Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday. The beginning of the second week.

Edit to add: This post was written BEFORE the Belgium trip. I'm just catching up!

We're still in Bakkeveen. The morning started with a trip to the town of Roden to take our friend's car into the shop for maintenance. Nothing serious-- just an oil change! So we had time to visit the market. That's always fun! Lots of cheese, baked goods, cooked meat, deli meats, olives,flowers, even clothes and jewelry! It is interesting to see how similiar it is to our farmer's market-- yet so very different, too.

After that, we went into Groningen to see what we could find. We ended up going to the Noordland Scheepivart Museum. It gave a history of Groningen from medieval times and a look into Netherlands shipping history. The museum also had several rooms dedicated to tobacco in the Netherlands. Don't really see how the two are related, but it was interesting nonetheless.

As I said in an earlier post, lunch was on the run so we ate at Subway. *eyeroll*

Then it was back to Bakkeveen and a nature walk through the dune heather. I don't know how else to describe the very barren landscape. It looked like sand dunes covered in low-lying purplish juniper-type "heather". We also climbed their "viewing tower" to see the lay of the land. It was like climbing a fire tower on the Parkway. You were in the trees and could see nothing but tree tops and nature. It is fairly common for this area, but outside my realm of experience in Holland.

Saturday, we leave here and head to Oosterwolde and Assen, in Friesland. I have enjoyed being with Henk but I can't say that I will be sorry to leave North Holland. It feels so open and flat-- people live in real houses surrounded by land. Even though the area is older than Amsterdam, they don't feel old-- they seem to lack the charm of places that are a few hundred years younger. Everyone here drives a car, there seems to be very little public transportation. Doing anything involves driving. Living here would feel like living in America. I suppose this proves that places aren't that different, really.

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