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    CLAIREINPARIS   50,502
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My Sunday in the Netherlands


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Monday, June 23, 2014

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I don’t know about you, but I had a wonderful Sunday! I am in the Netherlands for countless meetings (or so it feels… I am not a ‘meeting’ kind of person!) for over 10 days. Yesterday was my one day off, and my Dutch friend, Cora, picked me up at the hotel on the morning so that we could spend the day together, enjoying some catching up, sightseeing, walking, cycling...



Cora and I have known each other for almost 28 years and I am so glad we managed to keep in touch! We see each other every few years. Here we are on the boat taking us from Volendam to Marken yesterday:



So we travelled to a little village called Volendam, which used to be by the sea, and is now by a lake as the sea has been ‘locked’. Here is what I mean: at the North, you can see there is a dam, on which a road has been built, making this area which used to be the sea a lake.



It was a pretty village, made even prettier by lots of flowers everywhere!











Then we took the boat to the nearby island of Marken, with the bikes that Cora had brought from home for us to use. This is the view of Volendam’s harbor as we left it:



I hadn’t been on a boat for a while and really enjoyed the short crossing!





Marken was so incredibly pretty! A former fishermen village like Volendam, it is touristy but with a lovely, peaceful atmosphere.



Like everywhere I have been in the Netherlands, it was very green and canals were never far away (as well as the lake of course).







Now I am feeling slightly ashamed of myself, but the ‘cycling’ part of our day didn’t take place! We were supposed to cycle back to Volendam by a dam. This would have been a 20 kilometers distance.



But… Cora’s bicycle was slightly too tall for me, and, not having cycled for several years, I really didn’t feel safe! On several occasions I almost fell from the bike, and almost collided with a poor pedestrian who wondered what was happening to him! Crazy French drivers (cyclists!) I tell you!!! :)



So we walked around the island instead, and returned by boat again afterwards. It was still lovely, with all the dark wooden houses to look at!







I enjoyed the little details that made the houses special, like a painting with birds, or the name of the owner, or baskets with flowers…







Marken is a small village, so it was surrounded both by the lake and lots of fields and pastures. My kind of place! : ) We had our picnic lunch facing a pasture, far away from the tourists.





Then we visited the small clogs museum.





Look at these gorgeous carved clogs! Apparently they were made for weddings.



After another failed attempt at cycling -- this is when I almost collided with the poor man on the side of the path, who said (kind soul!) “Please don’t fall!” --, we caught the boat back to Volendam, and then drove to Cora’s home to have dinner with her family. That was the highlight of the day, as I hadn’t seen them for a couple of years and her daughters had grown so much!





We had dinner outside in the garden, which for me, living in an apartment, is just bliss!





Before Cora took me back to the hotel and a full week of meetings, we had a little walk in their neighborhood. See by yourself how lovely it is…



You know me… I was all ‘Awwwwwwww’ when I saw this duck and its ducklings!!!





Thank you so much Cora for a great Dutch Sunday!
And thank you dear Sparkfriends for 'sharing' our day! I hope you enjoyed it. I am now posting this in between meetings and very much hoping I can have a few hours to explore the Netherlands again before I leave. I have visited this country a number of times in the past, and always enjoy it tremendously.



Thank you for reading! Have an awesome week! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
GRAMPIAN 11/2/2014 5:15AM

  Good pictures. emoticon

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CARRIELYN56 8/1/2014 7:15AM

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GRACEOMALLEY 7/21/2014 7:12PM

    I know I am late at reading this all the way through and late at commenting, but THANK YOU for posting all these lovely pictures and your friend Cora and her lovely family and the story of your outing with the bikes. My brother and his wife lived in Harrlem for much of the time for a few years when he was build-captain for a huge yacht being built at Feadship. Somehow, I never got over to visit when he was there. Seeing your pictures makes me more determined than ever to get there in the next several years. I am so glad you got to do something nice in between meetings.

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MAYBER 7/18/2014 11:26PM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pictures
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MRSRIGS1 7/18/2014 2:27PM

    Wow! What can I say?? So beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:17AM

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:16AM

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:15AM

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:15AM

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RUNNERRACHEL 7/5/2014 9:55AM

    Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing!

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CORNERKICK 7/5/2014 3:19AM

  Great pics

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HYATTI1 7/2/2014 7:52PM

    I son spent two years there but unfortunately he had to come home he could not get a permit to work there and his money ran out. But, while there he loved the country and the people.



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LOVINGKATE 6/29/2014 4:00PM

  BEAUTIFUL photos. Thanks so much for sharing them with us all.

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 6/29/2014 7:59AM

    Beautiful photos

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QTEALADY20031 6/28/2014 9:53PM

    Claire, just a beautiful place, I love the houses, the scenery and yes even the duck with her ducklings. The clogs also were just beautiful. What a wonderful and joyful looking country. It was so nice you could visit with your friend and her family! What a wonderful day for you both! Thank you again Claire for sharing your journey. emoticon June

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2BDYNAMIC 6/28/2014 5:27PM

    Gorgeous pictures and thanks much for sharing! Loved them.

