Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Holland: Part One

Last weekend we traveled with the singles group from church to visit a replica of Noah's Ark in the town of Sneek, Holland. We had a great drive up to Sneek and the hostel we stayed in was probably the nicest one I've ever been in. It was kind of funny traveling with a few of the single men: you could tell they weren't used to taking a female traveler into consideration because they couldn't understand why we had to stop at a rest stop with a toilet! With Jordan, Alex, and I following the group in our SUV, we had some nice family time just talking, listening to music, and pointing out items of interest along the way. Holland is a major exporter of cheese so I was delighted to see many, many open fields dotted with black and white cows. A view of the ark at dusk on the evening we arrived.

Anchored on a barge, the designer said the volume of the replica is approximately 1/14th the volume of the original ark. The replica was pretty impressive so I can only imagine how enormous the original must have been!

The designer of this project built a replica of the Ark of the Covenant into the base level of the ark, as well as this replica of the Jesus' tomb and the cross he was crucified on. Throughout the ark are scripture verses in Dutch inscribed on the walls.

Good old Noah, hard at work.....

Here's a view down the length of the top level. The builder put in two small aviaries on the upper level, as well as a place for visitors to sit and have refreshments (pretty sure the restaurant aspect of this level wasn't authentic but you never know...maybe this was Noah's lanai!)

Do you see the guy standing underneath the giraffe in the blue coat? He came with our group and if I'm not mistaken, he said he's 6'4", so that should put some perspective on the model of the giraffe!

Alex and a moose...future boyfriend? Ha!

Here's our friends, the Wightman's, heading into the Ark. And they came two by two!

The evening of our arrival we all headed into Sneek for dinner and a look a the local shops. I should have taken more photos of the town because it was very quaint and charming, with cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks. Alex had some freedom from mom, hanging out with another teen from our church and scoping out the town on her own. The hostel and ark replica were located just a few blocks from the city center so it was delightful to stroll leisurely through the town. Ice cream shops are prevalent in most cities and villages so of course we had to stop at one after dinner. Here's Jordan scoping out his sister's ice cream, hoping the "cuteness" factor will get him a taste.

I just noticed Alex's ice cream cone on the bottom left of this photo...what a hoot! The ice cream shop we stopped in was small but quite charming. The inside was paneled in a luscious dark wood and rather than tables, they had deep window seats with cushions. I was particularly captivated by this unusual flower arrangement on the counter. European floral arrangements always have varied textural elements that make them works of art, which has always made me want to learn how to make them. A dear friend at church has arranged for me to work with a local florist to learn the European way of building an arrangement "in hand" and I can't wait!

The Waterpoort, Sneek

As we were enjoying the view from the Waterpoort and deciding on what we would do about dinner, I noticed a boat coming down the canal with a dog in it and just had to capture a photo. The dog looks incredibly happy to be hanging over the front, enjoying the ride. We should all be so contented with the journeys of life.

Here's Alex enjoying a moment at the Waterpoort in Sneek.

Outside of the ice cream shop stood this talking trash can! All you had to do was wave your hand in front of it and it would say something in Dutch and the door would open. It was silly, but we all had a good time making it speak and open.

Say Cheese!

Here's Jordan and I posing for a rare photo together behind the youth hostel. (I'm usually the one behind the camera!) It has taken me three days to find the time to download all these photos!! Oy! I hope you enjoyed part one of our trip to Holland. Stay tuned for future installments!

1 comment:

Angi (Mistress_of_Mayhem) said...

Wow! I have never heard of this! Now you're a travel blog, too! LOL Thanks for sharing the photos.

Number of cows visiting my pasture...


Related Posts with Thumbnails