Saturday, 18 February 2017

Next stop: The Netherlands - September 2016

A short stop in the Netherlands was planned, but as it was everything went downhill from the moment I arrived...

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:

Heidi's Guido and Nils
I am their great-aunt, but it feels like they are my grandchildren too!

A day in Streefkerk with the MiniAvonTuren group.
Connected via Skype with friend Ria in Sweden. 

A day out in 's-Hertogenbosch, walking through town and enjoying a famous oldie: rookworst.

The year of Hieronymus Bosch. Sculptures of his paintings were placed all over town.


At Wim and Gerrie's place

A little hedgehog

Filling in time washing windows for Gerrie...

... with Julia keeping a watchful eye on me

A few days in Purmerend where Moenie and Paula were kind enough to come out geocaching with me.  Such good sports!  And I got to see their beautiful new kitchen.  

Eenmaal is scheepsrecht


 New Pier View


a clever decoy

Also the now becoming regular date with Nicole: a day out geocaching together.  This time a ride on the folding bikes around the Maarsseveense Plassen.

 Olifanten mars (cache series)

A series of 16 caches and every container had an elephant attached or was decorated with one (of those that hadn't disappeared over time)

I'm glad we did this one, because this great series has now been archived.

A day out with Wim: boat trip in National Park De Biesbosch.
I don't have pictures of the trip as such, but took a few at the information centre. 

At the end of the trip we visited Made, a little town where we used to stay with an uncle and aunt when we were children, a sentimental drive through Oudheusden where I used to live, and we ended up in Heusden where we had dinner together before heading home again. Again, a day to remember!

A meal for a King (or Queen?) ;-)

And last but not least, a lovely day out at the Efteling with the whole family: Wim and Gerrie; Tom, Su and Julia; and Heidi with Guido.  (Nils stayed with friends as he would not have appreciated such a long day out at his tender age.)  

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!


  1. Wat een vreselijk begin van je vakantie hier. Waren dat ook mensen via de huizenruil site?
    Gelukkig is alles toch nog goed gekomen voor je en heb je zo te zien en lezen toch hele leuke dagen gehad.
    Enig, al die olifanten bij de caches, ik hou wel van zulke thema series.
    En wat betreft de Efteling, daar zijn wij hier ook gek op, we gaan er als het even kan een keer per jaar naar toe.

  2. Ik zie dat ik nooit gereageerd heb, Jolande. Nee, dat waren gelukkig geen mensen van de huizenruil site. Dat zou ik wel gemeld hebben bij de vereniging. Het was prive geregeld. Inmiddels ben ik alweer in NL, maar een dagje Efteling zal er wel niet in zitten. Weinig tijd deze keer door vele andere ontmoetingen..


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