S: HOLLAND! 2011
FC: HOLLAND! 2011
1: Friday, May 13. After a crazy panic over Bruce's expired passport the night before departure, and a hurried trip to the Denver passport office at 8 am, he met us at the airport at 10 am. From there, we flew to Chicago, followed by a long and relatively restful overnight flight to Amsterdam.
2: Our first stop, KEUKENHOF! Gardens in Lisse, Holland. It covers 70 acres with almost 10 miles of paths. We walked for miles and miles and miles checking out the flowers, trees, bushes, ducks and swans. | Saturday, May 14, 2011 It's COLD!
4: Linden trees. Glorious!! They can grow up to 130' tall!
6: Michelle resting her feet as we did too when we found a sitting spot. There was a Dutch men's band singing in the gardens near the food court area. Very enjoyable.
7: Martin, Michelle, ponds and swans
8: We found this old, working windmill on our way to Steven and Joke's place (her name is pronounced Yo'-ka). The mill was open to the public and had a little museum & store in the bottom of it. The thatching needs to be replaced about every ten years. | Near Schermerhorn, North Holland
9: Ok, this is one way to dry socks! | I'm trying to lift these buckets but I'm too short, ha! | These mills began draining the lakes in the 16th century.
10: They let us wander through at will and climb around, up the ladders, and across the planks. How do they think of these things? - cross of sails, wind shaft, brake wheel, bearings, etc.
11: The beds below are in the windmill and typical of beds at this time. Very small so that you sleep sitting up! Different explanations exist for this practice, the most common is that lying down mimics death and so they'd sleep sitting up. Seems like procreation would be a problem. The shelf you see on the right is for the baby!
12: Later that afternoon we arrived at the home of our hosts, Steven and Joke Schulenklopper in Blokker, near Hoorn, in North Holland. He is a cousin to Wilma Postma and they both speak English well. Their place backed up to a canal and she cooked wonderful Dutch meals! Cauliflower in a liqour sauce, bitter cookie pudding and such things. | After a breakfast of bread and cheese, etc, we headed over to church. Steven on his bike. They normally bike but didn't have 6 bikes, so we drove. | Eet smakelijk = enjoy your meal! | I saw the first-in-my-life black swan!!!
13: A Dutch reformed church where we sang the old hymns and they passed the mints. About 100 in attendance. It was built in 1426 w saints buried under the floor. I felt it was a fitting place to leave some of Mom's ashes. She never did get to travel. | After church, Steven cycled to his concert. | Sunday, May 15 2011
14: We are at the "Herleving Koffieconcert" led by the very handsome Rolf Hoogenberg. This is the 100th year for this orchestra. Then dessert, bitter-cookie pudding, that Joke made for us. YUM!
16: Sunday evening Joke & Steven took us to the harbor in Hoorn (population about 60,000) and for a walk through the heart of this 1,300 year old city. They have lived here for 32 years and knew all the interesting history.
17: What a crack up!, this blue heron is patiently waiting for the fish store to open. No luck, it's Sunday and nothing is open. but he waits, pacing back and forth.
18: Sylvia, Bruce, Michelle, and Martin
20: We took the train from Hoorn into Amsterdam with our personal tour guides (thank goodness!!) and toured the heart of the oldest part of Amsterdam, the oldest city and the capital of the Netherlands. | Monday, May 16 | Sunday night (this is out of order, just think back one page) we had potatoes and gravy, a giant meatball, cauliflower with a liquor sauce and cucumber, followed by apple strudel. I think we should just stay here.
21: Amsterdam | The coat of arms of Amsterdam is the official symbol of the city of Amsterdam.
22: We took a boat tour through some of the 60+ miles of canals in the city, often referred to as the Venice of the North. Afterwards went through the Van Gogh museum and then the Anne Frank house. | As we went down one canal we had a view of 7 bridges from this "intersection". Cool! There are over 1500 bridges in Amsterdam!
23: The Anne Frank house is protected inside by 1 foot think steel doors like a bank vault! It's a smaller place than I expected, scarcely room to turn around.
24: Parallel parking on the canal! They lose 40 vehicles a month in the canal. I'll never complain about parking again!
