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Published: August 5th 2008
Tante Aukje & Oom Jan
L to R: Oom Arjen, Oom Jan, Tante Anna & Tante Aukje
Today (Monday 5th August) we meet my Beppe (Grandmother) and looked around Friesland. For those who don’t know my Dad’s side of the family come from Friesland (the Northern part of the Netherlands). We headed out this morning in Oom Arjen’s Buick to another great Uncle and Auntie of mine, Oom Jan and Tante Aukje. We had coffee there and picked up my Beppe. We then headed off to Berlikum - the home town of my Beppe and Pake (Grandfather). We had a quick tour of the town and then went to another great Uncle and Auntie, Oom Popjke and Tante Anneke. We picked up the key for the church and had a look at the church where my Pake and Beppe grew up going to. Beppe even showed us the spot where she used to watch Pake and they used to smile to each other (since they weren’t allowed to sit together). It was really nice. We then went outside and saw the graves of my Pake’s grandmother and grandfather. It’s such a shame but they are going to destroy the gravestone and use the spot for someone else. You have to pay an annual fee to keep the graveside,
Tante Anneke & Oom Popjke
L to R: Tante Anneke, Oom Arjen, Tanta Anna, Oom Popjke, Beppe, Monique
which no-one wants to pay anymore since most do not live in the Netherlands anymore. We then saw the grave of my Great Beppe and Great Pake (Beppe’s parents).
Beppe then took us to see the houses where she was born and one where she lived. Pake’s house was just down the road and they used to wave to each other out the top stories windows. We also tried to find the bullet hole in the wall behind Pake’s house where the German soldiers shot at Pake during the war - but we couldn’t find it. It was really nice to see all these places and here the stories of my grandparents growing up.
On our way to Franeker we stopped and saw a bit of a traditional Friesyan sport - Caatsen - don’t ask me how you play it because I have no idea! There is supposed to be 3 on 3 with one small ball, but all I saw was about 10 on 5 with many balls (Oom Arjen tells me the other’s weren’t playing). Apparently last week there was a big tournament on and 10,000 people came to watch!
In Franeker we went to a
The church in Berlikum where Beppe & Pake went to in the Netherlands.
Planeterium. It was one of the first ones built - but we couldn’t take photos - such a shame. This guy took seven years to build a working model of the solar system from the ceiling of his living room! The model is to scale and includes the Sun, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn (some of the other planets had not been discovered yet). The planets move around the sun in the actual order and timing that they would in reality (to a smaller scale). The model is still accurate today, and also tells you the time (if you adjust for 1 hour (daylight savings) and 40 mins (new time zone system some years ago), the date, the star sign, the time the moon and sun rises and sets and the shape the moon is. Truely amazing!
After this we visited another Friesyan town, Harlingem, where Oom Arjen and Tante Anna are looking to maybe buy a house. We had a shop around and some dinner and then dropped Beppe off. We then stopped in Leeuwarden so Daniel could visit a lego train man. Several hours later...not quite, that bad, but it was a while, Daniel departed with more lego
Monique & Beppe in Berlikum
Walking down the street where Beppe grew up.
trains and other bits and pieces.
Now we are back at Tante Anna and Oom Arjens and will be heading to my Auntie Margareth and Uncle Alberts tomorrow evening. We have tried some of the Frysian food such as sugarbreed, orange cake - they are both really nice. Dad, you are right in that everywhere you look you can see another church steeple.
Not sure if we’ll get to the computer there and after that we are starting out travels in the rental car, so this could be the last blog for a little while. We will try and keep some notes so we can update it when we get any internet access. So tot ziens and dewey.
p.s. for the family: Dad B - everyone thinks you look great over here with all the weight loss - that’s always the first thing they say, and then continue saying... Steve - now everyone over here has seen that you are a clown - from your shocking photos... Rebecca - you look just like Beppe Schram, still...Juanita, Cossette, Irina and Elias - all the family thinks you are very cute children...Dad H - apparently Daniel is definitely a
A tunnel under the water - so the boats can carry on above us through the cannels.
Havelaar - he likes soup and eggs (a very important Havelaar trait), and he looks like a few of the cousins.
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