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A “gezellig” weekend.

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After leaving the campsite around noon we headed to a small town north of Amsterdam, Monnickendam , here we found an easy park and went to explore. A beautiful place and not spoilt with a lot of tourists and souvenir shops. The town had many small canals with quaint bridges some dating back to the 13th century. On many of the walls there were house plaques depicting what the places where previously, what they are now or relating to the name of the householder. The weather had been kind to us and it was a beautiful day, even warm enough to buy an ice cream.

Jenny standing on the bridge at Monnickendam. The date on the the bridge was 1369.

Jenny standing on the bridge at Monnickendam. The date on the the bridge was 1369.

On many of the houses and businesses they had wall plaques.

On many of the houses and businesses they had wall plaques.

Near to the harbour. The place was very quiet unlike the tourist towns nearby.

Near to the harbour. The place was very quiet unlike the tourist towns nearby.

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This wall plaque is to commemorate the Jewish population of the town who were killed in the 2nd World War.

This wall plaque is to commemorate the Jewish population of the town who were killed in the 2nd World War.

This traitor cow is asking people to come and eat his fellow animals.

This traitor cow is asking people to come and eat his fellow animals.

As we walked near the harbour a boat came in.

As we walked near the harbour a boat came in.

The old bridge near the harbour.

The old bridge near the harbour.

We arrived at Gaby and Renko’s at 5 p.m. and had a warm welcome, we hadn’t seen each other for two years as last year’s events made it difficult. It seemed as if no time had elapsed since our last visit and we felt comfortable and relaxed staying there for the next 2 days. On Saturday morning Renko helped install our new air vent for the bathroom which we had bought at the camping shop, It was a easy job as Renko had the right tools for the job. We found that it was always damp in the bathroom, as we have put a clothes line it to hang wet towels and clothes, the new vent we hope will allow more air to circulate.

Renko helping Ewout install the air vent in the roof of the bathroom.

Renko helping Ewout install the air vent in the roof of the bathroom.

In the afternoon we went to a steam museum which was very interesting as it had many working display models in use, the staff were “hands on” and explained how everything worked. While we were there they fired up one of the large engines which was used to pump water, these took over from the windmills that the Netherlands is so famous for. Dinner that evening was at the Gewoon Leker restaurant, translated it means Simply Delicious, it was an all you can eat restaurant where you could chose from 30 different dishes which came in small serves. A little like a degustation menu, but you could order anything in any order. Excellent food that lived up to the name and really well presented, needless to say we ate far too much but had a great time.

Inside the steam museum they had small models for the children to fire up and play with.

Inside the steam museum they had small models for the children to fire up and play with.

Renko and one of the staff discussing the workings of the engines. Renko is a mechanic by trade.

Renko and one of the staff discussing the workings of the engines. Renko is a mechanic by trade.

Ewout standing next to boiler that exploded in 1924 in Amsterdam. It traveled 300 meters and was buried 3 meters in the ground when it landed.

Ewout standing next to boiler that exploded in 1924 in Amsterdam. It traveled 300 meters and was buried 3 meters in the ground when it landed.

Stoking the boiler. Many of the steam engines were operating.

Stoking the boiler. Many of the steam engines were operating.

The outside of the building. It is still operational for pumping water.

The outside of the building.

Ewout standing next to the manometer. If you look carefully on the dial thats what the name of the gauge is called. Ewout only rates a 12 out of 55 ???

Ewout standing next to the manometer. If you look carefully on the dial that’s what the name of the gauge is called. Ewout only rates a 12 out of 55 ???

On Sunday after a slow start we spent the morning hanging around the house and then went for a walk past the fields around the village and then on to the next small village where there was a flower festival. Along the streets people had made displays of flowers and these were judged according to their category. There was a market set up and of course places to have food and drinks, we didn’t partake of anything as waiting back at their house was a freshly baked apple pie which Renko had made using apples from their garden.

Gaby ,Renko and Jenny next to the windmill near to the village.

Gaby ,Renko and Jenny next to the windmill near to the village.

One of the flower displays in the street. There were over 40 displays throughout the streets of the village.

One of the flower displays in the street. There were over 40 displays throughout the streets of the village.

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A selfie speed camera flower display.

A selfie speed camera flower display.

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After pie and coffee we said our goodbyes and left Winkel at about 7.30 to go to the City Camp in Amsterdam. We look forward to seeing them again when we return to Holland, as Gaby and Renko have invited us back again to visit. As the Dutch say it was “gezellig”.

Ewout comparing goaties with the goat.

Ewout comparing goatees with the goat.

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