Thursday, 23 August 2012


I've been away in Holland to stay with my daughter and her partner, being driven out to various places, taking photos, eating meals out and generally enjoying myself.First holiday since 1994! Mustn't forget the cats who sometimes came to sleep on my bed with me and to whom I gave treats in the mornings! Both of them are rescue cats.

This is Al and

                                                                     here is Lily.
This part of the Netherlands, North Holland, is very flat, LOTS of wind turbines - these are just a

few at the side of the road, but there can be a whole row of them on the horizon in the distance
People of all ages ride bikes but they aren't the maniacs who whizz along the lanes here in Lycra practising their racing skills, these are people going about their ordinary life. No potholes, or rather, just one in a touristy path. No tailgating, overtaking or being aggressive on long straight roads...
Jackdaws are almost as plentiful as starlings are here, they're everywhere. Plenty of mosquitos here, but then, the fields are divided, not by hedges and fences, but ditches of stagnant water, so it's not surprising you get bitten.
Because I don't walk very fast and to enable us to get around, Teresa had borrowed a wheelchair for me from a local shop, sort of Medical Comforts, which meant we could travel much more quickly and, if I wanted to walk and lean on the handles, everything was dumped on the seat. She pushed me on cobbles, pavements, in and out of cafes, shops and anywhere else we went. Oh, and the car boot, on grass. The usual horrified expression from one stallholder when I indicated I wanted to buy one of her dresses for sale to cut up for patchwork! One stallholder selling things for a South African charity, cut off a strip of her table covering when I admired it! I reckoned I wouldn't get anything like this in the UK.
The town has an evening market where the local shops sell off their end of season goods cheaply to make room for new stock and it's very well attended. It's a bit disconcerting to be at peoples' waist height rather than standing up and peering over shoulders or under their arms  so some photos are from a lower viewpoint or only partially successful.

Plenty of cake stalls, nearly all sold out by the time we got there.
As you can imagine, plenty of cheese available wherever we went. This is just a small portion of this stall. I did buy a cheese plane for soft cheese to use back home (not here, though) and it works very nicely. You're asked whether you want 'young' or 'old' cheese in your sandwich, which isn't a sandwich at all,but a roll plus lots of salad.
Plenty of clothes selling for just a few Euros, shoes, all kinds of things, and the shops stay open till late that night, too.
 The supermarkets are all together plus parking and that's all opposite some sculpture, of which there seems to be plenty in the town. These two are also inviting you to sit down and rest, there's space enough.
The boy up a palm tree - looking for Christmas, perhaps - is at the other end of the grass strip from the people above. There are unexpected pieces of sculpture all over the place, like the one below, which looks like a trivet to me...
The strip of grass divides the Up and Down sides of the road leading to the road where Teresa and Jonathan live.
I rather liked this little bridge for its fancy ironwork. A nice touch.
I'll do another instalment in a day or two, now I've downloaded the photos I mean to use...



marigold jam said...

Looks as though you had a great time . I am glad you enjoyed your holiday. It is always interesting to see how other nationalities live and what their country is like isn't it? Glad you are home safely though - I'd wondered where you were!

Bernard said...

I guessed you were enjoying yourself in the land of the tulips and Windmills. I have to admit a wee bit of disappointment Sylvie, I thought they had real traditional windmills and not these horrid new things that put my electric bill up by 10%. (Green taxes!)
Ah! Cheeses. I bet they were lovely. And did you see any Street-organs? Getting round 'sitting down' is a great idea for speed, but Barbara always complains to me about the cobbles in Amersham. We take the chair to Sainsbury's which starts off with a basket on the seat, only to be replaced by Barb's bum, when we get to the check-out Q.
Glad to hear you enjoyed a long awaited, and much deserved hol.

Kath said...

great post Silve and very interesting photos.
Glad you enjoyed your break away.

Helsie said...

Looks like you had a good holiday. It is so interesting to see the way other people live in a different country. how do you get on speaking Dutch???

Sylve said...

It was nice to be driven/pushed around but I was still tired when I got home - all that fresh air!
Bernard, plenty of traditional mills but usually across the fields - you can't stop to take photos so I missed every one. I only saw three street organs at street markets, nothing like the individual ones you have.
Thanks, Kath, glad you liked the book.
I don't speak Dutch, Helsie, it's only used in Holland, but Teresa is making good progress with learning it - so she did translations for me. I have a bit of German so could see resemblances in some of the written words, though.