Monday, September 16, 2013

The British are Coming


HA!  And just like that...they came, they saw, and they conquered a smattering of what it is to be Dutch!

Chad (l) and Chris (r) are longtime Shutterchance friends we see every year in England.
Surely you remember Chris from our times on the farm.
They arrived at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport late Tuesday afternoon last week,
after which we headed straight for our favorite pannenkoeken restaurant out in the polder.

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After breakfast the next morning, Wednesday, we took a walk around our citadel city-center.
Chad's wife's name is Norma, so how serendipitous to see a barge with her name in our city!

We even had a nice rain during our two-hour walk.  Refreshing.
We love our city!

After an erwtensoep lunch, we did a long drive along the dijk on our side of the Merwede river,
before crossing the Zaltbommel bridge and stopping at the Loevestein castle across the river from us.

Who can say NO to a good, strong castle, almost in our backyard!  Moat included.

What's fun about it is that's it's very interactive.  Can you tell?
Kids of all ages love to play around there.

On our way home from the castle, we stopped in Woudrichem, the city next door.
We see her church across the river from us...our sister city, and nicely quaint.

That evening we had Astrid's spinach AND apple taarts for supper.  Lucky us!

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 First thing on Thursday morning we headed off along another dijk to this WWII Bunker 599 from 1940.
It's been split in half so you can see inside it.  Most educational for us all.

Then we stopped at Werk aan het Spoel, a stop on the Waterlinie for the water taxis.
It and the bunker were both firsts for Astrid and me.

Then we were on our way to Wijk bij Duurstede, one of our standbys for visitors.
But we first stopped in Culemborg to see their ornate city hall (bottom-center),
and after Wijk bij Duurstede to see Buren.  They'll all in the same vicinity!

It's the drive-through windmill and the Duurstede castle that we keep going back to.
We love that place.  

We ate breakfast at home each day (top image), of course,
but that night we went out on the town where we live in Gorinchem and had a blast.

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The next day, Friday, we had till late afternoon before getting the gents back to the airport.
So we headed north of the airport to another favorite city, Hoorn, where we ate lunch and walked around.

And then one last stop before the airport...at the Schermer windmill museum "below sea level."
It was the first time inside a Dutch windmill for the guys, to see how it works
and how people can actually live in one.

In fact, it was the best thing to save till last because the one thing they said most surprised them
was to see how much of the Netherlands really IS below sea level.  While driving on the dijks you can actually see it...with water high on one side of the dijk and dry land way below it on the other side.

Yes, Folks.  This is the Netherlands.
God created the world but the Dutch created Holland.
And once you realize Schiphol airport used to be land under water, you finally get it!

20 comments:

  1. So entertaining! Thanks for letting us tag along with you all!

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    1. As you see by my pics, Robin, it was more about the people than the places (which I have already shown so many times before here on this blog!). Thank YOU for joining the fun. :)

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  2. It was so much fun to show them around. The weather was with us. They are used to some rain too.
    After seen so much water and under-sea-level-land, it is true to say that the Dutch created Holland.
    A great memory added, we will have a smile on our face, looking at the pictures over time. Thank you for making these collages and blame it all on the world wide web.....grin.....

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    1. Definitely blame it all on the WWW! The world gets smaller and smaller every day, it seems. If we live long enough, maybe everyone will end up visiting us. :)

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  3. love the poses. what fun to be out and about with friends.

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    1. Every time it just gets better and better, Maria! :)

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  4. It must be so much fun to have company come visit with so much to do and show them! A couple of very lucky gents!

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    1. How I wish we could whisk you and Larry away from your flood waters, Susan, and give you a good time here!!! One day.

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  5. You have documented a brilliant visit memorably, Ginnie...very entertaining!

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  6. It certainly looks like you had a great time. You're a fun bunch and it shows in the shots. I missed Astrid's red jacket. I had the pleasure of meeting Aussie on Sunday. I love our little community.

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    1. We had a GREAT time, Mary, yes! Better than great, actually! And yes, Auusie told us she met you on Sunday. I LOVE these meet-ups through our Shutterchance community. I know of no other blogging community quite like it.

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  7. Replies
    1. We had a blast, Cherry. And just think, you've met them both. :)

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  8. You'd have to be a kid to keep up with all of you! Super fun!

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    1. HA! So true, Ruth. We may be worse than kids. :D

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  9. A terrific romp among friends. Thank you for letting us romp along under water.

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  10. Just like kids again, and having so much fun at it.. Loved the pics! :) Made me smile.. (Much needed)

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    1. The thing is, Jen, we WERE like kids again! :) It's always fun to show off where we live. Thank you.

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