We made it!

Trip Start Jun 17, 2010
Trip End Aug 18, 2010

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Where I stayed
Jan & Veronica Hillege

Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Saturday, June 19, 2010

6/17 - We're off into the air! The flight is as pleasant as all 12 hour flights in economy class, knees to the chin. When the seat in front reclines, you can count the hair follicles of the person in front of you!  We changed planes in Reykjavik.  Our 1 hour layover was spent standing in line.  We had to go through security again because the screening from our departure point may not have been according to the rules of the EEC/EEU.  You can imagine how pleasant this was with 300+ crabby people, who had spent the last 9 hours counting follicles.

6/18 – We were met in Amsterdam by Veronica, Iris’s friend.  She took us to her and her husband, Jan’s, house east of Amsterdam in a village called Huizen.  It is a lovely town with tall houses, some with slate tile roofs and some with thatched roofs.  Veronica fed us a late lunch of fried egg, bread, cheese, ham.  Also served were chocolate sprinkles which you put on buttered bread. After we were settled, we walked to the village to look at a regional market that occurs only 1 time/year. The goods for sale included some local handcrafts, such as laces and leather tooling.  One man was giving a demonstration of horseshoeing.  Unfortunately we did not bring any California sunshine with us.  The weather here is very much like Oregon and Washington, gray skies with intermittent rain showers and 58 degrees.

Saturday, 6/19 – Today Veronica took us on a car ride around the Markermeer (previously called the Zuider Zee before the dikes were built) and over the big dike that was built 30 years ago to reclaim land for housing and farms. There is another dike further north and much longer built around 1929 called Afsluitdijk. The water in the Markermeer (and Ijsselmeer to the north) became fresh water after the dikes were built. The Markerwaarddijk is 28 km. across. There were a lot of sailboats out in the water because there were good winds for sailing today.  We followed the road along the lake with many dairy farms off to the right.  Every now and then we would see one of the beautiful old windmills, but the road was so narrow that we could not stop to take a good picture. We stopped in Volendam for coffee.  It was an important fishing village in the old days, but now is mostly a tourist town.  Today was an important day because Holland was playing soccer against Japan in the World Cup.  Holland won 1-0 so there was lots of celebrating going on.  Everywhere you went were orange flags, people wearing orange shirts and painted faces wearing orange wigs.
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judy owen on

linda just to let you know that Hunter is fine. He has been playing with the dogs and adjusting very well to everything. Been giving him his meds and all the dogs have to have some of that liver mix so here I'm giving Hunter his pills with all the dogs around me waiting for there turn. Mother hubbard. We went to see mister Judah to day and I held him for awhile, I didn't want to give him back. What handsome young man. Looked like Cinda and Russ when they were babyies with all the hair. Enjoying your blog

Mel on

Love their billboards!

Ralf on

Great, welcome to Europe! We are looking forward to see you soon!
Enjoy your travels and dutch cheese! :)

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