Afscheid van Nederland (Farewell to the Netherlands)

As we faced our last few weeks in the Netherlands, we decided to make the most of our time left here enjoying not only what Den Haag had to offer, but also making the most of some cheap train tickets that Joke let us know about. We finished our Dutch lessons and said goodbye with a shared lunch. On one hand it was sad that our lessons had come to an end, but we were also quite happy to take some time off and just absorb (and practice) what we had learnt!
In Den Haag we visited Maduradam, a miniature city that was great for kids of all ages.

Madurodam Miniature City

This city shows all that the Netherlands has to offer, in terms of its major landmarks and engineering features that keep the land above water.
Den Haag also had some very nice eating (and drinking) establishments and as it is known for its Indonesian restaurants, we tried out a couple of these to see what was on offer. Both meals were very tasty and there was a lot of it!
The Hague Sunset

Outside Den Haag, we ventured north on one trip to Hoorn, which is one of the smaller towns on the Isomere. It was Saturday and market day, which is always good! I emptied my purse into the tin of the music man there, and so might just have set up an expectation that Kiwis are generous? He was very impressed!
Hoorn Harbour

After the rain in Maastricht
Our next journey took us south to Maastrict. What a surprise! We only had a day but managed to have a look around the central city, take a trip on the river, and go into some caverns that lie beneath. There used to be twenty thousand tunnels down there, but now there are only 8000! It was quite incredible to think that the locals used to hide here whenever the French invaded. They had wells and ovens down there just in case they were there longer than intended!
St. Pietersberg Caves
I could definitely live in Maastrict, not too big and such a pretty area with a hill or two close by! I told Tony that maybe we could come back here to retire. It wouldn’t be so difficult to sponsor Tony then because of the Netherland’s special relationship with New Zealand. Just a thought…

And so after three months, we finally have to say goodbye.

Whilst we aren’t able to stay here any longer, it has been nice to spend some time where my dad grew up and to get to know a bit more about my own heritage and the Dutch culture that has bought the world such great culinary delights, as gouda cheese, Heineken beer, and frites with mayo.