Thursday 28 February 2013

and back again

Oh how fast go 11 days when you are traveling "home" and have fun :) We returned this Monday and it was awesome. It was cold and dry all week, but on the last day, the day of our flight back, it snowed and the girls loved it. Together they made around 1500 photos!!

We visited the historic village of Bourtange.

Fort Bourtange was initially built during the Eighty Years' War (circa 1568–1648) when William I of Orange wanted to control the only road between Germany and the city of Groningen which was controlled by the Spaniards. This road followed a sandy ridge (tange) through the marshes (the Bourtange Swamp).
Later, around 1594, Bourtange became part of the fortifications on the border between the northern provinces (Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe) and Germany.

We made walks in the woods around the cabin

The Westerbork transit camp (Dutch: Kamp Westerbork, German: Durchgangslager Westerbork) was a World War II Nazi refugee, detention and transit camp in Hooghalen, ten kilometers north of Westerbork, in the northeastern Netherlands. Its function during the Second World War was to assemble Roma and Dutch Jews for transport to other Nazi concentration camps.

On 15 December 1938, the Dutch government closed its border to refugees. From then on, any refugees would not have any rights. In 1939, the Dutch government erected a refugee camp, Centraal Vluchtelingenkamp Westerbork, financed, ironically, partly by Dutch Jewry, in order to absorb fleeing Jews from Nazi Germany. The Jewish refugees were housed after they had tried in vain to escape Nazi terror in their homeland. During World War II, the Nazis took over the camp and turned it into a deportation camp. From this camp, 101,000 Dutch Jews and about 5,000 German Jews were deported to their deaths in Occupied Poland. In addition, there were about 400 Gypsies in the camp and, at the very end of the War, some 400 women from the resistance movement.

We also visited the Monastery in Ter Apel of the Kruisheren (Order of the Holy Cross), Novae Domus Lucis, the "House of New Light.

When I was in high school I made my final school paper for History about this monastery and rode all the way to Germany on my bike to Bentlage to visit the Mother convent (Ter Apel was build as a copy, but has lost through the age the upper floor, while the mother convent in Germany still has the upper floor with sleep cells).

Ter Apel Monastery (Dutch: Klooster Ter Apel) is a former monastery in the village of Ter Apel in the northeastern Dutch province of Groningen. It is the only monastery in the larger area of Friesland and Groningen that survived the Reformation in a decent condition, and the only remaining rural monastery from the Middle Ages in the Netherlands. The convent buildings house a museum for monastery and church history and for religious art, as well as two contemporary art galleries. The former lay church of the monastery still functions as a reformed church.
The monastery is located in the extreme southeast of the province of Groningen on a forested sand ridge along the ancient trade route from Münster to Groningen. For passing travelers and pilgrims, the monastery was a place of hospitality and dedication. Ter Apel is the last monastery founded in Groningen, and of 34 monasteries in the province, it is the only one still recognizable as a convent.

Visited my hometown Groningen (loveeeeeeeee)

and saw beautiful churches and windmills on the way

We visited the Hunebed in Borger with adjoining Hunebed park.

A Hunebed is a Dolmen, a thombe from the stone age.

A dolmen, also known as a portal tomb, portal grave, or quoit, is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone (table), although there are also more complex variants. Most date from the early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BC). Dolmens were usually covered with earth or smaller stones to form a barrow, though in many cases that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone "skeleton" of the burial mound intact.
It remains unclear when, why, and by whom the earliest dolmens were made. The oldest known dolmen are in Western Europe, where they were set in place around 7000 years ago, at the same time as the ancient civilizations of Egypt, India, and the Middle East. Archaeologists still do not know who erected these dolmens, which makes it difficult to know why they did it. The most widely accepted theory is that all dolmens are tombs or burial chambers. Human remains, sometimes accompanied by artifacts, have been found in or close to them, which allowed a scientific dating. There is, however, no firm evidence that even this theory is correct. It has been impossible to prove that these archaeologic remains date back to the time when the stones were set in place.

Then at our last day in Holland, we woke in the morning to see the garden white! It had snowed overnight! It was the first time the girls saw the snow actually falling from the sky and they loved it!

On our way to the airport in Amsterdam, we visited the Zaanse Schans.

Zaanse Schans is a neighborhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk in the municipality of Zaanstad in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. It has a collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses; the ca. 35 houses from all over the Zaanstreek were moved to the museum area in the 1970s. The Zaans Museum, established in 1994, is located in the Zaanse Schans.
The Zaanse Schans is one of the popular tourist attractions of the region and an anchor point of ERIH, the European Route of Industrial Heritage. The neighborhood attracts approximately 900,000 visitors every year.
The windmills were built after 1574.

In between the girls went shopping and shopping and loved it and of course eat all kind of  Dutch specialties, the Dutch dairy liter cartons of pudding called "vla" being their favorite!

We visited family, the living (brother, aunt) and the dead (father, son, grandparents, great-grandparents) and lighted a candle for each of them.

and this is what I bought at the flea market of Hoogeveen! Each time I visit Holland I try to bring a few parts of this pattern called Boerenbont (the one that was used at my home when I was a child).

Boerenbont is a traditional pattern used on pottery from the Netherlands. Translated from Dutch, "Boer" means farmer and "bont" refers to a mixture of colors. The distinctive floral pattern is hand-painted with simple brush strokes of red, yellow, green, and blue. Currently manufactured by Royal Boch in Belgium, the pattern originated as a local craft made by farmers’ wives in the 19th century. According to the Royal Boch website, a variety of patterns have followed the path of Dutch merchants all over the world, from Sumatra to Zanzibar via Goa. It remains a popular pattern today.

And now it's back to work, to temperatures of 25 Celcius (the girls were so confused they went to school with winter coats!)

My beautiful Holland
I miss you already :)
Until the next time...


Juliëtte said...

Wat een leuke post heb je gemaakt!!
Geweldig! Ik heb ook even mee genoten van je oer Hollandse plaatjes! Fijn dat jullie zo genoten hebben!
En sneeuw als afsluiting, dat is toch helemaal super!
I wens je een heel fijn weekend!

Veel liefs, Juliëtte

La Maison said...

Elsina ik heb aan je gedacht toen je ,,hier,, was en ik lees je verslag met ontroering maar ook met blijdschap. Jullie hebben bijzondere dingen bezocht en gedaan.
ik hoopte zo op sneeuw voor jullie, en dat is dus gelukt.
25 graden bij jou nu, daar kunnen wij voorlopig alleen maar van dromen.

Een fijn weekend en lieve groet,

Willy said...

Hej Elsina, wat fijn dat jullie zulke heerlijke dagen hadden, maar wat vliegen ze dan om als je het naar de zin hebt. Leuk verslag van jullie uitjes, heel gevarieerd. Mooie aanvulling van je servies. Het blijft mooi dat boerenbont. Het is hier grijs en koud, dus wat betreft het weer zit je bij jullie beter. Leuk dat jullie hier nog sneeuw mee hebben gemaakt. Fijn weekend, lieve groet

It's me said...

Je was in Nederland !!! nou ja wat leuk.......wel helemaal in Groningen maar toch leuk !!!...als je nou de volgende keer komt ...misschien eens wat afspreken ???....lijkt me leuk !!....liefs fijn weekend van

Elna said...

Beautiful post and a lot of memories. Have a nice start to the week.