October 23, 2010

Visiting Holland (2)

In the north...

In my last blog, I mentioned Utrecht as one of the places we visited. I posted a few pictures of Haarlem, but we did spend a whole day in the old bishop town of Utrecht on October 1, under the knowledgeable guidance of my cousin. She has a vast knowledge of the history as well as the architecture of this ancient city. Needless to say, we walked quite a few miles. The weather was glorious and the sights were breathtaking. Listening to the carillon as we walked through the old city, we enjoyed visiting some of the many churches, all of which have a rich history.

After we went north again, we rented a car for about 10 days. This gave us the opportunity to do some local travel. We visited the hamlet of Moddergat (Mud-hole in English), one of many small fishing villages that are found along the northern coast of Friesland and Groningen. This was of interest to me, because I had read a story about this little town describing a great storm, which all but wiped out the entire local fishing fleet. This took place in the 1880s. The story was about a survivor, who was imprisoned under an overturned boat on the beach. I got the book when I was in second grade; it really made an impression on me at that time. I was glad to have the opportunity to visit the memorial of this devastating event on the dike near the village. There is also a museum here, with a small coffee shop, which we enjoyed for refreshments and small talk.

We spend most of the following weekend with my brother and his family in Veendam. Again, we enjoyed gorgeous warm weather. On Sunday we visited a nice wooded heather. There were many others enjoying the great summerlike fall weather also. Then we went to visit our niece and her family in Emmeloord, with a side trip to the fishing village Urk located on a previous Zuiderzee island.

This place has a long history of suffering also, as it was a small fishing island. Things have changed when the Afsluitdijk was completed and the island became part of the new land. It was really nice to
have the ability to get around independently.

After a visit to the capital, Groningen (and another picture of the great tower there) we went on to spend leisure week in our hometown of Appingedam. One of my cousins lives here and she graciously opened her house for an extended visit – but that come in the next installment.

October 7, 2010

Vacationing in Holland

My lovely bride and I celebrated 45 years of married bliss in the Netherlands. We are visiting with family and are seeing the sights. As this was our home-land for many years, we get around pretty well. We celebrated our anniversary with Joh's sister and her son in a nice restaurant in Zoutkamp.

The following weekend we met with the entire family in Emmen for a day at the zoo, with dinner following. All the kids had a wonderful time; do I need to say that we are all kids at heart?

evening in Amsterdam

Visiting Amsterdam we stayed at "De Poort," the old "seamen's home," which is part of the YWAM base in Amsterdam. We enjoyed revisiting many sights and people we knew form our previous visits and work activities here. We also had opportunity to visit Utrecht and Haarlem. Both very significant places in Dutch history.

St Bavo Church, Haarlem