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OPALMOON 6/28/2014 11:26AM

    What an utterly beautiful part of the world. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing trip with us Claire...the scenery is just stunning, and it is wonderful that you were able to spend some time with your friend and see her family as well. I am sure it will always hold happy memories for you.

Big hugs, Nattacia

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TREYONE 6/28/2014 10:12AM

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TIHAITIEN 6/28/2014 12:04AM

    Lovely. thanks for sharing.

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JUDYAMK 6/27/2014 9:30PM

    Thank you so much for the walk in the Netherlands.What do you mean when you say the sea is locked? I never heard of that. The Netherlands looks beautiful, you are so blessed to see so much of our world, and to bring it to us,for that I thank you.

Judy

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LINDAKAY228 6/27/2014 4:35PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed it and so glad you got the chance to spend the day with your friend, even if the bike riding didn't exactly work! I tried riding several years ago and had trouble because I was using a mountain bike with way too many gears! I was on street in the town I lived in then and fell over once. Now because of the stroke my balance is way off and I'm afraid to try unless it's one of those 3 wheeled bikes. Someday maybe I'll get the chance to try one of those. At least I can't fall off. The flowers, the houses, everything is just so lovely! I'm glad you got to spend time with her family too!

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MOMMY445 6/27/2014 2:21PM

    how wonderful!

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AURIANNE67 6/27/2014 12:59PM

    emoticon
Thank you so much for sharing your lovely pictures and experiences!

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FRAN0426 6/27/2014 12:59PM

    Thanks for sharing your fun day in the Netherlands. Hope you do get another chance to see more of it before retuning home.

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MVKNET 6/27/2014 12:35PM

  Beautiful pictures. I love the Netherlands. Haven't been there in over 10 years. Glad you has a great time. Nothing like touring with a native. Blessings, Marsha

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JEB03253 6/27/2014 7:36AM

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ROXYCARIN 6/27/2014 2:50AM

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CICELY360 6/26/2014 11:32PM

  Nice pictures

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CORNERKICK 6/26/2014 11:22PM

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AMBER461 6/26/2014 8:19PM

  Thanks for your blog it is very interesting.

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CLAIREINPARIS 6/26/2014 5:02PM

    GEHRSC, I agree with you that Delft is gorgeous! I went there with my friends during a previous visit to the Netherlands and it was wonderful!

MOIMAGGIE, I am so glad I inspired you to be a 'tourist in your own town'! Enjoy!

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GEHRSC 6/26/2014 4:29PM

    Thanks for sharing. I was just in Markam & Voldenham at the end of May. Lovely area. Photos are beautiful. It was raining when we visited. Try to get to Delft sometime. It too is a lovely town. Happy wanderings!

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MOIMAGGIE 6/26/2014 2:31PM

    What a delightful day! Thank-you for sharing it. It's inspired me to spend a Sunday as a 'tourist in my own town'.

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LAINYC 6/26/2014 1:59PM

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LCRUMLEY81 6/26/2014 1:25PM

  Looks like fun

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SCOTMAMA 6/26/2014 10:54AM

    Now THAT is a Sunday outing that I envy tremendously! What a wonderful way to spend the day -- and I'm sure it offsets the boredom of having meetings all week. What a nice way to spend your week-end.



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DSHONEYC 6/26/2014 10:46AM

    What a blessing it is to have dear "old" friends, a day to explore and enjoy, and beauty to behold.
Just simply emoticon

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KLONG8 6/26/2014 9:59AM

    How gorgeous was your day off with a friend in the Netherlands. Beautiful and thanks for sharing!

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KENSEONT 6/26/2014 9:13AM

  I always enjoy reading your blogs! emoticon emoticon

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BIGDOG18 6/26/2014 8:46AM

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TCTHESHE 6/26/2014 8:18AM

    Wow! Such beautiful pictures on such a lovely day. Thank you for sharing your little adventure with us. I hope you get back on a bike soon to make up for lost time!

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Comment edited on: 6/26/2014 8:18:30 AM

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LAURANCE 6/26/2014 8:09AM

  Thanks again for a lovely way to start the day with your pictures!
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LJCANNON 6/26/2014 8:04AM

    emoticon Completely Beautiful. walk, and it sounds like you are making TONS of Memories in between those meetings. I LOVE reading your Blogs -- They are like personal, guided tours of a Beautiful Countryside.
emoticon Thank You so much for taking the time to share your Blessings with us!!

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WATERDIAMONDS 6/26/2014 7:45AM

    The clogs! The ducks! The houses.

Oh my word, you make me want to travel more than any documentary or sales brochure every could.

Thank you for bringing the beauty to all of us.

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RITASL 6/26/2014 7:38AM

    Awwwwwww! Claire!!!!!
You make my day. You know how to use your time and we benefit.
Love it, love it, love it.


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NYKIMMIE 6/26/2014 7:35AM

    Beautiful pics!


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TINY67 6/26/2014 7:23AM

    emoticon again.

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SHERYLP461 6/26/2014 7:10AM

    What a beautiful place and what lovely friends!

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SANDRA_E 6/26/2014 7:00AM

    Sounds amazing!

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