A Travellerspoint blog

July 2009

Dads School

overcast 20 °C

Posted by classique 12:30 Archived in Netherlands Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

July 23rd

Tracing dad

all seasons in one day 20 °C

Today, Henk , Marijke and I headed to Boskoop and dropped into the state house to request information on where my dad was born. While waiting for this information we headed down to a café for a quick drink. We did not have long to wait and we were on our way to see three different places where the de Bruin family had lived in Boskoop. Dad was 6 months old when they left Boskoop and this house and others have since been bulldozed and replaced with flats. One of the houses was in the main thourough fair and had a shop underneath but we are unsure as to what it was used for. The last remaining house has either been bulldozed as well or we managed to find it and were given a tour through. The house we were invited into was either one of their old houses or one of the houses owned by my grand mother’s sisters. Boskoop is an extrodinary place with more canals then roads. It is a tree growing town and as such they have dug canals and ditches everywhere so they do not need to irrigate the trees.
We then headed to Amsterdam to see… Tuntje Rietje!
We arrived at about 2:30PM and devoured our lunch! Tante Rietje very kindly had gone through her collection of pictures and gave me my own personal album, all with pictures of dad and one of Oma and one of Opa. I have pictures of dad on his Norton as a part of a bike club, pictures of him playing the organ etc. I also have another photo album which I plan to scan with all the pictures of Dad, Mum, Richard, Tanya, Denise and Paul both when they were on holiday in the Netherlands and also an assortment from New Zealand! I have a quick video here of Tante Rietje’s Appartment, both inside and the outside view. Please tell me, who was it that closed the flue at Uncle Geerards place when they were on Holiday here? Apparently, Mum, Dad, Uncle Geerard, Marijke etc came home to a house filled with smoke and nobody knew who had done it!!! :-0 Tante Rietja brought out some sweets which turned out to be the most delicious caramel I have ever tasted. I mentioned this and she immediately got up, went to the kitchen, grabbed a plastic bag and emptied the remaining caramels into the bag and gave them to me! After a chat we headed out with Tanje Rietja to Harleem to see the houses, yes another 3, and the school where dad and his brothers and sisters grew up. I have pictures of one of them here. Opa_s_last_house.jpg
As we were looking at the last house where Opa and Oma had lived the owner came home and took us through the bottom level. I have a quick video of he back yard, sun room and lounge room. Apparently dad left the Netherlands with Jan when he was 21. They were headed to New Zealand for one year and then would come back. They got free boat tickets over and were to work for one year with a specific company. Unfortunately, as it turned out, Dad had to work in the North Island and Jan in the South. After one year dad decided that he liked New Zealand more then the Netherlands so he stayed on. I asked why they had never moved back to the Netherlands and Tantje Rietje said that the whole family had tried to talk them into staying after their holiday but that dad felt God had spoken to him and that he was to go to the country that God directed him to! Which must have been New Zealand I guess. Dads mum died when he was ten and Tantje Jenny and Tantje Rietje took over the house/family keeping. Dads father ended up marrying the house keeper some years later… Maybe it was cheaper then paying her :-) and Dad grew very close with his second mother!

Tantje Rietje says hello to Richard, Tanya, Denise and Paul and passes on her love to us!!!

We then headed to Bloomingdale which is right on the coast and had dinner all together at a restaurant right on the north sea beach. I was a really great feed and the view and conversation was great too! On the way back to Amsterdam we dropped by Uncle Geerards old house where Marijke grew up before moving to Nunspeet and I was able to see the lake where they used to go Ice skating in winter. I will endeavor to get some of the pictures from Tantje Rietje scanned and online soon!

Posted by classique 14:03 Archived in Netherlands Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

July 20th - 22nd

semi-overcast 18 °C

Since the 20th I have been working on Henks shed which is situated behind his shop. I have replaced the rotted out boards on the edge of the roof, sanding the shed to remove the dust and flaky paint. I have since painted about half of it. I have also cleaned most of the fungus build up on the tiles and cleaned the gutters.

