After 8 busy days in 3 big cities, both of us needed a break. We had been going flat out, seeing as much as we could of London, Paris and Amsterdam in the short time we had there. Now that we had met up with Nana, we would slow down, and start the part of the trip where we were with family, meeting people we hadn't met before, or hadn't seen in a long time. No longer did we have to worry about what we would go to do next, because it had all been organized for us.
Everyone else was going to church. We had been told the previous night that we didn't have to go because it would have been in Dutch and we wouldn't have understood it. They had left at 8.30 and were coming back at 10.30. I woke up. I checked my watch. 10.20, I read. I thought it must have been set to the Aussie time, so I flicked through the settings, and it sunk in that I had slept until 10.20. I had to get up quickly and have a shower. There was nothing planned for the day, a quiet rest day to
recooperate and reenergize ready for the next 2 weeks. After my shower, I went downstairs and met Ben and Von, who we were staying with. Ben was Dad's cousin, which makes him my fathers, fathers, brothers, son. Von is his wife. I also met Fabienne and Feliacia are the twins, foster children, who were neglected by their mother who stay with Ben and Von, and Fredric, Ben and Von's youngest child, who is studying at University and was staying for the weekend.
I fumbled through the hellos and the greetings, and joined Dad at the breakfast table. I found some museli, poured it and ate, while everyone was talking about anything. I went upstairs, got some shoes and headed out into the garden. The twins were at their table, playing with whatever toys that they brought out, and we sat around the table in the middle of the lawn, and talked, as people do when they meet people they hadn't seen for a while. By then it was 11, and from there, the day seemed to go very quickly. Von brought out some lunch: sandwiches, and we ate and continued to talk. By the time I looked at my
watch, it was already 3 o'clock. Because Holland is closer to the North Pole than Adelaide is to the South Pole, the days are alot longer, especially in the middle of summer, and shorter in the middle of winter. The sun would set at about 10, leaving us another 7 hours. I found my way up to the room and, after some help connecting to the internet, typed about the couple of days that I hadn't had time to because I had been so busy.
Everyone went out to an afternoon church service, leaving Dad and I at home. Dad suggested a bike ride, to the Dike where the seawater was kept out because alot of Holland is below sea level. Dad had been for a walk with Ben earlier in the day, so he thought he knew where he was going. We rode to one end of the street then realised two things.
1) We were riding on the wrong side of the road because in Holland, cars are on the right and so are the bikes, but back in Australia, it is the other way round, so we got a little bit confused
2) We were
going the wrong way.
So we turned around and went back and found our way to the dike. From on top, we could look on either side. One had the sea, and the other had houses. The houses were below the sea level, and only the top floor was above, because a large amount of Holland is reclaimed seabed, which is why it is so flat. If the dikes were to burst because of a combination of a high tide and a storm, all of Holland gets flooded. They are very important to the saftey of the Dutch.
Tea was Dutch hamburgers with salad and cheese and ham. It was quite nice, as had the day been, where we could just sit down and relax. Our bodies needed it and the rest. After tea, we watched a film called De Storm. It was about the Great Flood of 1953, when there was a storm and the dikes burst and 1800 people lost their lives. The story is about a young mother who lost her baby in the storm and it was quite sad and emotional. We watched the film, and went to sleep, after a good rest day ready for the next 2 weeks.
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