Thursday, September 09, 2021

Our Friesland Province Vacation: Overview

We had so much fun doing the Monday-to-Friday mini-vacation to Zeeland Province after my birthday in June, we decided to do it again after Astrid's birthday in August...but this time to a different province:  Friesland.

Left:  See Zeeland way at the bottom-left?  Friesland is at the top-left, way to the north.
There are 12 provinces in the Netherlands, so talk about the opposite ends of the country!
Right:  See the red arrow pointing to Bolsward in Friesland?  That was our home base.

As I said on FB, back in 2013 Astrid and I attended a Christmas concert at the Martinikerk
(1446, center-right) in Bolsward, a block from our hotel (top-left) which used to be an orphanage.
We saw everything again as though for the first time.  Our hotel, with 14 rooms, even had 2 donkeys in
the back yard!  The other building, with the spire (center-left and bottom), is the city hall,
at the opposite end of our street.

[Note the Elfstedentocht sign and bike (bottom-left).  It's longer than this but when there was ice on the canals, the 11-city skating race included Bolsward.  Now it's part of the 11-day bike tour.]

As a btw, every evening we ate what our hotel served: a stone-oven-made pizza we shared and a beer.
They're part of the Elfstedentocht bike tour each year and serve this to the bikers. :)
[Astrid's photo.]

Day 1, Monday, August 30: Lelystad and Lemmer

The province in between where we live (South Holland) and Friesland is Flevoland.
We stopped there in Lelystad to see the Batavia ship from 1628 which has a long and sordid history.

Across the canal we were able to see Antony Gormley's "Exposure" sculpture from afar (top-left),
before driving around to see it up close and personal.  
Astrid had researched it beforehand and knew it'd be a highlight of our trip.  It was!

Once we drove into Friesland, we stopped at Lemmer to eat lunch.
We were last there in February, 2011, while celebrating our first wedding anniversary!

Day 2, Tuesday, August 31:  Makkum, Workum, Hindeloopen, Stavoren

This collage sums up the day of visiting 4 cities along the southwestern Frisian coast.
They all mesh together after a while but are wonderful to see!
I especially liked the colored houses of Stavoren, bottom-left.

[Astrid's collage.]

Day 3, Wednesday, September 1:  Heerenveen and Sneek

Ahead of time, Astrid had scheduled an appointment to sell her dad's solo trumpet
at one of the largest music stores in the Netherlands, not far from Bolsward.
The owner spent quality time looking it over and giving her a deal that was like a windfall!
There's apparently a market for vintage French trumpets like this, also played by Louis Armstrong.

From that happy experience, we drove back, stopping in Sneek for lunch and a walk-about,
remembering it well (from that same anniversary trip in 2011), because of their landmark Waterpoort. 

[Astrid's collage.]

Day 4, Thursday, September 2:  Dokkum and Leeuwarden

Whenever we mentioned that we were going to Friesland, invariably someone would say "Dokkum,"
as in make sure we go there.  So we did.  What a lovely, quaint, Dutch town!
It happens to be the 5th most popular shopping city in Friesland.  HA!

But all we did was walk around and eat lunch on this delightful, docked De Tromp ship.
These are the memories we'd rather make in our traveling Life.

[Astrid's collage.]

Dokkum is best known historically, however, for the martyrdom of missionary St. Boniface in 754,
which is why after lunch we drove to Leeuwarden to visit the St. Boniface Church.

Once in Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland, we walked to the church on this sidewalk.
Social commentary can be found almost anywhere/everywhere these days!

The St. Boniface Church, from 1882, is Roman Catholic.
The Boniface beer is brewed in Dokkum, so, yes, there's a connection.

Day 5, Friday, September 3:  Urk

As with our Zeeland trip, we wanted to find the perfect city to visit on our way home.
And because we had to drive through Flevoland province again, we both agreed to Urk.
OMG!  It couldn't have been a better place to end our mini-vacation!
It also was the only sunny day we had all week.

[Astrid's collage.]

This second mini-vacation, Monday-to-Friday, was so perfect in every way that we're already talking about what province we want to tackle next.  We're familiar with North and South Holland, in our neck of the woods, so that leaves 8 provinces to go of the 12.  At maybe 2-3 a year, we should check them off fairly quickly...and then work on going back to some for places we missed.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

[Note to self:  August was the first month since January of 2005, when I started this blog, that I posted absolutely nothing, niks, nada, zero, zilch.  I suppose that has more to do with the pandemic than, um, just slowing down??] 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Hats Hats Hats and More Hats (cont'd)

It was back on May 6th that I last posted Astrid's bottle-top mutsjes/little hats for charity.  And because not only she but I, too, am now knitting them, it's high-time to post again, to catch up!

First, Astrid:

To begin with, I noticed that I never posted this one after her sheep last post.
How can you resist such a sweet face!

As you can see, I'm bunching "birds of a feather" together.
These are all designs Astrid creates from her creative mind, using solid colors of yarn.

In this case she mixed some of my sock self-striping yarn with her solid yarn.

Again, more of the same.

The sky is the limit when you have endless choices!

See what I mean?

Astrid's creativity astounds me to no end.
Once I am finished with my sock self-striping yarn, I have much to learn from her!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My mutsjes since starting at the beginning of July: 

My very first mutsje is the one on the bottom-right!  HA.
Because my goal is to use up the leftovers of my sock yarn, I'm grouping the mutsjes together
from each leftover skein.  And in this case, because the socks were for Bruce, 
from my high school "Class of '63," these are in honor of him.

Since these sock yarns are self-striping, it means I don't have to do much,
except to sometimes piece solids from the skeins where I want them to be, if that makes sense.

Again, these are all leftovers from the same skein of self-striping sock yarn,
showing how many variations on a theme are possible.

I was quite surprised when this skein yielded only TWO mutsjes,
until I remembered who the socks were for!  Yup--bigger and longer feet.

Not that you would remember but I made the same Christmas socks for both Ruth (top-right)
and Lynne (bottom-left) from my high school "Class of '63."
Because I had leftovers from 2 skeins of the same yarn, I was lucky to get 7 mutsjes.

I made the executive decision to make a tasseled mutsje whenever I can make more than 3 hats,
in case you wondered.

Last but not least, for now, these are in honor of Diane, from my "Class of '63."
Because her feet are small, I milked the leftovers dry, with nothing to spare!
[The true colors look much more green than shows up here...for her Michigan State status!]

So, does it look like we're having fun yet???????