We've left Leiden and headed north, to Groningen with Ton's friend, Henk. He has bought a new house in Bakkeven. Things up here are more spacious-- very small towns with lots of open land. It's free-standing homes, rather American actually. We had a nice lunch on the way in and I had my first "farmer's omelet" which is a fairly typical lunch around these parts. It's really just an omelet with lots of veggies in it.
We spent the afternoon at Kasteel Nienoord. (http://www.kasteelnienoord.nl/fotos) It's very tiny but they make the most of what they have. We had a personal guided tour (no one else was there!). The house itself is beautiful inside but needs restoration. There's just a lack of funding to do it.
They have an amazing collection of carriages, coaches and sleighs. They store them and have restoration facilities as well.
For the more macabre people on my list...I included the funeral coach and requisite coffin!
After that, we went to see Henk's niece who owns her own farm. 11 horses, a goat, a pig, some chickens, a new kitten and a dog so sweet I wanted to bring her home! We followed that with dinner in Norg, a very small town with an amazing Italian restaurant, Monte Giove. (http://www.montegiove.nl/site/norg.php) I had Lasagna ai peperoni met gorgonzola-- lasagna with red and green bell peppers, tomato sauce and gorgonzola cheese. For dessert, Dame Blanche-- homemade gelato with whipped cream that you pour warm dark chocolate sauce over and devour while the chocolate forms into pieces of fudgy goodness. *sigh* I think I gained ten pounds today.
Tomorrow we're going into Groningen, probably to a museum or two, or maybe just to walk around the town. We'll see what happens. Saturday we are meeting Ton's parents in Oosterwolde to stay at Hotel Zon and go to the Eise Eisgina museum (http://www.planetarium-friesland.nl/engels.html). Then, back home Sunday evening (possibly traveling over the Afsluitdijk! EEP!)to wash clothes and pack for three nights in Brussels and one night in Antwerp. Whew. The time is flying by!
PS THere are more pictures but I don't have time to get them posted tonight. I'm tired and I want to go to bed! :-P