My son Emerson David Malone turns 23 today! This is the first time I’ve ever been this far away from him on his birthday, but I’m thinking of him. Time does fly…
This day I plan to go see the Mauritshuis and the M.C. Escher museums. Also get to the Scheveningen beach. The painting by Fabritius…”The Goldfinch” is there at the Mauritshuis.
Also saw “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” by Vermeer today.
Enjoyed a healthy breakfast. Dry Dutch toast is so good, along with muesli cereal.
Very rich in grains and raisins and nuts…Swiss…I ate it as a kid in Michigan. This a international city of people trying to make the world a more peaceful and just place. Love it…Stay tune for more details of my adventures…later.
Had a very Dutch meal of Pickled Herring with Pickles and Onions last night.
I had a few more things I wanted to add to today’s blog for Monday June 13th besides what I posted from this morning.
My day started with a great breakfast…as I told you earlier …it was a rainy gray oatmeal-sky-filled morning…I made my way to the Mauritshuis (pronounced MAU-ritz-house) museum to see the famous “Girl with the Pearl Earring” painting by Vermeer which hangs alongside masterpieces by Rembrandt, Jan Steen and many other great Dutch Masters.
The Fabritius painting of “The Goldfinch” (made famous by the Donna Tartt novel of the same name) is there and also “The Bull” by Paulus Potter, which is one of the first lifesize realistic paintings done in the 1600s.
Flowers were a favorite subject in the 17th Century paintings. Their popularity is easy to understand…Beauty and Color. Flowers are the most attractive members of the plant world.
After waiting in the rain watching people come and go, I stopped two well-dressed women and asked them what time the museum opened and they informed me that it was Monday and so it did not open til 1PM…
Wow…so I decided I would just walk to the Schevenigen beach about 3 kilometers from where I was.
Day facts: Dag Haag train station was built in 1880. Wow…
Fun strange fact: The Hague (a big city) has almost 90% of all the Dutch people.
By the way, very high marks to the intelligent helpful workers at the VVV Visitor’s Center – Tourist Information. Lorrairr and Robin, such nice folks who helped me find a hostel for a few nights so I could visit their lovely hometown. This place is very clean and safe, equal to any 4 star Hotel in my book. Oh…could use some towels… I’m pretty easy to please…
Tomorrow I will be walking to the village of “Delft.” 9.7 miles (15.6 km) seems reasonable. I have been averaging 9-14 miles a day, so 9.7 miles seems doable. It’s supposed to rain for a few days…and a bit chilly…I will play it by ear.
By the end of this day (9:30 p.m.) I took 19,706 steps and logged 8.09 miles, which is a bit low for me on this trip…seems OK. (Yes, you guessed it, I am wearing a FitBit.)
Again, Happy Birthday Emerson…Be safe and Well!
The Hague is known as the “International City of Peace and Justice” and it’s also the home of the internationally famous World Court.
The Hague means “The Counts’ Hedge” so I guess this was at some point the lawn of a count. It’s a fairly big city, about the size of Sacramento, and it’s also the home of the Dutch government and a bunch of really cool museums, one of which has Vermeer’s famous painting, “Girl With a Pearl Earring.” I saw that with Eric and the kids at the Whitney De Young in San Francisco a few years ago.
Sunday afternoon…near the Grote and Chinatown…A “Grote” is the Dutch word for either a church or a market. Mostly it means market here, I think.
I stopped in the department store and put on Jo Malone cream and used the restroom (they are so hard to find here and when you do they sometimes are closed!)…plus you pay 50 Eros to use the restroom…
I’m spending Sunday evening at the Stay Okay Hostel, Room 317. It’s located at Scheepmakersstraat 27, 2515 VA Den Haag, in case you want to join me for coffee, bread, and cheese. That’s mostly what I have been eating here.
These hostels are OK. They are just a bed, really. But after walking all day long, I don’t care. I just want to sleep. With 50 other people snoring in the same room.
Today, I cheated and took the train to the Hague…humming the song…”sitting in a railroad station my ticket for my designation …(Paul Simon) to this big city. Did pass through the most beautiful countryside where the world’s most beautiful flower grows the “Tulip.” (By the way Haarlem is the “Tulip Capital. A historical center of tulip bulb growing district for centuries.)
The fields of Lisle and Hillegon…the place to see tulips in bloom. In May…not June.
The Hague (Da Haag) is the government center of Europe. I am walking a lot here…population is about 500,000…
Walked to a bookstore and picked up some postcards and a city map so I would not repeat yesterday…the circle tour.
Did first stop at “STARBUCKS” to buy a cup of coffee and Dutch honey waffle cookies named “snoodles”(not sure on the spelling) It was a perfect Dutch treat. THE WEATHER SAID RAIN AT NOON BUT IT NEVER HAPPENED…
I wanted to say a few more things about my visit to Haarlem.
I met a very nice Dutch family who befriended me.
They were coming back from a music concert on the dunes…I was resting on the steps to a draw bridge totally lost and confused to where I was and this beautiful young happy couple showed up. I wonder if I looked out of place tired and very thirsty.
