Trip to The Netherlands, late summer 1998
Bart, Brian, Alison and I were joined by Bart's parents, Oscar and Alie
The First Days
We stayed first in this little house in a rural village 15 minutes outside of Rotterdam. Brian and Alison eat their first Dutch lunch (special order: hamburgers without sauteed onions and fries without mayonnaise) under the old and new architecture of Rotterdam. We met up with Bart's cousin Frouk and her sons Yme (left) and Alwin (middle), for a day at the Rotterdam zoo. Some primates seen at the Rotterdam zoo. Left to right:  Alwin, Yme, Brian, Alison. Can you guess what this sign means? We saw it near the Rotterdam harbor. (Answer is below)
The Boat Trip
The Multivlet Aegir was our hotel and transporatation for two weeks in the northern Dutch province of Friesland. This is where we cooked, ate, played, talked and where Bart and I slept. The kids slept in the v-berth in the bow and the grandparents in the aft cabin. Boat traffic on a canal. Usually the canals weren't this crowded - a benefit of travelling in September. Sheep grazing next to the canal. Instead of building fences, the Frisians dig ditches that fill with water. Huge pumps prevent floods during heavy rains. Alie and Alison enjoy the view from the deck. This was a popular spot whenever it wasn't raining. We often had afternoon tea up on deck.
Drawbrideges let the boats through, if it isn't lunch time, or tea time, or ... Drawbridge tolls are collected in wooden shoes, lowered within reach on a line. This mill has been restored more than once in its centuries of use. It still works. The sawmill can cut one log into many planks in just on pass. The whole building creaks and sings. This is our moorage, in the park in the heart of the old part of Leeuwarden, the provincial capital.
Bart and Alie indulging in a common afternoon pastime. Brian and Alison often played with Legos in the boat. Brian with one of the huge steam engines which drive the pumps that move excess canal water to the Ijsselmeer. Bart, Brian and Alison watch the locks in Lemmer which connect the canals of Friesland with the Ijsselmeer. On the last evening of our boat trip, we passed through Sneek one last time and were greeted by a rainbow.
Breakfast at the Hotel Kooyk, overlooking a canal in Amsterdam. Bart's father joined us for the 5 days there. A reproduction of Rembrandt's "Night Watch" with a fish instead of a lantern in the man's hand, painted on a fish stall. In the open air museum in Enkhuizen, Brian made rope and Alison dressed up in a historical Dutch costume. The sign above indicates a place where those who live on board barges can park and unload the family car to run errands on land.
Family Gathering
Tante Frouk (Alie's sister) greets Brian and Alison at a "Familiedag" in Frouk's honor. Frouk's brother, Jaap, reads to his wife Eelkje and Frouk's daughter Biene. Tante Frouk's daughter Froukje and others gather for conversation. Jan and Bety's son Jasper sits at the table. Tante Frouk's daughters, Biene and Hanneke, sit together with Bety, Pauline, Nico, Biene and Nico's son Gijs, and Miriam Tante Frouk's son Jan sits facing his mother. That's Hanneke's son Joost with the camera. Her other son Marijn sits next to Jan.
Sisters Hanneke and Eelsje sit together. Frouk's husband Frits sits in the foreground with Gijs. Nico, Gijs, Bas and Pauline. Hanneke's husband Adriaan sits at the far right with Marijn, Joost's girlfriend, and Froukje. Brian and Alwin discover that they share a passion for yo-yos. Bety, Bart and the younger cousins gather outside in the rain. It rained so hard that pumps were needed to keep the canals from flooding the streets.