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I always feel slightly guilty about referring to The Netherlands as "Holland" but on this trip I realized that all the postcards I saw said Holland so now I don't care. It's the same American-centric weirdness that made me wince as I was answering my daughter's question about why people from Holland speak something called DUTCH when everyone else's languages match the names of their countries, or nearly.

Holland appeals to my sense of order.

It makes the Virgo blood in me sing quietly. The trees in rows, the shining strips of the canals neatly dissecting the country in every direction. Brown-baked boat people, water people, salted and smiling. Tidy small brick buildings, arching bridges, curliqued ironwork.

Germany appeals to my sense of drama.

High-rise mountains, green and glowing emerald, castles around every corner and timeworn ruins on every other hill crest. It makes my Leo sun burn brightly, it shines out through my eyes. Garlands of pink and scarlet fill the balcony windowboxes of every timbered house.

John's computer is on dial-up, and we´ve been 1) motoring, 2) without internet access, 3) really busy, for 4 excuses why I haven't been online. I miss you guys. I have so much to tell you! See you soon.

Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Gnawing
mood: pleased
music: the kids squirming in their sleeping bags


i've missed you! im glad you're having a good time though :)

I'm convinced your comments inspire others to comment. If it says "1 comment" people read on, and have something to say. I'm missing you, too. But so glad you're having fun. Tell Johann I KNOW he's been neglecting his blog, since I friended him way back when. Don't you love those castles on every mountaintop? And I appreciate the Dutch people. Hollandish? Hollanders? They are thoughtful and rational and, in the main, kind.

John saw your comment, but did it inspire him to write in his journal? No, it did not. He told me he wants the fame and the acclamation and the instant gratification and the giant public, but since it takes too much time to build up a readership, he can't seem to get motivated. Vicious cycle, certainly, but um, ROLLING EYES.

AARGH, stupid postcards! So much for all my attempts to teach foreigners I live in The Netherlands, not in Holland... *sigh*

As for the language: it makes perfect sense in our language: the country is called "Nederland" and we speak "Nederlands", it's the English who messed it up... :-P

Enjoy your trip!!

Indeed, stupid postcards!! I too try to teach foreigners I live in the Netherlands, not Holland =) I try to explain sometimes that Holland is only a part of the country (North and South Holland) while the complete country is called The Netherlands. Or something. I can imagen it's a bit tricky and confusing, the whole The Netherlands, Holland, Dutch part haha.

I must have missed reading some through your journal (which could very well be since I have been so preoccupied with my granny recently), I had no idea you were visiting my country. I am glad you enjoy your holidays! Looking forward reading more about your experiences:)

I still call it The Netherlands as much as possible, really I do. :D

Ok then, you can stay on my friends list... :-P

Hey there.
'Twas wondering how you were doing and if you guys managed to make it to the Eftleing.

I often opt for Holland 'cause it's shorter, but don't let them hear you calling it that in the provinces. A Zeeuws (from Zeeland) girl I know said "I may be Dutch, but I'm not Hollands." Holland refers to the busy, urban area of the Netherlands where the people are bold and direct. In the South, things have a different style.

I've learned to appreciate the order here. In the beginning I wanted to fuss it up. The Libra in me want harmony, but it doesn't need to be sooo tidy. A little drama would be nice.

Heja! We had such a nice time with you guys! Thanks again for giving us such a nice dinner and tour of Amersfoort. :) We did not, unfortunately, make it to Efteling this time. We dedided it was a bit too far with a 10-hour drive the next day, so we went to the poldermuseum at Lelystad and then to the Kids Riviera in Biddinghuizen. The kids loved it. We have Eftleing on our list for the next Dutch vacation, though!

We had a great time having you!

You'll definitely have to make it to the Efteling next time your here. Maybe I could even plan to go with you. I do love the Efteling.

Reading that you were in Flevoland, I now understand the rows of trees comments even more. Flevoland is the most ordered and planned place on Earth. I lived there for a year (Dirk's parents farm is just outside of Lelystad) and it gave me the heeby-jeebies. Way too straight and open for my taste.

You were in Amersfoort and Flevoland?? Then you nearly passed my place!! If I had known that...

Awww, man! bummer! Well, we didn't actually have as much time in The Netherlands as I would have liked, but it won't be the last time we are there, I promise you! My heart belongs to Holland :) We were in Steenwijk, Giethoorn, Apeldoorn, Amersfoort, Lelystad and Biddinghuizen :)

I'm sort of in between Amersfoort and Flevoland. My village is right next to the highway that leads from one to the other.

But what on earth were you doing in Lelystad!? It's about the most boring place in the country... LOL

One of Anders' coworkers told him about the Poldermuseum, so we headed out to find it. To be honest, since almost everything was in Dutch, I was a bit bored myself, but the vision he had was certainly amazing, and the kids LOVED the water theater and geiger counter hands-on stuff.

We the Dutch like to keep everyone entertained with our riddles what to call us :o) I am always amused by it. I understand that Holland appeals to your sense of order. On the outside everything looks very organized but we can be really chaotic and messy on the inside.

Really enjoy your trip!

I had a great time there, but it was O! Too SHORT! So my poor husband and family will have to endure (ha!) being dragged down there again soon, because I do love it so very very much. :)

Can't wait to

of course if there is continued confusion about the name you could pull down the dykes and you could turn it into a large water park ;) renaming the whole lot Disney WaterWorld Europa.

Clogs and tulips float don't they???

(oh as for children in sleeping bags - they are just waiting to hatch from their cocoons...)


O liz! O sweet YAY! so lovely too hear from you! I've been missing you so! 'Course now you post about orderly buildings and fields in Holland and dramatic wonders in Germany and I all travel-bug bitten and vulnerable and consumed with the idea of new and different vistas.

Plus I have to tell you... I clicked on "Gnawing" all aglow with intrest, wondering who you're directing us to now, only to find (uh...duh!) you meant me. Thank you for your kiss from afar!!!
xo Wee

hallo weemygirl! :) I've missed you too! Being without much internet access for 2 weeks was both gnawsome and curiously relaxing. No pressure! But the missing! it was fairly intense, I must say. I'm glad to be back, I am. :)


Yay, you're back! Sort of. Tease! :) Can't wait to hear all about your trip. ~Marilyn

P.S. Order? Drama? Sounds like a good mix to me. :)

ooooh *Virgo blood singing*

I think I would love me some Hollland-- what with my Virgo moon-- must put that on my places to go list!

Thanks for sharing the details it brings it all in so vividly. ~bluepoppy

Re: ooooh *Virgo blood singing*

It was such a short trip there, though. I need more time! More! There is so much to see and I am already planning to drag my family there again soon. Good thing my brother and Simone are getting married in May so I can get another Bavaria fix fairly soon!

Oh, delicious Germany. And Holland as well!? You're bringing back all those childhood memories of cobblestone streets (going up, up, UP) and the Lego Park. I miss you, sweet liz, but glad you're having FUN on vacation.

I loves them both, they spell and smell of home to me :)

Glad you're having a great time!

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