25: Bruce LOVED the cheeses!!! | There are 10,000 different types of cheeses; they have been at this since 400 A.D. Sadly we could only try about 10 of them. | We walked no less than 100 miles today. You can't see from the picture, but my legs are actually falling off. All this walking did not seem to faze Stephan and Joke at all.
26: There are lots of coffee shops here with big leaves on the door, so it's not really coffee! | Michelle taking a break outside a cathedral door. I joined her.
27: It's still Monday. We went into another cathedral (right page) where there are over 10,000 people buried under the floor. I felt this was noteworthy. | The red-light district is a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred tiny one-room cabins with the bikini-clad girls on display in the picture windows.
28: We left Hoorn and drove north. We took a ferry to the Zuiderzee Museum. This is an village that showed off the history of the region with authentic homes and businesses. | Tuesday, May 17
29: It's eel, eew! Nice and oily. The original omega 3 fish oil, and at 25%, is more than salmon.
31: Bruce can find coffee ANYwhere! We were invited to lunch by one of the village women. Good soup!
32: This fellow above had worked here for 40 years!
34: On our drive to Friesland, we stopped at an old cemetery. | 5/17
35: Our home for a week, in Bakkeveen, where we joined Martin's parents, John and Wilma Postma. Nice park, lots of fun company who sort of spoke English. Nice people! John and sister Saakje above and sister Wietske on the left with Martin. Cousins to the left, Belted cows below.
36: Bruce joined John and Martin visiting a planetarium as well as an administration/courthouse building. This planetarium was built by one man several hundred years ago. Afterwards they went to John's old home and neighborhood. | 5/18
37: We visited with Wilma's cousin, Jakob, and his wife, in their apartment then drove to Germany where we had lunch. The picture above is a croquette. I had a schnitzel because we were in Germany but I have no picture of it. | 5/19 | Michelle presents Saakje with a home-made pleated pot holder. She's happy!
38: 5/19/11 Not really a castle in Germany but fun shopping!
39: I enjoyed seeing Germany, the stone barns attached to the homes and the countryside.
40: The dogs look pretty much the same here as in the U.S.. | Bruce and John, in another deep conversation.
41: I'm not sure what it was but I know it was fruity and fantastic! | After exploring the grounds and the shops we settled down for a coffee and desserts before heading back to Germany.
42: Friday, May 20 we walked into town and visited an antique clock shop. Nice but out of my price range! I made us a leek sandwich lunch w fish and soup. Then we went to John's grandparent's graveyard in Wartena. A neighbor gave him a key to the church and we all explored it including the belfry. Michelle and I walked a couple blocks over and there was a drawbridge on the canal. The toll taker dropped a wooden shoe from a rope on a pole and the boaters would put their money in the shoe and he'd pull it up again and wave them on their way.
44: Please note, they let me drive! Such a beautiful day to tour the canals. Afterward we shopped (next page) and ate pannenkoeken, a cross between a pancake and a pizza. Quite strange but very good!! | Saturday, 5/21
45: OOPS! | I bought my final postcard here at this shop (above). I've sent about 40 of them to the grandkids.
46: The churches weren't open this Sunday as they have a circuit rider and apparently this area was not on his circuit so we had a down day. Bruce and I stayed home while the others went on a ferry ride with Saakje, stopping back at the cemetery in Wartena.. | Sunday, May 22 | A bird nest. Or maybe a duck. Something fowl.
47: Wilma and Sandy | Catching up after a few years. | It's still not dark here at 11 pm!
48: Today we six, plus luggage (thanks to Martin's packing), got into our rental car and head to Apeldoorn and our campground in Uddel. On the way we stopped at an old cemetery in Apeldoorn looking for Wilma's grandparents but no luck. We are all eating PANNEKOKKEN! Except John ate the eel on a bun. | Monday, May 23
49: Uddel - a nicer, bigger place. We had the best room thanks to Martin and Michelle who took the tiniest room you can imagine, and John and Wilma. We took the autobahn to Xanten, Germany to see Roman ruins. No speed limit! Good thing I wasn't driving! | Tuesday, May 24
51: An archaeological park. This area was occupied by the Romans in 12 BC, is now evacuated and preserved. We saw the baths and went through their museum with their thousands of artifacts. I liked the old Roman helmets..
