We took a drive from our Ferienwohnung in Greetsiel towards the Netherlands. Not knowing when we’d get another chance to observe the Dutch cuteness, we decided to risk the two-hour drive through rainy weather forecast and check out Leeuwarden.
We followed signs towards the Centrum, happened upon a parking garage, and set out exploring its pedestrian zone.
We encountered several bachelorette parties and a marching band along with thousands of bikers as we walked deeper into the city. The Netherlands always strike us as so much more colorful than Germany. Maybe it’s all in our heads, because we’re on vacation and the sun is shining (but the constant breeze keeps the heat from being oppressive). But the people watching — and eavesdropping — was fantastic from every sidewalk restaurant.
Ever since having flown through Amsterdam for the first time, we get a kick out of reading anything in Dutch or Flemish. Some of our favorite words: slagroom, aardappel, aardbei, (voor/naag)gerecht, ijs, zalm, straat, uit, omleiting, fietspad, terug, geen, op, kado. If you can do German, figuring out the written Dutch is a pleasure. Speaking it might be a whole ‘nother ball of wax; we haven’t tried that. Overhearing conversations on the street from a distance in Germany, we sometimes hear little hints of English: vowel sounds, rhythms, non-verbal grunts and the like. Without even discerning actual words, we can make a pretty good prediction of whether someone is an English speaker or not. All of that flies out the window where Dutch or Flemish is spoken. It all sounds way too close to English.
We saw this church spire from far off and wanted to get closer. I had my tripod with me. I tried getting a shot from an extremely low angle, such that I needed to lay down on the ground to check the framing. And for low angles like that, my tripod looks more like one of those pronged walking canes. And my toe is still bandaged. So I guess it’s no surprise that the friendly Leeuwarden police drove up to see if they could be of assistance while I was trying to get this shot. Fortunately, they were not annoyed in the least at the false alarm I’d caused.