The plan was to see summer or good weather in in May, but due to the work load in May, I had to bring forward my vacation instead, and got everything sorted out a week before I flew over! pheww…
I arrived early morning in Schiphol and Frank as usual, was already waiting for me at the gate! Oh and it was my BIRTHDAY!!!
As Frank’s family discussed earlier the week, I will have my birthday 7 hours longer this year! Awesome!
So we took the train to Leiden which took 20mins and on our way, the sun was saying hello!
It was a really beautiful morning and the sun made everything beautiful!
For my birthday, I got a collection of DVDs and he got me one of my favourite movie, Conan The Barbarian! In the evening he gave me a bouquet of flower and planned to have a nice dinner at one of the restaurant in town.
We made a mistake to go to the bar first. Will come to that.
Sabine the owner put on a Happy Birthday song and they guys sang Happy Birthday song. Was a bit shy of course! But I appreciate the welcome back greetings from everyone.
So we had too much drinks and when Frank told me to go for dinner, I was already feeling comfortable sitting in the bar and did not feel like walking out.
So lesson learned, always have dinner first before drinking.
On Friday, went to the market, and met up with Patni. So she bought a few things for us to cook at her house. She is a good cook! And I learned a few new recipe from her too!
From her house, I went to Frank’s office borrel. They were having Italian food. His colleagues were very friendly and I got to meet the people he works closely with daily. I thought that was cool. Visited his office and the company has 3 big building with few floors! When I arrive the office I was not aware that they have 3 different site.
On the weekend, we went to Sint Maartensdijk to visit his parent and sister.
On our way the train had some technical problem so we had to alight the train at Zevenbergen. With snow and ice, the railway station is always in a mess.
Normally the train company will organise a bus if the train have problems. So we waited in the cold but luckily the sun was shining.
We visited Frank’s parent first since Frank sister will only finish working in the evening. And don’t forget the train problem that she has to endure.
The next morning we went to Antwerp, Belgium. It was a 30mins drive to Belgium. It was not far at all!
This was also the first time I experience‘driving’ in the snow. Everywhere was white! Not so sure how people know which is the path with all the snow on the road.
I visited Leiden and The Hague again since I could travel there using bus easily.
I was going to Leiden one evening and the plan was to meet Frank there after he finished work, but ended up in The Hague because I took the wrong bus.
In Leiden we went to the English Bar and had dinner in a Greek restaurant. And that is when I fell in love with Tzatziki! The most delicious dip in the world beside guacamole!
The souvlaki tasted so good and I would recommend any Greek food to everyone!
The only Greek food I have before was, Greek salad and for some reason always assumed that they are all famous with their vegetable recipe which is not really something I would go to a restaurant and ‘try’.
Since I did not have much time in Leiden as I was lost in The Hague, I just walked around the centre and saw people skating in the canal!
If you look at my previous blog post on the trip to Holland last year, then you would recognise some of the place is in the same area for this trip too.
If the canal is not frozen, you will them all swimming instead of skating.
A windmill and a bicycle– I am definitely in Holland!
A few days later I went to The Hague and after Frank finished work we met up in one of the famous bar Schelemmer. Where politicians and journalist normally hang out. It was a nice bar and Frank saw one Dutch politician which I obviously don’t know about.
While waiting fro Frank, I spent time walking around The Hague. I went to the Binnenhof and the lake was also frozen and everyone was skating on it. So I went and walk on the ice and it was scary. When you walk on the ice, there are parts when it makes a sound. And for me who never walk on ice, of course was quite ready to die of hypothermia if the ice would break!
I then visited the Gevangenpoort(The Prison Gate). The entrance fee is €7.50.
It was the main gate of the Binnenhof then around the 15th centuries, it was used as a prison. The upper room was the room of the judges, and when the sentence is given, it will be announced from a window facing the Binnenhof.
The door to the prison was shorter than me. I had to bend to get into the prison room. There were different types of prison rooms. For the poor and for the rich. If you have money, you can have a bigger room and you can have visitors to bring you food etc.
Poor people Prison Room
The Knight’s Chamber – Prison Room for the rich
The Hostage Room – debtors imprisoned
This is where the people who could not pay their debts sleep. VERY SMALL place!
A drawing of a ship in the 18th centuries.
Prisoner’s writings on the bedsteads
ZMDWDVS - are the first letters of the days in a week in old Dutch, so the prisoners could tell which day it was.
Above are some of the equipment in the Hostage Room which I did not want to know the usage!
Below are the photos in the Torture room.
The Delft blue marble tiles on the wall are the rejects tiles. If you see the pictures on the tile, some of it are upside down, because these were not used as decoration in the torture room, but it will make it easier to clean when something is going on in the room.
After the rich historical knowledge of the prison (!) I went to drink hot chocolate and spend my time waiting for Frank reading my novel.
When Frank arrived, after a few drinks we went to have dinner in a Turkish place. The food was not bad but the tzatziki was different from the greek place. Then we took a cab home. And yes, it was a Benz!
Most of the days were spent walking around Voorschoten. At night normally we go to the bar and managed to have good convo with some of the people there.
The canals in Voorschoten were also frozen and everyone was skating!
Bird foot prints frozen on the ice in the canal
Above are photos taken while we were walking on the frozen canal.
Above is how you learn how to ice skate.
The last Saturday I was there,Frank and his friends in the bar had a Boonake (Dutch card game) Tournament in the bar. The tournament was against another bar in a different town. So they came to the bar in Voorschoten and play. Not an easy game at all!
On Sunday afternoon I flew back to KL and it was a great trip and was good to meet Frank again. Till we see again!
Walking on the canal in Voorschoten!
Frank normally look good in photos, but the cold is affecting his looks while taking photos.