Here to stay
The van Loons from Nordbrabant have brought a strong sense of unity, camaraderie and humour with them to Lofer.
“Why am I so happy?“ sings Herman van Veen the grandmaster of Dutch poetry. And you can feel this positive underlying mood in his compatriots, the van Loons, in the more than 400 year old “Schidsendlhaus“ or blacksmith’s forge. Horses hooves’ were shod in this building over the centuries. At the end of the 1920s a mechanic rang in the age of motorisation. In the years after the war technical sensations were sold in this house: new electrical irons, hot plates and washing machines.
The married couple van Loon, who have owned the house since 2008, have renovated it and created new apartments. It was a brave new start for Fred, the master road-builder, who now goes skiing with his guests and shows them the luscious alpine pastures in the warmer seasons. Meanwhile, his wife Trudy, looks after Dutch, Germans and people from many other countries in the accommodation with good humour. You notice how the pair are blossoming in their new role. “In Holland everything was so stressful“, they indicate as the reason for their move. They discovered Lofer and the town house for sale on the internet and were fired up immediately. They will never forget the first glimpse of the “Loferer Steinberge“ or their first entry into the historic market, “With all its nostalgic corners and the many pictorial details, the village appeared to us like a painting from the Dutch painter Anton Pieck“, they explain. The children couldn’t speak a word of German but that changed rapidly. The oldest, Wendy, was already sending text messages in the local dialect after just one year. Sanne, the second daughter, now attends the Tourism School and loves dirndls. Integration can really work so well. “Of course we miss our friends and relatives“, the van Loons admit but they also treasure the cosiness of the Salzburger Saalachtal and the small-scale paradise here. Provisions are bought from the baker and butcher next door. They very much enjoy the “Loferer Marktleben“ in the summer, an event which has become a magnet for tourists and locals alike. The van Loons used to live in the village Aarle-Rixtel, which lies about 20 kilometres from the city of Eindhoven. “It was hectic leading my own building firm. In Lofer we are always a little in the holiday mood despite our work“, the van Loon couple agrees.