Monday, August 06, 2012

A Wijk aan Zee Meet-Up

Chalk up another face-to-face blogger meet-up!  The WWW keeps getting smaller and smaller...or bigger and bigger, depending on your viewpoint.

A week ago Saturday we drove 100 km to Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands, on the North Sea coast, to meet up with Mr. and Mrs. Lifecruiser from Sweden.  HA!  Don't you like how we're known by our blogsite names!

So, the plan was to meet up at the Hotel Villa 'de Klughte' where the Lifecruisers were spending the night.  They're on a month-long trip of Europe now, north from Sweden to France in the south, and this was their stop for the day.

It so happens this charming hotel has been honored twice with a visit from Queen Beatrix.
But it has no lift, so Astrid helped Mr. L carry up the huge suitcases to the top floor.  UGH.
See the red Skoda and the Swedish licence plate?  Yup.  The real deal.

And the Lifecruisers themselves are the real deal and true lovebirds.
Like Astrid and me, they, too, met via the internet, but from the same country and town!
(click any image to enlarge)

It so happens Astrid and I arrived at the hotel an hour before they did,
so we went on our own photo hunt...first up into the dunes next door.

From up on high, we could see the Hoogovens steelworks on one side...
and the North Sea with its wind turbines on the other (see them, top right?).

And then, still rotating to the right, we saw the wee village of Wijk aan Zee in front of us...
with its two big churches.  Population 2,400.

But before heading down into town to see it up close and personal,
we chatted with another photographer, planning a scavenger hunt.
How fun is that!

Once down the dunes into town, we headed straight to the Dorpskerk...the protestant village church.
You can see it from almost anywhere in town.

And as with so many of these churches, the adjacent cemetery is visible to all.

 As we walked through town, we had to stop for an ice cream, of course.
We knew we'd be eating lunch once the Lifecruisers arrived so eat dessert first is our motto.
Astrid had already decided it was too late for our normal koffie break.  HA!

After ice cream, we were ready to see the catholic Sint Odulphus church.
Sadly, neither church was open to visit inside.

But the village-center fountain was, once the Lifecruisers joined us!

By then, around 1:30 p.m., it was definitely time for lunch.
How can you not love a wit bier (white beer) that sports a windmill glass,
especially when you get acquainted with bloggers you feel you've known all your life!

After lunch we headed to the beach, for which the town is known.
The only problem is if the sun isn't shining, the tourist business is way down.
But WE were there and didn't care.  Can you imagine owning a beach house there?

 As we left, we got some parting shots.
We had 3 very special hours with 2 new and very special friends.
THANK YOU, Mr. and Mrs. Lifecruiser!

And while we're at it, we saw one gevelsteen (gable stone)--bottom center...

...and 4 weathervanes.

All in all, it was a great photo hunt, blogger meet-up, and a day's car trip!
It really doesn't get much better than that!


  1. Nope, doesn't get any better than that! Love that the Lifecruiser's are champagne lovers too!! They sound like wonderful people!

  2. Robin: I have a feeling we'll see them again one of these days/years. We really felt like we'd known each other for a long time. In our comfort zone the entire time! Those are the people you keep. :)

    And just think, you will be next before much longer, after our trip back to America.

  3. It was great to meet them. I am always impressed by people that 'just' get in the car and drive off, to 'see' Europe. One day soon, I would love to get in our car and drive off on the small roads of Europe.
    We had a great day, the pictures show it. I always wanted to hug the big ice-cream :) A real treat every once in a while.
    I love the pictures taken from the dunes towards the sea.
    Wonderful collages, a nice day to remember.

  4. Astrid: Hartstikke bedankt, as always. You're my partner in crime, which continues to be the ride of my life. Thank you!

  5. Charming in every way! What a glorious place to meet up. I like the idea of meeting blog friends at "destinations" like this.

  6. Ruth: It made sense for us to go meet them on their route instead of having them go out of their way to us. Besides, it gave us a new place to visit, which was half the fun. It all really worked out well! Thanks.

  7. Very cool this meeting through the blogosphere ... especially when it works! :-)

  8. Geoff: When it works, it's wonderful. Indeed. In fact, if you're not careful, it may even lead to marriage. :D

  9. Here is your delinquent friend... trying to catch up with your adventures... I cannot believe it has been so long since I visited! As always... I really enjoyed your collages... you have such a great eye for assembling them and seem to find the perfect image to add a punch of color where needed!

    1. HA! My delinquent friend, indeed. Not like your life isn't full to overflowing or anything! :) Thank you, always, for your support, no matter when it comes!