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Category: Netherlands

Leaving Home

Leaving Home

I think in the end I was a bit scared to actually go. Normally as I approach a deadline I get super efficient and get everything done like Super Woman and I was counting on that burst of energy and anxiety to kick in. But as this deadline approached, I found myself stalling and not being efficient at all. Was I having second thoughts about it all? Was I actually a bit nervous, even though it’s what I’ve wanted for…

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Camping in Flevoland

Camping in Flevoland

We had gorgeous summer weather for the end of September, so headed off to Camping De Altena (one of the Natuurkampeerterreinen or natural campgrounds) for the weekend. There were only a few other campers on the site, which was spread over six big grass fields, each surrounded by forest. We arrived Saturday at lunch time and just basically ran around (at least the kids) for the rest of the afternoon. Then, after a leisurely morning, we packed up, moved the van…

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Morning in Mainbernheim

Morning in Mainbernheim

Woke up and had the van ready to go by 9, without really rushing, and with packing things up in their stuff sacks since this was our last morning, a time we’d never achieve in a tent. Then our breakfast, one of the kids’ favourite: yoghurt and granola (crunchy muesli for the Europeans): Then, as we’d promised Sprocket, we got a bit of time in at the playground outside the medieval city walls: Yes, as DutchBoy read there, and as…

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Seeking the Sun Tour 2011

Seeking the Sun Tour 2011

The sun having been pretty much absent in the Netherlands this summer, or at least well hidden by clouds and rain, we decided that the sun was the object of our inaugural trip in our new green camper van. And when I say inaugural, I mean, we hadn’t even taken it out for a weekend, or even taken the kids for a ride in it yet. But here we were, heading out on vacation. We bought the bus on July…

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The Spoorweg Museum

The Spoorweg Museum

DutchBoy took a day off work and his dad came up and we all went to the Railway Museum. I have to admit, all the boys really, really liked it and I, well, I thought it was OK (pictures with a date stamp taken by DutchBoy’s dad). This amused me. Sorta. In an eye-rolling kinda way. Roughly translated, “There’s work in the Railway stores. There it’s responsible and interesting work… MENS WORK. A friendly and welcoming work environment and above…

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The Zuiderzee Museum

The Zuiderzee Museum

Again taking advantage of our museum memberships and a lovely late September afternoon, we headed off to the Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuisen. It’s another outdoor museum, a collection of old buildings and other heritage stuff. You take a boat from the parking lot to the museum and then get to wander around in buildings and such. I can see going back there when the kids are older as there was a lot of cool stuff for them, including dress up clothes…

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Open Air Museum

Open Air Museum

The Openluchtmuseum (literally “Open Air Museum”) is a collection of restored historic buildings, staffed by people in traditional costumes. They do traditional crafts (and naturally, sell the products) and have activities for the kids. But mostly, it’s just a very pleasant place to walk around in, with lots of interesting things to see. We’d been meaning to get there for a while – we bought these museum year cards (free entrance to many museums for only €35 for the year…

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Keukenhof

Keukenhof

A very traditional Mothers Day. We went with DutchBoy’s parents to the Keukenhof. We’d won tickets in the bank lottery he plays and a lovely sunny Mothers Day seemed the perfect day to go. It was beautiful, and though busy, not so busy that it was overcrowded. And by around five, everyone had gone home for dinner so it felt almost deserted and we got to wander through the flowers at leisure. I took quite a lot of pictures and…

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Kinderdijk

Kinderdijk

Today we went with a visiting Canadian friend to another World Heritage Site, Kinderdijk. Again, while nice enough, it was hardly on the scale of an Angkor Wat or some of the other sites I’ve seen. But it was pretty enough, and quintessentially Dutch, with windmills and dykes and polders (the areas of land inside canals), as you see here. Sprocket quite enjoyed his time in the back carrier, as he usually does. Me and my friend. A swan in…

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Muider Castle

Muider Castle

Off to the medieval castle of Muider, the Muiderslot (slot = castle) today. The occasion was a visit from our friend A, who’s staying with us a few days – she’s American but since she’s a flight attendant it’s easy for her to come visit. She arrived early in the morning and made her way down to Utrecht. After a quick nap for her, we headed off. Signage to Muiderslot was a bit confusing (as always, you can click on…

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Weekend in Limburg

Weekend in Limburg

Maastricht is commonly held to be one of the loveliest cities in the Netherlands, and Limburg is the only place with hills, so when Dutch Boy got a night in one of a chain of hotels as his Christmas gift from work (he actually got to choose out of a catalog), we knew where we wanted to go – Houthem, a small village two train stops from Maastricht. We reserved for Saturday night and then added Friday at the last…

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Weekend in Zeeland

Weekend in Zeeland

Zeeland was the last Dutch province Sprocket and I hadn’t been to, so of course, that’s where we went for a weekend away. We spent the weekend in a little town, Breskens. We rented a bungalow (the Dutch use the word for vacation houses) in a bungalow park close to the beach. It was quite nice – two stories, a bedroom, big bathroom and living area on the ground floor and two bedrooms (and a sleeping closet) and another bathroom…

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