Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tourist Tuesday

Greetings from Brossac, France!
I have had a wonderful trip so far and I am especially thankful for Tessa and her family for treating me so well. It was great to arrive and meet people that I knew and they were the most generous hosts.

I arrived Friday morning and met Tessa at the Schipol airport in Amsterdam. After meeting Tessa, we toured Amsterdam. We saw Anne Frank's house and went to the Amsterdam museum. After lunch in the museum cafe, I was falling asleep! I felt horrible because I wanted to see more of Amsterdam, but I was incredibly jetlagged (not having slept for almost 36 hours), so we went back to Tessa's apartment in the Hague. 
The Hague is a government town (differing from America where politics are housed in the capital) and houses a large university. The town is diverse with young students, immigrants, and government employees. The city also houses the ICC, International Criminal Court. 
I met her roommates and friends and we had a great afternoon/evening chatting. It was so nice to talk to people from another culture and learn about the way they do things in comparison to Americans.
Afterwards, we went out to meet some more of Tessa's friends and see another part of the Hague.

On Saturday Tessa and I toured the Hague. We went to the city center, Parliament space and then journeyed out to the Beach. It is amazing how much I enjoy being by water (even though I am from land-locked Ohio), and I loved walking along the beach, even with the chilly temperatures. We walked up and down the boardwalk and pier, stopping into the Aquarium for a couple of hours and then enjoying a Dutch dinner. That night we traveled to Tessa's home in Roosendaal and met some of her friends.

On Sunday we traveled to S. Holland to explore the nation's impressive dam system. Developed over a 30 year period, following the great storm and flood of 1953, the dams are a technological and mechanical work of art. They have a great museum set up on the dam, allowing you to explore the space and learn about the engineering, history, and life around the dams. Additionally, they had an aquarium on site...so once again I went to explore sea animals, who would have thought?! haha, I loved it though.
We went even further to the coast to see the beach and some beautiful, quaint towns primarily attracting summer season visitors. We went on the beach and stopped in a cafe for an afternoon drink. My choice: hot chocolate (they serious have the best hot cocoa and I LOVE chocomel!) We had a delicious sea food dinner at a restaurant overlooking the water.

I spent all of yesterday traveling, literally a 12-hour day journeying from Holland to SW France. Thankfully, I made all of my trains :)

I hope you enjoy some of the pictures below...and I can't wait to show you pictures from Brossac next week!

Art work from the museum of Amsterdam:

want to be at this party!

global equality art project at the amsterdam museum. each country designed a square symbolic of their heritage. all of the pieces were sewn together to make a large rug. the colors were beautiful! many pieces looked like textiles to grace colorful shifts or smashing draperies (yes, that is where my mind went, typical creative type.)

den Haag at night

shots from the beach in the Hague, including the beautiful, luxury hotel

panoramic view of the dam...quite impressive!

a sampling of how many of the small villages by the sea look

my wonderful hosts: Judith, Tessa, and Ton

the S. Holland beach

my travel essentials: journal, note pad, and passport!

Thanks for joining me on my adventure recap and stay tuned for a guest series kicking off tomorrow.

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