A detour to the Netherlands


[The month of June was an official holiday from posting and then July was an unofficial one.  I’ll do a little backdating to fill in the gap and then try to resume a more regular posting schedule.  Thanks for bearing with me, Internet.]

My Mediterranean trip included one short detour – I had intended to tack a week in the Netherlands on to the end of it, but as I was researching travel options from Turkey it happened to be much cheaper to fly to Morocco by way of Amsterdam than to do things in a more geographically linear travel plan.

Why the Netherlands?  Oh, only because I COMPLETELY LOVE IT THERE.

I have quite a long-standing connection with the country dating back to the year my family lived in a small village near Arnehm while my dad did a post-doctoral fellowship in molecular chemistry at TU Wageningen.  I was three when we moved there and four when we returned to the States so my memories of the place are spotty-to-non-existent but it made a lasting impression none-the-less.  I’d picked up fairly fluent Dutch (little kids inhale languages) and although most of the ability faded away when there was no one to speak it to, I had a wide range of dutch childrens’ songs floating around in my head.  My parents had loved their time in Europe – neither of them had so much as left North America before they packed up their belongings into a couple of suitcases (and two boxes of computer equipment) and stuck a toddler under one arm and moved sight unseen into a 300 year old cottage in the Dutch countryside.  They returned to America just a little wider of world-view and generally enamored of all things Dutch.

Years later I, somewhat flippantly, decided to take advantage of the university’s two-credit language class program for grad students to add a little variety to my Architecture classes and prep for a theoretical future Fulbright application.  I kept it up – one class per semester – a few hours a week of grammar and vocabulary to make a change of pace from cutting cardboard for models and staring down my laptop’s AutoCAD program.  I even got a fellowship to do a month long language immersion program outside of Utrecht one summer.  More than that I continued to read about Dutch culture and architecture and fall a little more in love with every new contact.  

So, in the posts to come, expect many photo essays about my delightful recent stop over in the Groen Hart.  And for the moment enjoy a few samples of my folks’ photographic endeavors from 1985.

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