Sunday, September 7, 2014

5 very cute Dutch towns and Brussels! Thank you to Ida, Wim and Linda for sharing your beautiful country!

We met up with Ida, Wim and Linda Van Bergen in Brussels, Belgium, and spent a week with them, exploring Holland.  What a beautiful country!  They really pack in very cute towns!  We went to Maastricht to tour this very historic city, the birthplace of the EU; Zaansche to see the Windmills; Marken, a very cute coast town that was an island!; Volendam, a very cute fishing village; and Edam, an even cuter town!  And of course Brussels, a most impressive capital that deserves a visit from everyone!


City tour- in a School Bus from Florida!  

The Old Bridge- from the 1200's

We took a cave/tunnel tour.  The towns people mined building rock from underground.  There are 80 KM of tunnels!  During the war, people hid here.  Also, they hid art from the Nazi's.  Rich, then Wim, were holders of the lamp of light!  Here, Wim kids with Rich

Linda, Wim and Rich with the light in the tunnel

The tunnel!  At one point, our guide left the group in one of the rooms and took the lights, so we experienced absolute darkness.

People would make art in the tunnels.  Using charcoals, they would blacken an area, then carve out their art.

Zaanse: land of working windmills.  Several old windmills were moved to this area.  You can tour a working windmill.  We did- the peanut oil windmill:-)

Rich trying on wooden shoes

Waffles and Windmills- what is more Dutch?:-)

Rich, Ida, Linda and Wim with Windmills in the back

Rich with the windmill we climbed

Rich and I with our windmill

Windmill scene: I know we added lots of photos of windmills, but they are awesome!!

Marken: CUTE

Lunch!  Note the clapboard siding on the restaurant- every home in the area has the same type of siding.

Canal view- totally cute

Rich and Wim on a bridge.  Note the interesting bridges!  The same style is used throughout the area.

Ida, Linda, Wim and Rich in the harbor of Volendam.  It is quite large, and very cute.


Harbor view- fishing village:-)

Edam- and even cuter small village
Rich and Linda on the canal

Town square

Edam cheese factory/store

Rich and the cheese lady

Canal view

Brussels!  A world class city of beauty
The city cathedral

Stained Glass!  One the right- St. George; on the left- Archangel Michael; center- jesus

The gate of the Royal Palace

The Royal Palace.  Ida and Linda called ahead, but the Queen was out of the country, so we couldn't lunch with her:-)

Mennekin Pis- the most famous statue in Brussels.  We read it was small- but it is VERY small- like 18 inches tall!

St. George in the main square, which is incredibly beautiful!  Sadly, no photos could express the size and beauty, but we try with the following photos.

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