On the 22nd of July we headed to a little place called Verhouten which had a sort of market going on. It is a very small town with about 400 residents and at least 8 restaurants, I think more though. All of the restaurants were holding a tasting session where you could buy 1 rack of ribs for 1 Euro and many other delicious treats. They had a DJ backing the event as well. After a quick visit to this event we headed to a house of a friend of Henk and Marijke to have our own tasting event. There were about 20 people invited and we ate appertisers matched with wines from Germany, France and Italy for the rest of the evening. I was an amazing evening!

Posted by classique 13:47 Archived in Netherlands Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

July 14th

Enkhuizen - Zuiderzee Museum - Land of water

semi-overcast 21 °C

On Tuesday morning Henk, Lenneke & I headed to Enkhuizen. To get to Enkhuizen, we drove across the see floor from Harderwijk to Lelystad and then took the Houtribdijk / Markerwarddijk which divides the IJsselmeer and the Markermeer. Once we arrived at the Zuiderzee Museum (South Sea Museum), which is also called the Land of water, we headed in to purchase tickets. The museum was under construction from the 1940's or there abouts, as when the Breezanddijk was built followed by the polder, a whole way of living disappeared... the government decided to create a museum to remember it. The Zuiderzee Museum is an open air museum consisting of houses, shops, barns, workshops, schools, etc... A whole village! We jumped on the first boat over as boat is the only way to get there.
When we arrived the first thing we saw was the three smokestacks as shown in the pictures. This was used to burn sea shells so they could make bricks. The living quarters of the old houses were tiny. The beds were built in cupboards and some were so small I could hardly imagine being able to lie down in them. We got to see how they smoke herring, the old style school houses, post offices, and the old kerk with the gravestones in the floor. I had a herring bun with onion and some hot chips for lunch. We carried on our walk around and popped into an old bank and the bank totally refused to give me a loan! We checked out the pharmacy, a cheese shop and many other buildings. I also got to make my very own rope which was pretty cool. We got to see paint work shops, both where they made paint and also where the painted signs, how they made timber look like marble etc. We headed back by boat and cruised along the dijk back home.

Posted by classique 03:44 Archived in Netherlands Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

July 13th


overcast 21 °C

Yep... thats right! Today Marijke & I headed by train into Amsterdam. It took about an hour and a half and we arrived into central station at about 11am. Central station was designed by Kuipers and he also designed the Kasteel de Haar. Every train station in holland has public toilets, but you have to spend 50 cents to use them. This is to pay for the person who is constantly cleaning them. So... after spending 50 cents to use the toilets and finding they only had urinals, we headed on our way. Marijke booked a boat tour for the two of us and we headed to the departure point. It was quite funny as the cruise boats were called Lovers Cruise Boats or something to that effect. We jumped on the seats at rear of the boat which were outside. Then as we headed down the canals I realised that there were no speakers outside and we were missing the recorded information. The cruise was very nice and relaxing, and it was quite funny when the pilot of the boat accidently smashed the rear end of the boat into the side of a bridge as he turned the corner.
After jumping off the boat we headed to get some lunch and as we were eating you would not believe what happened... As we were eating I thought a picture would be nice so I asked the couple next to us, who spole english, if they would take a picture. They turned out to be Aussies and before I knew it I was chatting to a guy from Grafton! He mentioned that there were four other Graftonians on the tour and some kiwis. After lunch we headedthe the Dam which is the square outside of the Queens palacea and watched some live performers and mime artists. We headed into the Amsterdam Kerk and before long were studying some most amazing craftmanship. You can see pictures of the carved pullpit, the quior screen and the organ in the photo album. There was a tomb behind where the quior plays which still holds the remains of a Dutch dude that died in war... hopefully I can find out who he was and put his name in here instead of "Dutch Dude". We headed out of the kerk and had a drink at the nearest cafe and chatted to some Americans who joined us as they were looking for a spare table. We headed over to a very old looking appartment store which turned out to be filled with rather exclusive stores with a casual jacket on sale for about 450 Euros. Then we headed back to Amersfoort to switch trains so we could get to Nunspeet. Unfortunately, somehow, we jumped onto the wrong train and went three stops to far. We then waited for the next one and headed back to Nunspeet. When we arrived back Marijke and I headed to a small village for a fantastic dinner and a couple of ales.

Posted by classique 09:09 Archived in Netherlands Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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