Friday, May 18, 2007

Dorpen in Wijdemeren, Loosdrecht, and Loenen

Dorp in Dutch means a village, a little town. The plural form is Dorpen.
Yesterday Thursday was Hemelvaartsdag [Ascension Day] in the Netherlands which means -- No work. Frankly speaking, I do not understand why a non-believing country, well majority of the populace that is, still celebrate this religious occasion? Perhaps the reason why the Dutch are not willing (yet) to part ways from these superfluous religious holidays is because it would mean losing official public holidays ergo vacation days. Now, now, no one wants that, lol.

Anyway, I thought yesterday will be another one of those sad, grey, and drizzly days that we have been experiencing in the last days but surprisingly the weather mood changed slightly after 3PM. We saw hope. We saw amazing grace working right before our very eyes. We saw rays of light creeping behind the somber clouds! Hallelujah, amen!

Quickly, we settled ourselves inside the car, “Where are we going?” Dutchman asked.

“I don’t know? Anywhere I guess? I just want to get out!”

Well, we got lost in the posh villages of Wijdemeren and Loosdrecht and the scenic Aan de Vecht river in Loenen.

Oh my, can you believe this? A Burberry Jeep in Loosdrecht, lol!
Next foto is typically Netherlands - a draw bridge. This one though is being managed by a remote control. It says under the red blinking stoplight: afstandbiedende brug (remote control managed bridge). When you are in a hurry, these draw bridges can be a pain in the ass. The whole activity can take as long as 10 minutes depending on how many boats are passing through.

Children on a sailboat training in Uitwijk, Loosdrecht. Foto in the middle is an old Albert Heijn grocery shop, now an office. The new owner retained the glimmery old ceramic tiles with the Albert Heijn name on it. Third foto is Dorpstraat in Loenen Centrum looking towards the church.

On the left is the pretty windmill called “De Hoop”. In English it means “The Hope”. We saw this windmill by chance while taking a detour walk to the parking lot. Dutchman doesn’t like my intentional detours but much to his chagrin he has no choice, ha-ha.

After I took a picture of the windmill and us peeping into the house where the windmill stood (the curtains were drawn which was quite atypical if you are aware of the Dutch culture of opening up their living rooms to the world), he said, “The people who live here are probably sick and tired of people like us. They hate tourists, I’m sure.”

Vegtlust, is the name of this one of the many proud stately mansions decorating the river banks of aan de Vecht in Utrecht. On the right foto is the mansion’s little tea house. Quite charming isn’t it? The ambience brings us back to the medieval ages when princesses have afternoon tea service in lavishly embellished tiny tea houses by the river.

On the left is our river view from the bench we sat by Loenen aan de Vecht. You can see the ubiquituous wooden draw bridge opening up for passing boats. There were many boats docked that afternoon in aan de Vecht, and many leisure cyclers passing by too.

A closer view of these typical wooden Dutch draw bridges. This one is manually drawn up and down. Very charismatic though.

We had dinner in this Pancake restaurant by the river Aan de Vecht. Dutchman took a STILL video of the river and the draw bridge with the church bells ringing. It was 6PM on the watch. The video is also a little bit dark because we were facing the glare of the sun.

Our view from the Pancake restaurant by the river Aan de Vecht in Loenen. We originally planned to have drinks in this cafe in the Centrum but my wanderlust feet lead me with the Dutchman tagging along to this place. It was a better pick, we thought.

Dutchman took this traffic signages foto. He was quite amused with the line up, ha-ha. And this shop I thought is somewhat cute with the pink flowers. Ironic because I do not like the color pink.

On another note, my spirit has been yearning for another home. I really think I have had enough of city living. It’s probably the age getting to me as I now want something totally different -- somewhere still, green, and scenic; a place where I can find complete rust.

Told Dutchman I want to live by the water. He said we would have a huge problem with mosquitoes? Hmm...

Visit Period: April 2007
Destination: Wijdemeren (North Holland) and Loenen (Stichtse Vecht - Utrecht), The Netherlands

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