Monday, June 17, 2019


loved this detail on a Dordecht roof

townhall in Willemstadt

snack stop in Dinteloord  Good thing my watch kept track of where I was. We would have snacks, good ones too, every ten miles  They would fill our waterbottles every morning with lemon water

we had a picnic lunch on top of the Dintellocks. It was so windy by the time I climbed to a bench overlooking the water, a good portion of my lunch had blown away

lots of locks on this trip

the Roosevelt museum in Oude Vossemeer Zeeland. The founder of both lines that led to Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt emigrated from here. They were a powerful family here too

The Four Freedoms statue. Every year an award is given here to someone who epitomized the values. Don't think our Orangeman will ever qualify as he is  destroying the freedoms. Surviving Roosevelts always come here for the ceremony

cute café across from the museum

downtown Tholen. We had an optional ride around the island of Tholen but I passed as it was so windy plus I already rode 38 miles
I loved this house in Tholen

strange truck next to our homestay house

Third day of riding: Willemstaad to Tholen When viewed from above, Willemstaad appears to be a seven pointed star in honor of the seven provinces of the Netherlands though I think they now have nine. It is surrounded by a twenty foot wall in the shape of a star.Some think that Holland and the  Netherlands are one and the same but Holland is just one of the provinces though one that has the greatest historical significance and population.  We started out in Holland but on this day, we crossed into Zeeland, land recovered from the sea. More polders, more canals, more ferries to wait for, more locks...

I quickly developed a routine. I am an early riser. I would bring my phone and charger (needed it to be charged completely for our battery sucking mapping app) into the lower lounge and drink countless cups of cappuccino  (no sugar as it comes in slow to dissolve cubes) I would have liked to explore our docking towns but they pull the gangplank up at night. I could sit on the outside decks and watch the sun come up. There were guidebooks to read along with a book on Dutch birds (in Dutch). I would soon be joined by our chef, Russell, a kiwi of Dutch heritage. He is 33. We became good friends. His girlfriend was on the team responsible for photographing that black hole back in April. So quite the pair: an Astrophysicist and a chef whose role model is Escoffier. I would continue my Dutch lessons. His Dutch is bad as he grew up in New Zealand. I can now read it but understanding and worse, speaking it was a challenge. I had more quickly adopted Italian. I finally had to use it that day. We were directed to a small town but expected to find a museum on our own so in my best Dutch, I asked some teenagers where it was. They gave me a multipart answer in rapid Dutch but pointed in the right direction so I was first to find it   It was also useful with menus. Russell would always make  me a fresh cup of coffee. When it was time for him to make our breakfast, others would come in and I  would retreat to my room to clean up before my late sleeping friend would arise.. Breakfast was at 8:30.  We would come ready to ride though some days we would sail aways before the ride.  

On this day, we took a group ride through Willemstaad, a very cute town. I would have liked to explore it but we stopped only once. Then on our own through potato and sugar beet fields and wind. Dutch snacks are hard to resist: almond and coconut macaroons, real chococolate, fruit. Eventually we made our way to the lunch stop in the middle of nowhere.  Potato lentil salad. Not my favorite though Russell made some excellent rhubarb bread. I sat on top of a dyke with the only possible Trump supporters on the trip. The man owned a company that he thought Trump would help. Through lots of wind and polders to the town that the Roosevelts came from . They opened the museum especially for us. Fortunately not far from Tholen. The wind and all those polders was wearing on me. I didn't do the Tholen ride.  They had a program to learn how the Dutch really live. So off I went with the lesbian couple to a private house which was built just 15 years ago. The couple was nice. The women, maybe 10 years younger than me, is a school teacher who wants to be a child therapist. She took a 8 day course to become this. I had to laugh as one of the Americans I was with had a phd in child psychology and was a therapist. Had a bit more than 8 days training but she just smiled. We discussed politics. Of course there isn't a single person in the country that would understand why you know who was elected. A tragedy for the whole world, not just us.

So I am writing about things that happened more than two weeks ago. I have struggling to keep up with numerous things in the present time. Finally have a handle on that. Will discuss further.


Elephant's Child said...

Thank you. Though the large Trump in the last took me back - I had to embiggen.

Snowbrush said...

I enjoyed learning about your trip.

I can't make a lick of sense out of a person becoming a shrink in eight days. Surely, something got lost in the recounting; either that or her smile meant that it was an exceptionally accelerated accelerated course, one that would be well beyond the intellectual ability of the citizens of a country so dumb as to elect you know who for president, and would therefore require nearly a decade to become a shrink

"Of course there isn't a single person in the country that would understand why you know who was elected."

Aside from the man you met and a few Alabama tourists, of course. I couldn't tell from your account if you received hostile vibes because you're an American, although it does seem that they looked to you for an explanation, and while I'm sure you could put words together, the explanation would still be unsatisfying in that it would come down to stupidity and gullibility.

Meanwhile, back at home, you know who continues to boast about having restored the world's respect in America, and Mike Pompeo points to the Dutch as proof that sea level rise should be regarded as an opportunity rather than a problem (I'm sure his words were enormously flattering and comforting to the Dutch).

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

The Dutch especially appreciated his comment that windmills cause cancer. I didn't seem to feel any hostile vibes, I think they understand that for the most part, educated Americans who travel aren't responsible for our buffoon. The Dutch are well aware of the rising oceans and are busy shoring up their dykes. Dealing with water is a good part of their budget.

The only place I ever felt hostility while traveling was England back was when George W. was president. I was stopped numerous times demanding an explanation. No I didn't elect him. Little did the world realize that Bush would look so good in comparison.


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