Monday, September 6, 2010

amsterdam

I had to do some mathmatical calculations to figure out how big Holland really is. Arizona is 113,000 square miles, Holland is 16,039 square miles. At least I think it is, if I converted kilometers to miles correctly. It helps me to have a sense of space to know where I am and where we're traveling. The country is really called the Netherlands and Holland is just a portion of the northern part of the country, but the whole country is often called Holland.
Tom took us on a couple of day trips to the northern parts of Holland. We were going to drive up to Amsterdam, but on the way (well it wasn't really on the way, but thanks for going out of the way for us, Tom) we stopped to see the LDS Temple, in Zoetermeer near the Hague city center. We found that there really aren't many members in the southern parts of Holland. There wasn't a ward or branch to attend church within an hour and a half of Someran. But farther north is the beautiful temple. Although we didn't plan to attend, it was nice to see it and snap some pictures and enjoy a stroll around the grounds.

Having a Fine Arts Degree and having taken more than my share of art history classes in college, I should have known more about Van Gogh, but touring the Van Gogh Museum was a good art history lesson for me. This is a country of bicycles. They are everywhere and are a significant part of the traffic patterns on the roads. It's estimated that there are 16 million bicycles in the country. Basically, one per person in the country.

We toured the Anne Frank House (very touching) and enjoyed seeing the downtown areas and canals and city sights.
Tom also took us to the Zaanse Schans Museum, kind of like a little pioneer village with a wooden shoe factory, cheese factory, working windmills, a river cruise. It was a fun morning. We ended our tour there with a lunch of Dutch pancakes - nothing like American maple-syrup type pancakes. They are kind of a cross between a crepe and a pancake. And they are HUGE. They served them with ham and cheese or fruit and whip cream.Tom began to describe the many wonderful aspects of Dutch culture. Most questions or observations we had were answered by him saying it's "Typical Dutch". Even as we were eating lunch and a little family of ducks came waddling by, Dave commented on how cute they were. Tom answered "Typical Dutch". So now everything impressive, pretty, interesting, or awesome is "Typical Dutch".
Good friends, fun day, good traveling -- "Typical Dutch"!

3 comments:

Lauri said...

Simply beautiful!

Cathy said...

Hope you all were able to bring home yourself some wooden shoes!

Suzanne Barker said...

Gosh, it makes me want to go!!