Touring – #6 – Netherlands and back to Kiel and Klaipeda

Our last day in the Netherlands we took the train into Amsterdam again and caught a tour bus for a trip into the countryside.  It was a nice break from walking about cities.

Our first stop was the Island of Marken with it’s quaint little village of neat homes of either brick or dark green and white stripes.  I would guess all this “quaintness” has a large price tag.  Another feature of this village was a wooden shoe “factory” and a demonstration of cheese-making.

Condos in Marken

Some cottages had shutters like these.

Blocks of wood waiting to be made into shoes.

Definitely too big.

These fit but I didn’t know where I would wear them so didn’t buy.

Now I know where the word, “clomp” comes from. I’m sure anyone wearing these shoes would clomp.

Next stop was this “quaint” fishing village of Volendam which turned out to be a bunch of restaurants and souvenir shops–I didn’t see one fisherman anywhere.

“I’ll have 3 of your biggest and best sausages, please.” Too cute!

Final stop was Zaanse Schans    to see the windmills.  They are SO picturesque–hard to take a bad picture here.

We arrived back in the city fairly early so decided to stop at Haarlam on the way home which is just a couple of stops from Amsterdam because I had planned to stop there to see Corrie Ten Boom’s home.  For those who have not read The Hiding Place, I highly recommend it.  Corrie and her family lived in the back of  her father’s clock and watch making business and hid Jews there during the war.  The story is very inspirational and I was really looking forward to visiting but, unfortunately it was closed by the time we got there.  Here is the outside of the shop–in case you have read the story.

We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Haarlam and found that tacos etc. are a lot more expensive than at home.  Look at these prices–and these are Euros, not dollars.

The next morning, a Thursday, we headed north and east toward Kiel as we had to catch the ferry back to Klaipeda on Saturday night.

Some interesting sheep near our motel.

A modern building that was worth a picture.

After a leisurely drive we stayed the night just shy of Hamburg. In the morning we decided to drive up to Denmark for lunch–just to say we’d been there.  It is only a few miles from Kiel.

Along the way, in Germany, we encountered more rapeseed fields.  I love they way they look and I’m not sure if we raise rapeseed (for canola oil and also fuel) in the US or not, but it certainly makes pretty pictures.

We stopped by the Kiel canal and watched a cargo ship go by.

In the small Danish town of Aabenraa, we stopped to have lunch and look around. This picture is something you don’t see in the US–these two baby carriages parked outside a restaurant had little babies–about 2-3 months old sleeping in them-(I went over and looked in). The moms were inside the restaurant. They did come out eventually and sat at the table and ate but in the US we would NEVER leave our babies unattended. This also happens in Lithuania.  Rachel has told me but I never saw it. Seems really wrong to us but perhaps they never have kidnappers. Their birth rate is so low probably because no one wants them so they are perfectly safe.

We stopped inside a little church and the decorations were very different–especially the ship model hanging in the background.

The altar.

What could this mean?

Back in Kiel on Friday night–our trip nearly over–we once again encountered cold and wind.  The weather hadn’t improved in the two weeks we were gone.  On Saturday, I waited in the hotel lobby nearly all day while Chuck, ever the trooper, walked and walked all over Kiel.  I was totally done with walking on my sore leg in unpleasant weather–VISKAS! as they say in Lithuania–FINISHED!

Here are a couple of signs I saw when we went out for dinner.

Nazis? No Thanks.

Funny

We caught a cab to our ferry about 8 p.m. and after a long 23 hour cruise were back in our little “home-away-from-home” in Klaipeda.

We had only two days left with John, Rachel and the children before they took off for a month in the US.  We will see John and Rachel but not Chayah and Noah who will stay in Michigan with Rachel’s folks so I don’t know when we’ll see them again; it was hard to say goodbye after being so close all winter.

Professors Milliken

The last day in Klaipeda, Chuck and I braved the cold wind once again to go downtown for awhile and have dinner at one of our favorite spots.  I checked one more thing off my Bucket List (I didn’t quite get everything checked off-just ran out of time) because we visited the Blacksmith Museum.

This museum contains a collection of the Lietuviskasis Kryzius, the special Lithuanian craft of cross making which has been designated “a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO.  Several of the crosses in this museum were saved from the graves when the large old cemetery was destroyed by the Soviets and the Sculpture Park (I sent pictures earlier) took its place.

This piece is made entirely of crosses saved  from the old cemetery.

Close up of name plate broken in the destruction. Can you imagine having the graves of your ancestors obliterated–as though destroying your history which is exactly what the Soviets had in mind.

This will be my last post though I may add some photos to Chuck’s as he will give a wrap-up and end to our blog.  Thanks for reading our story and I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures–I loved taking them.

Bonnie

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One thought on “Touring – #6 – Netherlands and back to Kiel and Klaipeda

  1. So glad you entered these last travel days as they were quite interesting. I looked up “Slut Spurt” and it’s Danish for “The Final Days” – an appropriate subject title of your post but perhaps not everyone would get it! 🙂 Ha!
    So glad you’re back safely. This has been an amazing adventure. Thank you for sharing so much with your pictures and descriptions. Looking forward to seeing you at church.
    Melissa

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