Saturday, August 18, 2012


We have been busy on our vacation!  Did a trip up north (noord) with Rob and Rina and crossed huge dikes...this is where you see how good the Dutch are at claiming land.
Stopped in Leeuwarden to visit the leaning Jacobin church and walk about the town.  Stopped by a Hofge which is a housing unit with a lockable entrance (no not a Californian gated community) which was set up by the church to house widows and single women safely.  Up north there are larger farms and fewer villages than the south.

Afsluitdijk..fresh water on one side, sea on the other.
Jacobin Church

View from church of Leeuwarden

Garden in Hofge

Housing in Hofge
One thing is not like the others!
We stayed with some friends of theirs who own one of the old farmhouses where the huge barn and house are attached by a small building in between and has been converted to a B & B.  Fantastic gardens as well.  It backs onto a village green which has two fat little ponies living there.  Tea and drinks in the gardens and barbeque by the wood shed. 

Jan's garden

Walkway to the green field.

Love the round shape of Jan's garden.
Original barn was thatched but now sheeted over.
Farmhouse kitchen with original Norwegian stove.
Farmhouse kitchen.
garlic drying in the shed
Entrance to the barn was originally horse stalls.
Waiting for the food to begin.

Heinz the barbeque master .
Ponies on the common green.
This is how they do their fires.  We have seen this set up on the sidewalk in Amsterdam.

While up north we went wad loppen which is walking in the low tide out to the North Sea.  Sometimes you can sink into the mud up to your knees so you go with a guide.

Walking the dike to the wad.
Where we came from.
Where we are going.
Worm breathing hole and poop! The local women gathered these for fishing bait.
Happy walkers.
Love the basalt rocks all individually placed.
 We went to a couple little towns with unusual architecture, museums, windmills and churches after wad loppen.  Was a lovely day but I tell you our legs were sore after that. 


This is one of the farm houses with the barn attached.

Life behind the dike.

Sheep mow the dike.

Windmill in Dokkum.
This windmill was for grinding grains.
Great machines in the mill.
These shoots were set up for different stages of grinding so you could have the grain whole or meal.
Bridge in Dokkum.

Rob might have seen the light!
Neighbours going by.

Other neighbours who stopped to give us a ride.

Painters at the community gardens.
When the military took over this tower this staircase was made so they did not have to go through the church.

Lighthouse in Urk.
Canal boats on the ways for bottom paint.
Fish boat in Urk.  We had a great fresh fish dinner here.
Old Dutch Boyer
 Also visited Groninger which is hosting the Canadian art show by the Group of Seven.  Was never so proud to be a Canadian.  The show is fantastic...lots of pieces we had never seen and lots of people there and excited about this show. 
Groninger Museum

Ai Wei Wei

This is one of the dozens of studies done onsite that was later painted larger.

Ink and stencils

We have been taking small trips by train, sometimes with our bikes.  Visited a walled city and then on one trip we found our Wiske Yacht Club...Arnt is very happy.

Naarden the walled city with two moats and originally only accessible by boat.
Naarden fort in the walls.
Church in the walled city.
Wild cows across the street from the thatched roof homes below.

Windmill with sails on.  Used to pump water.
We would love to buy this boat.
We can afford this boat.
We can rent this boat.
We settled for this 16' sailboat.  Does Arnt look happy enough?
Me relaxing foward.

Our boat...we rent it for E50 for 3 hours.
 We went to an art show in an empty parking garage, a Mali band at a beachhouse and a Surinam festival.

Stacked apple computers all hand sewn.

Lots of room in a parking garage for installations.
this is a golf game that you get in
Beach shack where we saw the Mali Band.
Beach store where I bought a sarong
fireplaces you can rent
Surinam Festival
Cutest coffee wagon ever!
Surinam men take their birds everywhere!
One of our favourite places is NSDM which is a 15 minute ferry ride from Amsterdam central.  It is a place with artists studios, cool restaurants and bars, a beach, large outdoor space for events.  We visited one metal worker who was doing great work with theatre companies and sculpture.  Their front loading door has a shipping container punched through the wall which has a movie screen inside of it.

Arnt trying to figure out how to make his studio this big!
Rocking horse sculptures which were used as seating for a play.

Love how the door matches the sky.
Student housing in shipping containers.
Second floor skateboard park and Arnt with no board.
Seating at the Shipping Container Bar

Arnt getting our drinks.
Our choice for seating at the Shipping Container Bar.
Other seating at the bar includes half boats.
In Amsterdam we went to the Pride Canal Parade where all the floats are on boats or barges each one with a different theme.  Tons of people...young, old, families and the outrageous were all out!

Hmmm my jury is out on high heels and cobble stones.
This boat was prepared for the rain in their theme colours.
Ah the Divas on another boat.  There was syncronized dancing.
Other quirky sites on the canal....
This is our canal spot outside our apt.  All sorts of boats go by.
Is that really a bus?
We will have to check out this museum for sure!
Quirky house boat!
Summer in Holland is a lot of fun.  Everyone is out in the sun...camping, biking, sailing, canal boating, fishing and of course doing the cafe thing!  We are trying to join up with all of it.  Thanks for stopping by!

Arnt has been making some great meals.
I am chilling out!