North Holland 5-13

June 21, 2013

When you think of Holland, of course there are windmills, tulips, and canals. To get a closer look at all of them outside of Amsterdam, our good friend, Dick Tensen, guided us on a tour through the surrounding countryside. The Dutch people are notoriously friendly and helpful. Dick and his wife Ellen were no exception.

We wandered through quaint villages with their beautiful brick streets. The classic windmills have been largely abandoned for modern power sources, but many are being restored. We found it interesting that they were not only used for pumping water. They were a general multipurpose power source for sawmills and grinding flour, coffee and many of the exotic spices that came by ship from far-off lands. Always, wherever we drove, there were canals and their accompanying drawbridges that keep traffic moving both on land and water. We visited an outdoor museum where we were able to watch the famous Dutch wooden clogs being made. Of course we had to try the Dutch pancake. It was sort of like a giant crêpe, prepared with anything from chocolate, or my favorite, bacon and cheese, all fried together as the pancake cooked. We’ll try that when we get home. (Oh, I forgot. We’re already home.) Next stop will be Brugge, Belgium where we wait for The Turtle V that is arriving at nearby Seebrugge.

Since much of Holland is really below sea level, the ever present canals are a way of life.

Since much of Holland is really below sea level, the ever present canals are a way of life.

Though one might assume that the canals are saltwater, in fact they are fresh water fed by the many rivers coming from the interior.

Though one might assume that the canals are saltwater, in fact they are fresh water fed by the many rivers coming from the interior.

Even today, canals are used for transportation so drawbridges are a necessary feature to keep traffic moving.

Even today, canals are used for transportation so drawbridges are a necessary feature to keep traffic moving.

The Dutch pancake, whether served with powdered sugar, chocolate, butter and syrup, jam, bacon and cheese is a close runner-up to French fries with mayonnaise. We’ll have to try both again.

The Dutch pancake, whether served with powdered sugar, chocolate, butter and syrup, jam, bacon and cheese is a close runner-up to French fries with mayonnaise. We’ll have to try both again.

Dutch homes are often very small and compact but gardens give people the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

Dutch homes are often very small and compact but gardens give people the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

Narrow houses give rise to narrow spiral staircases. One side of these staircases becomes increasingly narrower and you really need to watch your step before it disappears.

Narrow houses give rise to narrow spiral staircases. One side of these staircases becomes increasingly narrower and you really need to watch your step before it disappears.

With the proper fit and a thick pair of woolen socks the famous Dutch clogs are warm and dry, and perfect for outdoor work.

With the proper fit and a thick pair of woolen socks the famous Dutch clogs are warm and dry, and perfect for outdoor work.

Using a pattern for each size, old belt-driven machines do much of the basic shaping of the clog.

Using a pattern for each size, old belt-driven machines do much of the basic shaping of the clog.

The classis clog is still finish the old-fashioned way.

The classic clog is still finish the old-fashioned way.

For the tourists, clogs have many uses beyond working in the farmyard.

For the tourists, clogs have many uses beyond working in the farmyard.

Looks like Monika found the one-size-fits-all design.

Looks like Monika found the one-size-fits-all design.

Once abandoned for modern pumps and generators, many of the beautiful Dutch windmills are being restored to working order.

Once abandoned for modern pumps and generators, many of the beautiful Dutch windmills are being restored to working order.

If you zoom in to the barrel on the left you will see that this working windmill is grinding fresh cloves.

If you zoom in to the barrel on the left you will see that this working windmill is grinding fresh cloves.

Flowers in Holland in the Spring are not limited to tulips.

Flowers in Holland in the Spring are not limited to tulips.

We did enjoy our brief stay in Holland but we anxiously awaited the arrival of The Turtle V.

We did enjoy our brief stay in Holland but we anxiously awaited the arrival of The Turtle V.

The Dutch people are notoriously friendly and helpful. Dick and his wife Ellen were no exception.

The Dutch people are notoriously friendly and helpful. Dick and his wife Ellen were no exception.

 

 

 

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