Sunday, 30 May 2010

There's got to be a windmill or two........

Kinderdijk - windmills

Hullo ma wee blog,

Holiday over, it's back home to rainy Scotland. The weather last week in The Netherlands was good to us with mainly hot and sunny days and just one day of dull and cool. Now as we head into the bank holiday weekend - which to my mind always heralded the start of summer proper - it's a cool 8C and the rain is pattering against the window, albeit in a gentle and quietly relaxing way. With normal return-from-holiday grass cutting plans postponed I might have the chance to finish my holiday read. Strangely for me, who can devour up to a book a day when on holiday, I never completed any of the two books taken with me. As well as the days being filled with good company and interesting places, insomnia disappeared and I slept like a log which in turn gave me more energy and a better chance to enjoy each day.

Ghent - rooftop statues

We spent a few days with our friends at their farm near Eindhoven before joining my brother and his wife at their friends holiday house at Vlissingen and touring a part of Holland that we didn't know from previous visits.

Ghent - Cafe life

We had relaxing meals and long conversations during walks. We lazed in cafes and bars and soaked up the atmosphere. We watched healthy Dutch cycle energetically by as we savoured yet another coffee.

Middleburgh - Rathaus

We ate healthily and yet still gorged on Indonesian food and Dutch treats - matjes, poffertjes, kibbel and pannekoeken.

Spoordonks - street statue

We also took time to visit Belgium as Gordon and I wanted to retrace some of our Grandfathers steps in Ypres and Paschendaele during WWI.

Ypres - Cloth Hall

We soaked up history and trading connections with the East coast of Scotland - common red pantiled roofs look very familiar as the tiles were brought back as ballast on board ships visiting from home and used all over Fife and The Lothians

Lisette and Martiens Farmhouse

 Above all, we had fun and a great time with family and friends. No better kind of holiday.

See you later.

Listening to Thin Lizzie 'Cowboy Song'


coastkid said...

lovely post Al, glad you had a good break...and a good sleep!

Scottish Nature Boy said...

Welcome back Al - looks like a great trip (isn't Ghent in Belgium? I once sat outside all night at a bar there that had 450 different Belgian beers!). I've been to Zeeland and Middelburg twice for marine science conferences - it is a truly lovely town and area. I hired a bike and cycled round the island both times I was there. Went to a small town on the other side of the island from Middelburg that has an historic building called something like "The Scottish House", where a Caledonian trader used to bring Scottish sheep's wool over to trade with the Dutch (and presumably sent pantiles back!). I'd go back there again anytime - I also loved the big near-daily markets in the town square. Wouldn't it be nice if we had that over here instead of the once-monthly farmers' markets that are our poor substitute?

Alistair said...

Hi Guys,

Good to be back.

The wee village you are talking about SNB is called Veere - it's twinned with Culross in Fife - and funnily we went there on Friday en route to Schipol. We had lunch at a cafe restaurant just opposite the Scottisch Huis museum on the quayside. We loved it too and would go back in a flash!

Right too about Ghent - we stopped there with friends on the trip from Eindhoven on our way across to Zeeland to meet up with my brother.


Big Swifty said...

Glad you had such a great break, and that you slept so well. I am a dutchophile and have seen much of the country (but not the southern bits you stayed in!) - it's very easy for us to travel there from nearby Harwich. I agree with SNB, our UK farmers' markets are not a patch on the frequent eco/organic markets in Dutch towns.

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