52: After we left the ruins, heading for a very late lunch, Michelle happened unto this little place. No longer hungry, we spent the next hour or so checking it out. Nice find, Michelle!
54: Today we went antiquing then drove to Apeldoorn to visit with Wilma's cousin Dinie (next page). We had coffee and cakes at her place and then she gifted us with one of her paintings!! What a surprise! | Wed, May 25
55: Martin and Mom. | Below is the place we stayed for about a week. | IAfter the antiquing we drove to a castle in Vaassen. In one of the castle bedrooms there was a porcelain pan on the floor at the foot of the bed, a little bigger than a bed pan. This was for the ladies to sit in and cleanse the important parts before bed. Oh my. Later we went to a well loved shop and had coffee (always tea for me) and pastry balls. I don't know the Dutch word for them.
56: M&M and Bruce toured an outdoor WW2 museum in Arnhem, Holland with Dirk Hoekendijk. Retired Colonel in the Dutch Army, a Dutch friend of Martin's from Rotary. The Battle of Arnhem in 1944 is worth looking up and reading about. In spite of its neutrality in World War I, the Netherlands was invaded by the Nazis in May 1940. The nation was liberated in May 1945. | At last, our little Trinity was born, on Kaylee's birthday, at 12:20 a.m.!! She and Angie are doing fine! Martin brought his laptop so we were able to Skype the kids a couple times. | Thursday, 5/26
57: This same day, Wilma visited friends while John and I kept the home fires burning. Good to just relax and read. Below is Marie ("Ria"), Wilma's friend since 1943! I was quite taken with her and we had good talks as her English was really quite good..
58: Friday, May 27 We went our separate ways. Bruce stayed home, M&M went to a forest, and I was dropped off at Paleis Het Loo, a palace infinitely larger than the other castles we saw, a favorite place of Wlm III and later Mary II. They only let us in a portion of it but it was SO ornate, it could have been immoral! They wouldn't let us take pictures so I imported some. Need I say, the gardens were as ornate as inside the castle. Queen Maxima is loved by all the Dutch. They celebrated her 10 years this May. In the evening Bruce and I took a walk in the woods. Lovely! A bicyclist was urgently trying to tell us something but we couldn't understand a word. Probably a warning about wild pigs or maybe that he liked my hair. Who knows?
59: 5/28 We went to 3-4 antique shops (one to the right) In Hoog Soeren and discovered that a flea market or church bizarre in Uddel is the way to go. I really should have bought this red coat! Instead I bought a hat I love.
60: Lots of cousins came to visit in the evening so Bruce and I slipped out for another walk in the glorious (I can't think of a better word!) woods. | Now he's a strange bird. Beautiful!
61: There are warning signs all over regarding the wild pigs. You can see many places where they have been routing in the soft ground. So we always carry a big stick. Woe be to the pig that crosses my path!
62: Sunday, May 29. The most delightful church service today in Staverden!! Standing room only and wow could they raise their voices in song! The preacher tried his best to translate to English for us but he soon gave up.
63: Lunch after church w one of Wilma's friends, Marietje, at yet another castle. Note the deer as a centerpiece. My jag is below but Michelle fell in love with the old truck. This is why I love her, she is so down-to-earth! After our lunch we met Ria at her son's group home. An interesting fellow who speaks 7 languages and can converse about anything.
64: We went to Maria's son's place in the afternoon and in the evening we saw our friends, Steven and Joke, at their son Matthijs and Elske's. house. Both sons (Jochem and his wife Jorina) and their families were there. It was good to be able to connect all the families. The wives outdid themselves preparing 6 different wraps! Very, very nice people. The adults spoke English quite well but the children had not yet started it in school. | 5/29
65: This pretty much sums up our vacation to Holland. It was about the best we could ask for. They are reported as the friendliest country and they showed it. We had exceptional hosts along the way and having John & Wilma speak the language didn't hurt. Martin could communicate well and even Michelle gave it a good shot. Brave woman. At first, I thought that 16 days seemed like a long time but from the time we landed until today we have kept busy, or deliberately chose to rest, and the time has just flown by. After spending 23 euros (that's roughly $30.00!!) in the airport for 2 sandwiches and two drinks, we boarded the plane for our flight home!