I am home with lots of memories and photos of my quick trip to The Netherlands. It was awesome! I felt totally relaxed and comfortable there, and always felt like I could find my way around when I was on my own.
I went to visit my friend Bonnie who lives near Haarlem, which is in a nice central location, not far from Amsterdam and Utrecht.
She’s originally from Texas so it was neat having another American who was interested in doing things in a different way.
Of course I was also fascinated with people biking and the incredible infrastructure that is built to support the use of bicycles.
Almost everyone, it seems, has a bicycle.
I saw so many types of bicycles, including some very interesting ones for delivering mail and food, and ones to hold small children. I saw lots of parents and grandparents riding around with more than one child. They were all cycling experts!
You definitely need to look at the ground to see which path goes where. Luckily things were often color coded, which makes a lot of sense. Cyclists always have the right of way!
I found myself looking at the ground quite often. There was just so much to see! Look at this stonework. So many different types in such a small area.
This crossing in Haarlem is cool!
The flowers were beautiful and very affordable. There were many small shops that had amazing flower arrangements, like these ones of hydrangeas and roses. What gorgeous colors.
I didn’t realize that so many people speak English in The Netherlands. Most shop assistants could speak a little English if I had a question or two. I didn’t have any problems, though once I ordered a slice of pizza at a little shop, and the teenager who helped me got a little flustered with having to speak English. He was resourceful, though. He quickly pulled out his mobile phone and used Google Translate to clarify my order specifics.
Some collaging, too!
One of the best things about my trip was getting to meet up with a bunch of wonderful people from the Collective. We met at a lovely house, hosted by my friend Petra.
There were around 10 of us gathered at a large table, where we talked and laughed, and shared our projects and papers. These are some of Petra’s work. Amazing!
After lunch we pulled out our latest projects and got busy, creating and learning from each other.
It was such a great atmosphere and even though most of us had only met, we were quite comfortable with each other, it seemed to me.
More various photos
I stayed in Velserbroek, not far from Haarlem. Everything is very green. Not surprising with the amount of rain that they get. It was raining almost the entire time I was there–and I loved it! What a change from dry California.
City center in Haarlem. There were so many cool shops to stop in and have a look. I bought a lot of loose tea from a shop called The Art of Tea. It’s so nice to have tea in the morning at home and be reminded of where I was.
If I could have fit a post box like this into my suitcase, I seriously would have considered it. What a beauty! (Petra, this one is your neighbor’s!)
One of my collages.
Me, in Haarlem.