We struck up some conversation (not sure what started it) and the next thing I knew they invited me to stay at their home in their quest room.
How could I refuse after trying to find a place with no luck…being Saturday night and all. Also. I had just walked ten miles in a big circle. What the heck!
After walking over the bridge back to their home about another mile I got to meet their parents who turned out to be big Boston baseball fans. They were spending time with their grandchildren and letting the parents have a play date. It seems last year they were in California visiting our lovely state and our National Parks…Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, and into southern Utah: Zion National Park where we spent Christmas with the kids last year.
This dear family took such good care of me I will forever be grateful…A special place in my heart. I had breakfast with their son Chris the next morning.
If anyone is interested in her instant gram website contact me personally and I will share it with you…
He is a graphic designer and she is also very creative, making children’s textile art objects for play and wear…I will probably use some of her ideas with her knowledge in the Nevada Union High School Art class back in Grass Valley with Special Ed next year to help her build up her client list.
I made it back to Amsterdam from the little tiny village of Zeerijp and stayed in a hostel near downtown, Hostel Slotania.
It’s pretty nice for a hostel. I had a good night sleep…slight headache. Now I’m headed over to Haarlem after I get some strong black coffee.
Most of the hostels seem to be booked for Saturday night, but maybe that’s because I am still in Amsterdam…People shop til midnight here. Amsterdam is a very busy place. There is a light rain which makes this beautiful city a tad on the cool side…seems like everyone rides a bike here…the most amazing cheese and bread. Yum!
Most of the buildings in Amsterdam were built in the 1600’s…when they didn’t have cars. I went to the Grote Market to get cheese, bread, and coffee for 18 Euros, which is about $20-bucks American money.
I’m going to walk towards the beach…Maybe I’ll end up in some cheap hotel??? Still feel like I am just trying to fit in which is hard because though my ancestry is Dutch, I don’t really speak Dutch. Most Europeans are raised from birth to speak 5 languages, and fortunately English is one of them. The first thing I learned to say was “Mon francais n’est pas bien. Parlez vous anglais?” (My French is not that good. Do you speak English?)
People are very nice, and helped me out when I got lost. I will write more once I find a hostel and a place to charge my phone. I went into Starbucks here and they did not have WiFi! Oh yeah, and so I went to another local little coffee shop in Amsterdam and they were selling drugs! I asked if they had coffee, and they said, “Sure we have coffee!” And they also had lots of other stuff, if you know what I mean. I just wanted coffee and to get headed back on my way to the beach!
I was extremely tired from the plane flight and wound up getting lost on my way up to Groningen and Zeerijp.
I did meet a real nice couple on the plane from Haalisleevgen the southern part of the Netherlands. The lady’s name was Christine Westerdop. We had a wonderful visit.
Also, my first night in the town of Groningen was very nice…had a nutritional dinner salad with smoked salmon.
Then a wonderful sleep at the Hotel Bastion in Groningen near the town of Zeerijp…I was so very tired by the time I arrived there…but I did make it to my family’s ancestral home. (My family name is Zeeryp, named after the town in Holland.)
I was thinking it was 40 kilometers from Amsterdam. Instead it felt like 400 kilometers (probably because I was still so jet-lagged from the long flight from San Francisco). The scenery was so beautiful…there are no fences in the countryside.
The cattle graze freely and the air smells so sweet; maybe that was the North Sea…at some point many, many years ago this was under water.
I feel like I live in the wrong place…on earth.
Additionally, the small towns we so clean and so well kept. Red brick everywhere. The flowers and the gardens are all so beautiful…
It’s my birthday 7:30 a.m. Netherlands time. Feels like it will be a great day. I am off to the town of syrup so maybe that’s why I was called “syrup” growing up.
When I text Eric using voice, the phone translated zeeryp into “syrup.” Now that is funny!
I spent the night in Groningen, which is very close to the town of Zeerijp, where my family back in Michigan is from.
I think it’s midnight back in California . My phone is still set for 11:42 p.m. California time. Looking forward to finding some hot Dutch coffee for breakfast maybe a Dutch Waffle too.
I am now in Zeerijp, Holland, which is the ancestral home of my family, the Zeeryps, who migrated to the United States several hundred years ago from The Netherlands. I think I am the first person from my family to visit here.
As you can see from the map, Zeerijp is in the northeast corner of the Netherlands, which is mostly water. My family name, Zeeryp, means literally “the sea is ripe.” It means that there are a lot of fish in the sea to be caught. Seafood is very popular here. Amsterdam is not shown on this map, but it would be in the bottom left corner if it were.
This is my blog about my walking tour from Amsterdam to Paris in the summer of 2016.
May 30, 2016
I am very excited! After getting everything ready, I am finally packing to fly from San Francisco to Amsterdam on Wednesday June 8.
All I am taking is a 15-pound backpack, so I will literally have my home on my back. I plan to eat very simply–fruit, nuts, and, of course, coffee. I might indulge in some of that wonderful Dutch cheese and other Dutch treats when I get there.
This is the culmination of a long-time dream of mine, and I am ready.