Tuesday 11 December 2012

The Netherlands - Part One

I'll jump right in and start from the beginning, but because this is a long post, I'll split it into two.

   Our flight on Saturday was not that early. Seeg and I reached the airport at around midday, and our plane took off at 14:20, as it should have. The flight lasted only an hour and twenty minutes, and the time went by so quick, we were over London before I had even settled into my seat.
   The plane trip itself (my first ever) was fine - the weather was fair, so there was little to no turbulance, but that wasn't something that I was worried about anyway. The only two things that particularly bothered me was the unexpected speed we built up quite suddenly on the runway (I'm really not a fan of high speeds), and the fact that I felt so sick as we were climbing but I just couldn't stop spinning my head around to look out of the window. It was much the same case on the way back.
   When we landed at 16:05 in The Netherlands, Seeg's father and brother were there to meet us. I was glad to have my feet back on the ground, but I did enjoy the flight more than I had expected. I am afraid of heights quite a lot, but heights never occurred to me when I was on the plane. I just didn't have time to think about it. It wasn't until about 4 days later that I realised I hadn't panicked about it.
   They drove us back to their house - and I have to say, despite the short distance between the two countries, architecture in The Netherlands is quite different to that in the UK. We were in Arnhem, which was an hour and a half car ride away from Amsterdam, where we landed, but the buildings were still tall and narrow out there, 4 storeys high, with big steps leading up to the front doors.
   It was lovely to see his family, and we received a warm welcome. The only problem with these tall, attached houses, are that the only windows are at the front and the back, so the room we were in had no natural light, which made it a bit dreary. But the weather to come that week made up for that.

Prins Hendrikstraat

   On Monday, it started to snow. It didn't settle, but the flakes became quite big. Seeg had to go to the dentist - which was the sole reason for our trip in the first place - to get a referral letter for his dental surgery, and when we left, the first sights of Arnhem I had in the daylight were difficult to obtain. I ended up walking through the streets squinting against the falling snow, so I didn't see much at first, but as the snowflakes grew smaller, I caught a bit of it. There are a lot of bicycles. I had thought that it was just a stereotype, but the number of people cycling around was amazing, and there were cycle lanes and bike lock rails everywhere, so cycling is certainly encouraged. That day we mostly stayed in the city centre and had a look about, and then we went to visit his grandmother. She has Alzheimer's, and doesn't speak English, but I'm not made uncomfortable by such things. I was happy to sit and listen to them speak in words I didn't understand and just watch them interact. I understood that her memory was poor, because my own mother's memory is almost as bad, and Seeg had to be reintroduced to his grandmother several times throughout the hour or two. It was a lovely nursing home, however, a very pleasant and cosy interior, spacious, and there were 2 big, very gentle dogs, and several very loving cats, so it was a truly friendly place.
   The next day, Seeg had his wisdom tooth cut out. Understandably, he didn't feel too much like leaving the house for the next few days, so, aside from meeting his aunt, we stayed in.
   The day after that was Sinterklaas, which, simply put, is a Dutch Christmas that takes place on the 5th of December. I'm not going to go into too much detail here because I had so much to write, that I've decided to make that a seperate post to go up tomorrow.

Falko and Isis
   So the weather so far was, by my standards, pleasant, the food was good, and the company was nice, but for the entire week, I was outnumbered. I was a dog person, surrounded by cat people - seriously, every single person I met was a cat person. I have no problem with cats - Seeg's cat, Falko, was just amazing, so soft, so loving, but I couldn't touch him too much because Seeg is actually allergic - but I would still prefer to get a dog. I know where I stand with a dog, but cats are too hard too read. I got on well enough with Falko, who wouldn't care even if you picked him up by one leg, but I think if he was pissed, I wouldn't be able to see it.
   Seeg's parents, Ron and Hanke, also have a very nice wine shop. They've very friendly people, their shop is beautiful, and they know all about what they're selling. So if ever you're in Arnhem and are looking for a nice bottle of wine, head to Yves Boode. I don't drink at all, so the place is useless to me aside from the cans of Cola in the back, but it really is a pretty shop, as you can see:

Ron and Hanke in Yves Boode

1 comment:

  1. Okay you had me at really cool looking wine shop! I feel like I need to book a flight...


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