in a candy store. I will tell more about that later.
Last year, Christian
drove his black 4th series Spider and got an award for that.
This year he took the older Spider, perhaps he did not want to
have his new Spider muddy?
Speaking of umbrellas,
the Belgian Spider crew are getting along really well under
the umbrella. Unfortunately we had some heavy showers and had
to use the hood mechanism several times. This was like the
road tests under heavy conditions, but the Spiders never let
us down. I understand that you are so proud of this part of
Europe. It is so beautiful and the roads are excellent for
Spiders. Perhaps when Stina and I retire we will stay there in
If I came to a crowded
parking lot with cars all over it, everything in a mess, I
wouldn't mind as long as the cars were Alfa Romeo. Or even
better, if they were all Spiders. This was how it looked two
minutes before the final dinner. The local inhabitants made
Imagine a parking lot
crowded with Alfa Romeos. Then picture the cars to be all
Spiders. Furthermore, the Spiders came in all different
colors, were in good shape and came from all over Europe. Plus
the sound of the engines and all the Alfisti strolling around.
What a Sunday.
A traditional Dutch
buffet was welcoming us. We had a barbeque party and were all
eating like mad. the food tasted excellent after a day in the
open Spiders. At the same time the Formula 1 race was on, but
nobody cared about that. Chatting Spiders beats F1.
The food tasted fine and
some of us were playing the Muppet show acting as the
"Swedish chef", -ahoune moune moouh tack sa micket.
The smoke this time came from the meat and sausages and not
from the oil-burning engines. Fortunately, we did not have any
troubles with our Spiders this time, so Jaan Groen had an easy
meeting. However, I saw him filling his plate very often,
perhaps food can be a substitute for tampering with the
Rafaela and Giancarlo
from Italy are making plans with Erwin. Giancarlo got the
award for driving the longest way to Limburg. Congratulations,
hope to see you next year. The meeting is most international
and a great success. This summer someone had placed the
European Championship in football in Belgium and Holland. We
saw nothing of this event and they did not disturb us. I think
we had a better time than the football spectators.
Jaan Spaan and his family
invited Stina and me to their house, an invitation greatly
accepted and appreciated. Jaan and I spent a nice time in his
garage with all his Spider parts and other Alfa Romeo related
items. I felt like a kid in a candy store.
It is always interesting
to see the garage of another Alfista, but this garage was the
best private I have seen. And contained only Spider parts and
Spiders. I had a hard time keeping my fingers away from the
Alfas. Talk about kids in a candy store.
Stina and Jaan planned
our return to Sweden, they found some small, narrow and
winding roads we hade never seen before. As Jaan is a
true Spideralfista, he knew how to optimize the driving. Good
roads plus a round-tail equals "Fortuna"! Of course
the map was placed on the boot-lid of a Spider.
Even though Holland is
considered to be as flat as a kitchen table, they have lots of
winding roads there. We really like the land of the tulips.
I am a bit embarrassed to
tell you about the only accident we had. When Stina and I
drove back to Sweden again, I noticed that the brake fluid was
a bit low. I topped the reservoir and continued to drive
through Germany and Denmark. When we stopped to pay the fair
over the new Íresund bridge between Copenhagen and Sweden,
there were no brakes, the pedal went down to the floor.
I had to use the hand brake and nothing serious happened.
Luckily we live only five minutes from the toll station so we
got home safe. It turned out to be the T-connection at the
rear axle that had corroded. I replaced it the same afternoon
and was very happy it did not happen at the motorway when we
were driving in a line of nine Spiders to the Spaan house. Jan
said he had to clean his engine and we were sure speeding all
of us. That was fun, revving the engines and warming up the
oil and clean the exhaust