Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Netherlands....Again

At this stage of my life, it would seem prudent to go to as many different countries as possible before my back refuses to let me go on a plane for 10+ hours.  But that does not take into account the human is more fun to visit people than places.  I realized that a few years ago in Paris...I was there for the people, Paris itself was incidental.

So...back to the Netherlands.

This time I made an amazing discovery.  Who would think that, in the summer, in a country that is below sea level and filled with stagnant scum covered canals, that there would be mosquitos?  Add that to my list of stupid lessons learned.

Of yes, I was supposed to talk about people.  Well, I got to see Stephan again, and his parents, and his little sister, who is now 4.  And I met his girlfriend, and his girlfriend's parents.  So I met a bunch of neat people.

And they wanted me to have a true experience of the Netherlands, so they took me to Madurodam. This is a place with replicas of important Dutch buildings, like palaces, canals (complete with tour boats that are barely larger than the carp swimming in the canals), and the Mars candy factory (which will deliver a small candy bar for the cots of 10 cents) and Schiphol airport.  (Which is pronounced Skip pole, not Ship pole.)  Well, here is the building nicknamed the "Cookie Jar," and its replica, followed by a palace in Den Haag.

The coolest part, I think, was replicas of the storm control devices on the North Sea.  One of them you can operate yourself.  There are two types of people there...those that wanted to protect the cities and villages of the Netherlands from the storm surge, and those that wanted to see just how much flooding the villages could take.  (Fortunately, most of the Dutch were not of the latter type.)

Oh, and tulips are big in the Netherlands.

And here they are together.  Aren't they cute???

OK, so this post was about Buildings and what not, but it wouldn't have been so much fun without them!


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