Hot sunshine, cold beer, and military service memoirs start the European Season in Breda, Netherlands

IFFR Benelux hosted the first of the European Section Fly Ins for 2023 in Breda, Netherlands on the weekend of 23 – 25 June.  With fine sunshine across the whole of Europe, 8 aircraft flew in to Breda/Seppe International airport from the UK, Norway, and other parts of the Benelux for a truly delightful weekend of Flying Rotarian fellowship.

We all arrived in time for a welcome lunch in the flying club at this delightful GA airport. After lunch, we had an interesting tour of the Aviation Museum on the airfield before being bussed into Breda to the Golden Tulip Keyser Hotel – allegedly named after IFFR Benelux Section Leader Kris de Keyser. 

Benelux Section Member Maurice Tax, who had spent four years in Breda at the outset of his military service, and knew the town well, then acted as our guide for a walking tour of the old town, leading down to the Mark Canal with its many waterfront bars and restaurants.

Around 40 of us sat down for dinner that night in Humpreys Restaurant, just a short walk from the hotel, after which many of the group savoured the warm evening with a few more drinks at one of the outdoor cafes/bars.

Saturday morning was again hot and sunny – indeed I don’t think I have ever seen so many of our male members sporting shorts and sandals!  Breda is the home of the Dutch Military Academy, and we spent the morning having an excellent behind the scenes tour. Our official guide gave us the regular presentation – and Maurice brought it to life and left us in fits of laughter with his “unofficial accounts” of his time as a cadet there.

Then it was time for lunch at the aptly named Big Belly Restaurant. A light lunch, enough to prepare us for the afternoon’s fun quiz and Belgian Beer Tasting session.  By the end of the day, everyone was a winner.

The Saturday Night Benelux Section Gala Dinner is always one of the high spots of the year – and one of the few occasions at which my tuxedo makes an appearance  Our Saturday night Gala was a gastronomic treat, the speeches were mercifully short, and we made the most of the musical entertainment afterwards. 

Sunday morning came all too soon, but with perfect weather once again, except for one pilot who shall remain nameless had a fast and easy return home. The last pilot, having accidentally filled his turbocharged aircraft with Mogas rather than Avgas had to spend an extra night in Breda until the tanks could be emptied and refuelled correctly. I’m sure an extra night in Breda was not a hardship!

Thanks, Kris, Maurice, Ingrid and team Benelux!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top