Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lage Vuursche, Netherlands


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.
 How charming!

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!

19 comments:

  1. You Gals are keeping busy. Great stuff ginnie

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    1. No moss grows under our feet, Bill. :D Thanks.

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  2. Great post, Ginnie. You are BUSY:)

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    1. We don't often sit still, Elena. :) Thanks for stopping by here....

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  3. What an incredible personal journey filled with current events and beautiful history and charm for sure! Oh and I never thought you had been sitting still since your return....that's how you can eat those yummy foods!

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    1. LOL, Donna. It's true. BTW, Astrid calls the koffie break "koffie break." I call it dessert. The Dutch get away with murder in that regard. :)

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  4. It was great to make this trip. Walk the ground I walked many many times. Here , my mom had about 15 very happy years of her life. Our King Willem-Alexander is born at the Lage Vuursche, he (and his brothers) always say that their childhood was very happy and quite normal there. They went by bike to school, very normal indeed.
    Wonderful pictures, it is wonderful to see it through your eyes. This is part of my life. Thank you MLS.

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    1. I'm still pinching myself that I have finally seen your early stomping grounds, MLMA. And to think it's all less than 2 hours away by car! It still blows my mind.

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  5. How lovely that you were able to visit Astrid's birthplace and enjoy it with her :-)

    As always you photo collages take is on your journey to that place. Thank You :-)

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    1. I'm working on Astrid's birthplace as we speak, Cherry. I'm still pinching myself to have seen it. Thank you for sharing the journey with me.

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  6. I had no idea there was a King Alexander. When I was a kid I had coins with Q. Beatrix. Was there more than one?

    What are people around you saying about dealing with Russia and the Ukraine in light of this plane crash?

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    1. The King Alexander thing happened last year, Ted, when then Queen Beatrix abdicated. She had a full life and her son Friso was still in a coma from a skiing accident. I think she was just tired...and ready to pass on the baton. (I think some wish Queen Elizabeth would do the same!)

      The main thing I hear from Astrid about Russia these days is that history is repeating itself and another Hitler is rising on the scene. If we're not careful, she says, we'll have a WWIII. Apparently her co-workers agree.

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    2. What we hear is that European countries are dragging their feet in responding with sanctions? I’m on the same page as Astrid, but I believe this needs to be handled diplomatically and economically, not with European or American boots on the ground. Any thoughts from closer to the action are appreciated.

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  7. I say take advantage of the good weather, the sun and the warm temps to do all your gallivanting. Pretty soon it would be all cold and stuff :) Not that it's not fun to explore in slushy conditions, but summer is better for the camera's health :)

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    1. Well, you do have a point, of course, Maria. We're so lucky that in whatever weather, we seen to always manage photo ops! :)

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  8. I love your Netherland posts...so much magic in your little country!

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    1. Magic is a good word, Robin. You know I totally agree!

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  9. This village has a different feel than other places you've shared. I guess it's because it's small, and also because of the woods. Very "campy" feeling. So sweet to look for the cabin, though sad not to find it, but sweet to find the lady, etc. :)

    Yes what a humble burial site.

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    1. You've hit the nail on the head, Ruth. It's the woods...the TREES...that gives this a different feel from what even WE see every day. We're out in the polder area of the Netherlands, which is flat and almost tree-less, except for the willows!

      I wonder if the burial site will change (a head-stone, for instance)? I assume so. Maybe it was still being ordered?

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