Amersfoort- What can you say about a perfectly quaint Dutch town center surrounded by medieval walls and moats? I should do some research here and throw the reader some bones- quick quizzes, quirky historical trivia, facts on major battles, devastating fires, ravaging plagues and witch burnings, that sort of thing. Instead I’ll let the reader experience the town as we did, in near absolute ignorance- enjoying the town for its visual charm alone, early in the morn.
Vrienden house #2, on Cabotstraat. Note the grass growing tall in the garden. My impression is that the Dutch, unlike their cousins the Flemish, allow for a little disarray and wildness in their surroundings. I’m not stating a preference here, but I think personally I’d find it easier to get along as a suburban resident of Amersfoort or Utrecht than, say Ghent or Antwerp, if only because the locals in Flanders might be unlikely to tolerate my less-than-precision lawn mowing. The Flemish are right up there with the Austrians in lawn and garden perfection.
The streets of the neighborhood were named for the great European explorers.
I kept seeing this ‘uitgezonderd’ sign back in Amsterdam and finally asked someone what it meant. He said, “It means ‘with the exception of’, so you don’t have to follow the rule of the sign above it when you rlde a bicycle.”
That is nearly a direct quote, and I mention it because that’s the level of English you get when asking for help on the streets of Holland (well, Amsterdam at least- I’ve heard there are some windswept villages in Friesland and Zeeland where sentences in English are occasionally burdened by the dangling modifier.)
Through this passage we leave the Amersfoort burbs and enter an ancient world of mystery and romance!
Checking Tripadvisor to see if the tower was worth the entry fee, I ran across a Dutch tourist’s description of the place. Her last sentence seemed harsh and left me wondering “why the five stars if you’re just gonna crap all over the place at the end of your review?” Clicking the translate feature cleared things up.
“Who is this Piet Mondrian?”, you ask?
Silly philistine! He’s the guy that did those snazzy red, blue, white and yellow boxy pictures. And you thought it was Miro. Heh! Look, here’s a ditty I made up to help you remember.
Miro and Mondrian,
masters of the minimal.
First come circles, Next come squares.
Miro and Mondrian.
Chillin in Amersfoort, and gettin my Mondrian on.
Hey Jeff, what are you doing slummin in this town? Hollywood not payin enough? (gotta admit, though…lookin good for 65!)
When we got back, Mrs. Jonk was getting breakfast set. Note the carpentry tools of her father. And note the Fanta Orange. Keenan was so pleased with that the night before that she was offering it for breakfast as well- what a softy you are, Mrs. Jonk!Jonk’s late husband was a carpenter too, an amateur actually but good enough to make this boat and this living room set (see the wine rack under the fireplace?
Thank you Mrs. Jonk for a great stay in a beautiful town!
Next- a good day for riding!