The Netherlands

Upon arriving in Europe on August 2nd, we spent two delightful days in Holland.  Among the highlights were our excursions to Haarlem and Zolendam.  We truly enjoyed the old town center of Haarlem, a truly beautiful part of greater Amsterdam.  This photograph will give you a sense of the place.

Town Square in HAARLEM

Town centers like this are rare in America.  Our social activities revolve around the automobile.  In the Netherlands, the bicycle rules.  Of course, everything there is on a much smaller scale.  The entire country fits into an area smaller than the state of West Virginia.   

Twice we motored to Volendam, a beautiful little town situated along the Zuider Zee.  We had a delicious dinner at one of the restaurants in the row of dock-front restaurants pictured below. As I sat there I thought of the story of Hans Brinker. That tale was set in this area, but few Dutch people are even aware of the book or the screenplay. It was written by an American for an American audience.

A high point of our visit to Holland was a chance to visit with my grand-niece Molly Zaken and her beautiful children.  She and her family live in Antwerp, Belgium, and they took a train to Amsterdam to have lunch with us.  Thank you, Molly.

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