When I told Otto that I wanted to celebrate my 78th birthday in Alphen with him and his family, he said, ok then I will pick you up from Backershagen and we can visit some flower fields on our way to Alphen. First we had a cup of coffee in my apartment and we exchanged (alcoholic) birthday presents, as his birthday had been one week earlier. He gave me a nice Glen Talloch whisky glass with my nickname Kwai Loh Stuivenberg engraved in it. Click on the right photo. The glass should be filled with whisky to make the inscription better readable, but tt was too early to start drinking ;-_)
We made a detour through the “Bollenstreek” on our way to Alphen, and saw quite a few hyacinth and tulip fields, although the main season had not yet arrived. It was Easter holiday, quite a few tourists. Officially it is not allowed the walk inside the flower fields, but not everybody followed this rule.
We arrived in Alphen around lunchtime. Here are two pictures of the family house, front and back. I was not born in this house but spent my youth there, until I went to Amsterdam to study. Many memories.
Of course the interior has changed over the years. We had a festive Easter brunch with Nina and two of their sons, Aswin and Xander..
The garden in front of the house in a kind of Japanese style is beautiful and often admired by passersby
After lunch Otto and I drove and walked around in Alphen. We visited the cemetery, where our parents have been buried We took some time to clean their grave and plant some new shrubs.
Just a few snapshots of places in Aphen. Left the Hefbrug, right a view of the Old Rhine river
Left the Nutsgebouw,(1894), during my school days I have watched my first movies there. Right the modern city hall (2003)
From 1955 until 1961 I was a student at the Christelijk Lyceum in Alphen. The school has moved to another location long ago, but the building is still there. Right the entrance through which I must have passed numerous time. Nostalgia.
Some more pictures. I don’t know the background of the artwork at the left. The right statue is the war memorial for WWII. It was a beautiful spring day.
Finally we had a look at the countryside around Alphen. The countryside of my youth, I still find it quite attractive.
Back home Nina had prepared a delicious meal. Xander, one of my nephews, has recently started playing the flute and showed us the progress he had made.
Just before I left, Pascal, the oldest son, arrived and of course a picture had to be taken of me with my three nephews. Aswin (left) and Xander (right) are identical twins, for many years I could not distinguish between them. Now slowly there are some differences.
I went back to Backershagen by train. A very nice day.