Believe it or not, we have not been sitting around doing nothing since returning from England mid-May, over two months ago. HA!
In fact, we've made 3 trips, including museums, that I now need to catch up on. First things first, we'll start with the Lage Vuursche-Hilversum-Laren trip we made the last day of May. But because it's too long for one post, I'll split it up into bits-n-pieces.
Lage Vuursche is only 10 km south of Hilversum, where Astrid was born and grew up (yes, the same Hilversum where the MH17 victims from July 17 are now being identified). Hilversum is only 55 km from where we live here in Gorinchem.
Often Astrid would tell me about the summer home her mom had in the woods near Hilversum.
She bought it a couple years before Astrid's son Jeroen was born in 1988.
She'd tell me stories about how he loved spending weekends there with his grandma.
So off we went, before anything else, to find the 9' x 18' cabin in the woods.
It actually was torn down somewhere along the way, after Mom died, by the campground.
Astrid was able to get the entire story from the very gentle lady with the bike, one of the recent neighbors.
And I got to feel the surroundings of something I had tried to picture many times.
From the campground, we walked into town of circa 200 residents!
We headed straight to the pannenkoekenhuis, De Vuursche Boer, for our koffie break on the main drag.
When you live in a village that small, it's easy to have a monopoly on where to eat.
In fact, just walking up and down the main drag you see charm oozing everywhere.
Did you see the Alexander 2013 (center image above)?
It so happens this sleepy little tourist village is now the home of King Alexander's mother.
Queen Beatrix abdicated her throne last year and is now Princess Beatrix.
She now lives in the small castle Drakensteyn on the edge of town (surrounded by woods).
While you can't see the castle because of the woods and the locked gate,
you can see and visit the Reformed Church right next door.
The church wasn't open when we were there but the cemetery was.
We wanted to see where Princess Beatrix's son, Prins Friso, was buried.
So humble for now; what will it look like later?
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Next up will be Hilversum, where Astrid was born.
I even got to see the inside of her house!