Yes. I am alive, I didn’t die in Europe. This IS the second time this has happened. This time I have returned with all of my electronics, but not a whole lot of sanity.
I could just delete the first two posts I made and pretend I didn’t go, but I had an amazing trip that I still want to share with you all if your willing to listen.
Still there? Oké.
So. Day 3.
That morning started at 10 am, Christina and I had promised Tanja’s dad that we would be up for 10 o’clock coffee and yeah, we missed that. With all the travelling done between the two of us I think it was understandable (I flew in that morning and she trained in the night before).
Annie, Tanja’s mom, made us a beautiful breakfast with bread, cheese, eggs, and coffee. Would never have thought I would miss my gouda/butter sandwiches as much as did. Being back in the Netherlands I’ve already noticed how much these people are willing to do for you, yes that breakfast may be normal but it was still very kind. Not to mention driving to pick up Christina and showing us around.
After that we were escorted to the top of the “mountain” in Markelo to see the WW2 monument atop it. (the view too) We then went down to the windmill to take those really dumb tourist photos in front of it and pick up postcards. Surprisingly, the little town of Markelo even manages to have postcards.
By now you may be thinking, “when are they going to ride bikes?” (well probably not, but I did significantly more biking on the last trip). First, we had to teach Christina how to ride a bike again (she does know how to ride a bike, but Dutch bicycles are alot bigger). It was a requirement in “Brittany’s cycling school” that she learned to bike on a Dutch bicycle before we went to Dieka, but unfortunately nothing could have prepared her for that ride. So as a bit of preparation we biked out to Suus’ house, which was about 5km (I think) from town. It felt like forever since I had seen Suus and her family, but like yesterday that I’d been biking back and forth from their house to Markelo.
We sat and caught up over multiple cups of Markelo’s best coffee and a bit of pie. These people really feel like a second family to me now, I think there is something about the Dutch people. They are all so welcoming that although the first little bit may be awkward, they are quick to welcome you into their homes. After a bit more chatting, we took Suus with us and went back into town to meet up with Bart at Eppies for some afternoon beers. The rest of our afternoon was spent chatting with the group over bitterballen and grolsch, something I had missed and knew to savour.
Christina and I returned to Mirjam’s to get the “authentic” Dutch shopping experience. Basically: only open certain days, not at lunch, friendly staff, coffee and beer whilst shopping and probably a good chat too. (Starting to see any patterns?)
By bike we went through the back streets in Markelo in what I thought was a time saving act, but ended up getting us lost and being late back to Tanja’s. Erik (Tanja’s dad) took us to Holten so we could visit the Holten war cemetery and visit the grasslands outside the town. It was a weird thing seeing these places again, untouched by time and peaceful.
On our way back to town we stopped by the snack bar to pick up dinner (fries and Krokets). Seeing some more familiar faces there, the usual suspects- Berry, Anke and Koen, who all work at the Havercamp.
After supper, Tanja, Christina and I took a bit of time to rest up because we had been invited out to Wilbert’s bar, you may remember this as the place where we pre-drank the last time I was here before Dieka, but probably not. That night consisted of the three of us awkwardly mingling with Wilbert and Jarno’s friends for a while till the alcohol kicked in and it turned into a party. I note Wilbert and Tanja’s grandparents having a shot with us all as the real start to the evening.
Overall it was an amazing night out with good people, was a good way to ease into Dieka tomorrow. Deventer tomorrow with Wilja.