Saturday, September 15, 2007

Enkhuizen, NL

We finally managed to break free of Amsterdam. What an incredible city! We stayed five days, doing museums and canal trips, the Red Light district, cafes and lots of other stuff. We spent a whole afternoon at the Anne Frank house. We both read The Diary of Anne Frank when young, and it was both powerful and sad to walk in the tiny rooms where the four in her family plus four others hid from the Nazis until they were betrayed and sent to concentration camps where they all died except her father. To stand in her little room and see the pictures she had cut out and pasted on the walls from movie magazines, and to see pages of her actual diary, was just incredible. And so sad that she died in Bergen-Belsen just one month before the camp was liberated.
Took a little detour before heading to Brussels to come up here about twenty miles north of Amsterdam, to Enkhuizer, on the ZuiderZee (now the IJsselmeer). There is an outdoor museum, much like Williamsburg or somewhere similar in the states, of a genuine Dutch fishing village, authentic and just as if the occupants had walked away yesterday from their life fishing for herring. Like at Williamsburg, they had people dressed in period costume, mending nets, cooking food, hanging out clothes, etc., just as the villagers did then. People lived in those little houses until the thirties, just as they had lived since about 1600. I had a whole smoked herring....it was SO good. Also a museum of fishing boats which was really interesting as well.
We're leaving for Brussels Saturday morning, the 15th, to connect up with an old college friend. Then we head out toward Paris......gay Paree...or whatever and greater France, the Loire Valley and more.
We're looking at the map, realizing that we have covered only a spot on the map as big as the end of my little finger in a whole week, so recognize that we are going to have to move on at a more brisk pace. There is just so much to see. Tom has been enjoying seeing the wind turbines everywhere, and both of us have been enjoying the wonderful butter, eggs and cheese. After driving out of Amsterdam and seeing the cows, sheep and other animals knee deep in wonderful green grass, no wonder the stuff tastes so good.
We'd love to come back to the Netherlands to stay for a period of time, although not in the middle of the winter, as it's cool and damp now and it's only midSeptember! It looks like home comforts, insulation and energy efficiency in modern Dutch homes and apartments has come a long way from those little houses we saw today in the ZuiderZee Museum village; it sure must have been cold here when when the winter storms came in off the ocean.....brrrrr.....
Well, no more news. We are fine. Enjoying ourselves immensely, and getting used to living in a VW van again. It took a few days, but now we have developed systems for doing stuff and not bumping into each other every minute. The bed in this van is sure not as comfortable as the one in our old one though....but after a day of sightseeing, we could probably bed down on the floor and not notice it.
Happy trails

1 comment:

Sean said...

Wow and I missed asking for good chocolate while you guys were over there, oh well maybe next time LOL. Sounds like a great time so far. I just got back from Chicago and am suppose to get a passport for work in Mexico... looks like travel for me also coming soon.