Someone was rude enough to leave me unexpectedly and without warning without accommodation and transport when I arrived. Someone else was equally rude to tell me only after arrival that they didn't want to travel with me to Australia: the whole reason of this exercise! I had arranged accommodation for a few weeks, I had booked only a single flight to Europe, and now I had the added cost of also having to hire a car during my stay!
Well, life goes on and plans were quickly altered. Wim and Gerrie, who had picked me up at the airport and with whom I was going to stay for the weekend anyway, were kind enough to accommodate me for the few weeks that I would be there, although they had their own worries and their own hands full with other matters.
First thing was booking my flight back and hire a car. Another sad story. After the bungle with Europcar in England, which left me with a huge bill, I tried Europcar once more, because in the past I had never had any difficulties. Well, no more! In Utrecht they didn't want to know me, because I am using a debit card. Never had any problems, but here I did. We tried a few other options, but no, they refused and had the nerve to tell me that I wasn't even going to get my money back. (I had booked, and paid for, the car on line.)
So, next I walked into a Hertz branch around the corner and everything was fine. I went home with a car without so much as a worry. Thank you Hertz!
Well, to keep a long story short, I managed to have a good time for the rest of my stay with friends and family. I saw Julia and Guido again and even got to finally meet Nils, Guido's little brother who was born in November the year before.
In the little time I had I managed to visit friends in Purmerend, 's-Hertogenbosch, Houten, Vreeland and Streefkerk. I got a new set of contact lenses (long overdue) and Wim and I managed to have a day out together in the Biesbosch, Made and Heusden. Not bad for an unplanned holiday! Of course I couldn't visit everyone like I normally do, but this was okay. Oh, and I went out geocaching too and a day out to my favorite theme park: the Efteling!
I haven't taken many pictures, but will post the few that I have:
I am their great-aunt, but it feels like they are my grandchildren too!
|The year of Hieronymus Bosch. Sculptures of his paintings were placed all over town.|
|A little hedgehog|
|Filling in time washing windows for Gerrie...|
|... with Julia keeping a watchful eye on me|
Eenmaal is scheepsrecht
New Pier View
|a clever decoy|
Olifanten mars (cache series)
|A meal for a King (or Queen?) ;-)|
I also went to Dieuwer in Vreeland for a short visit. It was nice to see each other again and reminisce about our exchange in 2015 and the trip through Scotland this year.
Even though I have been lucky enough to be in the Netherlands on a regular basis, it is never long enough. Miss you guys. I will be back!