A Dutch dog walk

Back in May we were in Holland, visiting relatives, and although for once the weather there wasn’t great, we did have a few good days. On one of them we went on a long walk with the dogs and as the area in the north-west (Frisian) part of the Netherlands is mainly rural, we were walking around farmland.
Foals and horse in Holland

Foals and horses

Unfortunately it isn’t like in the UK where you can get up close to any animals in fields. Most of the fields are surrounded by wide drainage ditches, I really wanted to get nearer this mare with her foal, but unless I waded over mud it wasn’t possible.

Foal and mare

There are horses all over the place, a real paradise for horsey people, apart from the fact that you usually can’t get close enough to pat them. They were always interested to see us though.


Holland (The Netherlands)

On the second day of our Netherlands holiday my brother and his wife drove us to Maarssen to visit their son and his family. It was a long journey and Jack was happy that he wasn’t driving as he had already driven from Fife to Harwich earlier in the week.

We always think that the house prices here are eye watering but it’s much the same everywhere I think. It’s obviously the availability of well paid work which pushes up the prices and houses within commuting distance of The Hague are very expensive but stylish I think and there’s a canal at the end of the road with large boats going up and down it. Unfortunately I didn’t get my camera out fast enough, but a large Red Cross boat floated past the end of the street. I had no idea that they took folks away for day trips, maybe it only happens in the Netherlands.
Holland 1
Above is a photo of part of our canalside walk.

And below is just a bit further along the path, the wee white building was originally a tea house and they are dotted all along the canal, some still in use as tea rooms.

The Netherlands
Anyway, we felt that we were seeing the ‘real’ Netheralnds where people actually live, off the tourist track, in fact we didn’t go to any touristy places.

It looks to me like the building below was originally a boat house which has been filled in to make a room just above the water level.

Holland 1

These are the sorts of houses where my nephew and his family live, he and his wife had three wee girls within three and a half years, and we all walked along a path by the edge of the local canal, making our way towards a good eatery. I had a huge pineapple and apple filled pancake, apparently a traditional Dutch dish.

Dutch House

I love gates of any kind, whether they’re rickety wooden ones or fancy wrought iron ones like the gates below. I wondered what sort of building they could belong to, but not for long as just a bit further along the path we got to the fancy house which goes with them.

Holland 1

It’s the town hall which is obviously used for weddings, going by the red carpet and stretch limousine. I’m not keen on those big monstrosities, a lovely old vintage car would have been much more stylish but each to their own I suppose.

Holland 1

There are interesting houses and large buildings all along the path and lots of boats travelling on the canal, small privately owned boats as well as large barges. In fact the canal network is well used and they keep a lot of traffic off the roads by using the canals to deliver things, instead of having everything moved around on trucks, as happens in the UK.

More Dutch photos soon.

Back from Holland

Late last night we got back from almost two weeks away in Holland, a trip which we had been hoping to do for the past 38 years or so but never got around to it due to family and financial constraints, I blame the eye watering mortgage interest rates which we suffered in the 1980s when we were buying our house. Anyway, we had a great time visiting the Dutch branches of our family tree, and their various animals – three horses, one pony, one border collie and an American pit bull terrier which is owned by the youngest of the family. I never thought that I would be licked by a pit bull, it was a bit scary but I did end up patting him, or clapping him as we say in Scotland when we stroke a dog.

Today I’ve been busy trying to get back to normal, you know what it’s like when you’ve been away for a while. Piles of everything to be done and piles of post to be looked through. There were almost no referendum fliers so it looks like the activists are mainly sticking to busy places near the centre of towns – not that I’m complaining about that. We couldn’t even escape the referendum in Holland as it featured on the news there too and even a supermarket check-out chap was asking us about it when he realised we were Scottish – oh all right, I told him we were Scottish when he heard us speaking English and I couldn’t let him think that we were English could I!

So lots of photos have been taken and it was only when we were on the ferry on our way back to Harwich that I realised that we didn’t take any photos of ourselves while we were there. Well, why would we, we know what we look like!

Tomorrow I hope to get some photos on pining, they’re mainly of very flat countryside and I do mean flat, it’s a bit unnerving as I find it difficult to recognise places when there aren’t particular hills to help me. I was reduced to memorising what houses looked like as they are all designed by the original owners, so no two are the same.

Jack didn’t have any problems with driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road even although we drove off the ferry and straight on into the heavy rush hour traffic of Amsterdam.

We didn’t visit Amsterdam itself this time, I’ve been told that the queues at the big art galleries there are huge and apparently you have to queue for hours to get into the Anne Frank house and are rushed through in about 10 minutes. It’s not a place that I want to visit anyway as I think I would find it too sad.

I took the photo below when we went to visit my nephew and his family, they live near Utrecht and we walked along the path beside this canal to get to a good eatery where we had lunch.

More photos tomorrow.

The Beach Boys – Holland

Jane GS of Reading, Writing, Working, Playing mentioned that she didn’t know The Beach Boys song which mentioned Steinbeck and Charley. It’s from their 1973 Holland album, if you don’t know the album do yourself a favour and listen to it. Here’s another wee taster to be getting on with!