Posted by matthew on Jul 8, 2005 in holland, travel

We left Zeeland on Saturday morning and took the train to meet up with our friends Daan and Thomas at the house in Utrecht. That afternoon we drove 2 hours north to the province of Friesland, where Friesian cows, and the English language originate from. We stayed overnight at Thomas’ sister’s place in Leeuwarden. It was funny to think that we’d travelled the entire length of the country in less than a day. One thing I noticed about Leeuwarden was that the architecture was different. The churches did not have much decoration and things were in general very sombre and old fashioned.

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We headed back towards Utrecht on Sunday the 3rd of July along the Afsluitdijk, which is an amazing 30km long construction that keeps the north of Holland from being flooded and battered by the ocean. Below you can see a ship coming through one of the lochs in the dyke, and a couple of workers pushing a small rock into place to build the dyke up.

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Posted by matthew on Jul 8, 2005 in holland, travel

Skip forward a few days now to Wednesday the 29th of July — the day we arrived in Zeeland, Holland. For those who don’t know, Zeeland is where New Zealand gets its name (spelt Nieuw Zeeland in Dutch). It’s the southernmost province of Holland and is famous for its beaches. We stayed with Lotte’s mum and grandma in a very small house (het strandhuisje) right on the sand at Vlissingen. Sort of like a bathing box with mod-cons. I really like this photo of the sunset over the beach. I snapped it from the front of the strandhuisje looking up along the beach just before 10pm. The days are very long right now, with twilight lasting until after 11pm.


Here’s a shot of me right in front of the strandhuisje looking about as relaxed as I can be. I must say it probably looks a tiny bit warmer than it actually was there, but while the wind is bracing, when the sun shines it’s very pleasant. I can’t say it does much for the temperature of the water though. I went for one swim and it felt about as warm as freshly melted snow.


One of the really fun things about this beach is that it’s actually right at the end of the river that leads to the port at Antwerpe, so about every 2 minutes you see a huge ship only about 1km off the beach. So spotting ships through the binoculars is one of the main passtimes.


Our other main passtime was playing Yahtzee. Also in the picture are Lotte’s mum, dad and grandma (or in Dutch, Oma).



Hameau du Lac

Posted by matthew on Jul 8, 2005 in travel

Here we have a few shots of us nearby the house in Hameau du Lac. On Saturday we decided to head down to the stream behind the house to see if we could have a swim. It was a bit too green for me to swim but Lotte and Dory had fun on the crocodile.

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Sunday was a funny day that sort of started with a minor disaster but finished in style. Just as Bil was taking our rental car around a tight corner he snagged some sharp bricks beside the road and popped a tyre. We had a brief pitstop before heading on to the beach.


That night we had, I think, one of the best meals of the whole trip at a restaurant just near Sigean that was recommended to us by Lotte’s aunt Anna called the Hotel St. Anne. They did a special 3 course menu for us that included the beautiful fish dish below, all for 17 Euros each. We were the only customers in the place that night and I have no idea why because it was truly gourmet stuff. I believe it starts to get a lot busier in July and August though.