Journal Dutch trip 2024 (part 3)

This is part 3 of my Dutch trip report after part 1 and part 2. Mostly meetings with friends, a busy program.

Thursday 16 May

I met Mike and Marjan in Malaysia through the Dutch Expat Society, almost 20 years ago. We became friends and after they returned to the Netherlands we kept in touch. This time I visited them in Huizen, where they liveow and where Marjan had prepared a nice pasta dinner.

Friday 17 May

I had planned a visit to my former principal Carel Poeder and his wife Joanne, but I felt exhausted after meeting family and friends almost every day, so I needed a rest day. Pity.

Saturday 18 May

A meeting with my nephew Aswin. We had a beer in the Blue Tea House in the Vondelpark. It was beautiful weather,

And we enjoyed a beer from the local Amsterdam brewery ‘t IJ (try to pronounce it when you are not Dutch).

Sunday 19 May

I went by train to Gouda where Nellisa and Ed were waiting for me at the station. We share an interest in naturism. In Malaysia it is frowned upon, but in Europe it gets more and more common. Ed and Nellisa have a house in Gouda, but in the summer season they stay on the naturist campsite De Bessenhof in Reeuwijk. A very pleasant visit. More pictures on request haha.

Monday 20 May

Lunch with Roald, once my student, now a friend, we know each other more than forty years. We met at a very interesting restaurant, A Beautiful Mess , run by people with a refugee background. Delicious food from various cuisines. I also met Stefan, Roald’s husband.

Tuesday 21 May

Meeting ex-colleague Rene and his wife Caroline in Nieuwegein. Has become a tradition, either my place or theirs. Always a pleasure.

Wednesday 22 May

Dinner with another ex-colleague, Dick, in restaurant Elements, another tradition. It is a training restaurant of a vocational school. Students have to show their skills, both in the kitchen and in the restaurant. Very good service, creative dishes and not expensive.

I had Tataki (Japanese) , Coquille (French) , Sea Bass (?) and Kheer (Indian). All delicious , and including wine only 42 Euro pp.

Another beautiful day. Sunset at 9:37 pm as seen from my apartment. In a few weeks time it will be the Summer Solstice.

Thursday 23 May

During my stay in the Netherlands, my soulmate Inez and I always try to organise an outing. This time we went to Den Bosch on a day trip. I took so many pictures that I decided to write a separate blog about the day: Dat gaat naar Den Bosch toe. Highlight of the trip was a canal cruise on the Binnendieze.

We came back in Amsterdam quite early and I was so excited about A Beautiful Mess, that I invited Inez for dinner there. She was enthusiastic too.

Friday 24 May

Our UK friend Rodney arrived by plane in the afternoon, I had to prepare my room as a guestroom for him. In the evening we went out for some shopping. He liked the green environment of my apartment.

Saturday 25 May

A full walking day in town. As I have only one bike, we had to walk to the nearest public transport, about 10-15 minutes away. I live in a suburb of Amsterdam, with lots of green.

We started at the Leidseplein, from where we walked to the town center. Rodney had visited Amsterdam about forty years ago, so everything was more or less new to him. The FEBO is an iconic automat fast-food restaurant, an Amsterdam icon. We also had a look at the flower market.

We visited the Begijnhof, a courtyard with almshouses, dating back to the 14th century.

|And of course the Royal Palace and the National Monument on the Dam Square.

Walking to the Pancake Bakery for lunch, we had a look at the Westerkerk and passed the Anne Frank House.

The Leliegracht, one of the lesser canals, very picturesque

In the Pancake Bakery we had the traditional Dutch bacon pancake with syrup.

We finished the day with a quiet dinner at home. We walked more than 12.000 steps, not bad for two octogenarians.

Sunday 26 May

Rodney had shown interest in the Van Gogh museum, so I had booked tickets for it. We had a time slot, but still there was a big crowd.

Here are a few pictures of Van Gogh’s paintings. The Potato Eaters (1885) and Tree Roots (1890), the year he ended his life.

One of his famous sunflower paintings and one of his Irises paintings

It was the first time in decades that I visited the Van Gogh museum. Not being a fan, I found it more interesting than I expected. But what made my visit special, was the temporary exhibition of Matthew Wong, a Chinese-Canadian artist , who was inspired by van Gogh.

Here are two of his fascinating paintings. More about him in my museum blog (hopefully to be published soon).

Monday 27 May

After two busy days, we took it easy, as Rodney was flying back in the afternoon. I found that there was another FEBO in the shopping mall near my apartment. We had a light lunch there. Rodney is holding in his hand the famous Dutch kroket.

Tuesday 28 May

Then it was time for me to transform the guestroom back into my office. My first rest day after a long time.

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