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CLAIREINPARIS
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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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