Wednesday, November 4, 2020

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been

 Thank you all for sharing the Trip that Was series with me.  I didn't travel a lot before I got married, 15 years ago this year.  In those 15 years, I've seen so much, and the big world became smaller in all the important ways. I've come to realize religion doesn't matter so much, culture can be glorious in its differences, and the people are not their governments.  I saw that being friendly to a stranger who doesn't speak your language makes all the difference.  We all want kindness, acceptance, and love.  We want to share our stories and be accepted.  People are people, and we all treasure the same thing: love, home, family. 

 In the last two months, I've shown you  glimpses of  18 world cities, and a large portion of the 102 towns in the Netherlands my Dutch boy and I have visited together. You've met some of our friends, and family and shared in so many memories. I hope you enjoyed the journey.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Trip that was: November 3, 2009

It's very appropriate that we take this trip together today, as it's time to tie up this series of posts.  This trip was one of our "last day" trips with Pa into the Dutch countryside. Pa, Dutchboy, and I would pile into the car and drive over the old roads Pa drove as part of his route as service mechanic for ANWB, and he would tell us stories of things that happened, things he had seen, funny people he had met.  He shared history he knew of the towns we passed or walked through, and we always had coffee and apple tart somewhere. He's not able to take those trips with us now,  but I cherish the the days we spent doing this together.  

On this trip, we went into the municipality of Waterland in the province of North Holland.  A collection of lovely old towns grouped around the Markermeer, this area is definitely worth a wander.

We started at Broek-in-Waterland.  This tiny, picturesque village has the distinction of being "the cleanest village in the Netherlands"! And certainly is beautiful.

Monnickendam. It was founded as an outpost for the Monastery of Marken in 1235, and that is most likely how this town got it's name which translates as Monk's Dam. 

St. Nicholas Kerk, or the Grote Kerk of Monnickendam.

Like most of these old churches in the Netherlands, it has some foundation issues and is a bit crooked.

Memorial of Crashes.  This memorial is a tribute to three different  British RAF flight crews who were shot down near Monnickendam in 1941-1942. 

Speeltoren, houses the oldest hand-played carillions in the Netherlands. 

On the Banks of the Markermeer, Monnickendam has a nice harbor, that used to be very important to town.

This statue in the harbor commemorates eel smoking. It's now a dying industry, but in earlier times Monnickendam used have lots of smokehouses and ell fishing and eel smoking used to be big business.

Ending the day in Hoorn. A few random images.

The Coat of Arms of Hoorn.

Looking out the window of the Westfries Museum towards the old weigh house.

We ended the afternoon with coffee and apple tart in de Hoofdtoren, looking out at the Ijsselmeer while it rained. 

 Tot Ziens! 

Monday, November 2, 2020

The Trip that was: Keukenhof, April 2019

I'm jumping out of daily sequence for a moment, because I have nothing share for November 2nd.  I couldn't let the "Trip that was series" end, without including a trip to The Keukenhof!  The Keukenhof is known as "flower garden of Europe", and is in the town of Lisse, not too far from Amsterdam.  79 acres of exquisitely designed gardens, surrounded by fields of tulips, daffodils,  hyacinths and crocuses, Keukenhof  plants over 7 million bulbs annually.  The gardens are only open for eight weeks a year, from late March to mid-May, and the explosions of color during this time are legendary.  The gardens are sprawling cultivated lawns and beds of hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, crocuses and other bulbs, garden installations based on a theme (for us it was the 1970''s) , and flower themed green houses that showcase orchids, amaryllis, all the tulips varieties and colors you could ever imagine, and other flowers that I can't even remember.  When I first visited the Netherlands, I asked Dutchboy about Keukenhof, the tulips fields, and the flower auctions.  I was told that, "there is nothing to see at Keukenhof or the tulips fields, no Dutch person ever visits, it's touristy and expensive, and it's really a waste of time".  In typical Dutchboy fashion, he was WRONG about all those things.  See for yourself. 

Dutchboy and his sister are famous for "jumping photos".

I am famous for not-jumping photos.

This bridge is beautiful, but a big nope for me!

Inside one of the flower houses. 

Dutchboy lives in a yellow submarine.

Inside the Orchid House.

Cherry blossom petals scatter everywhere.

On to the tulips houses that seem to stretch for miles.

Tulip: New Design

Tulip: White Valley

Tulip: Rasta Parrot (This is my VERY favorite!!!)

Tulip: Giant Orange Sunrise (foreground)

Tulip: Salmon Van Eijk (Also one of my very very favorites!)

Tulip: Lilac Wonder

John Lennon and Yoko Ono Bed-In Installation!

Dutchboy took this. Caption: The Keukenhof. I don't see what the hype is about. 

Here's a video I took as we drove past some of the fields of flowers surrounding Lisse.  Proof that Dutchboy was wrong and the trip was totally worth it, and there is so much enjoy!