Travel Day: From Leersum to the air!

Spent the morning in the Heuvelrug (the national park just a few blocks behind Cocky & Atie’s house); J ran, while I walked and had another conversations with my new friends at AT&T (looks like I’m going to make more friends, since they can’t seem to solve my data problem).  Not sure whether we’ll have a chance to blog tonight — we have to travel by car from Leersum to the Amsterdam airport, then fly to Copenhagen, and then fly to Santorini — so I’m going to engage in some speed-blogging now.

J, Atie, and I went to Atie’s amazing garden this morning (it’s more like a mini-farm).  She is a member of a community garden that offers enormous plots; most of the gardeners grow vegetables with some flowers mixed in.  She grows seeds from all over the world.  And she knows the names of most of them in English, which is really impressive.  She also shared some seeds with us (don’t tell the people at US Customs).

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Atie then took us on a Leersum-Amerongen tour, which included one of the sites at which Cocky and Atie volunteer.  The site includes an old tobacco-drying barn: IMG_3089

Then we took a very short walk to an incredible three-story platform that puts you up high and looks out over the meadows (technically, a terminal moraine that’s part of a restoration project).  We’ve had a number of conversations about the state of environmental conservation in Holland, which are very similar to what we might talk about in the US:  how do you restore nature when it’s been changed by people for so long, and what choices do you make, and what are your priorities?IMG_3090 IMG_3092 IMG_3093

The platform also gives a great view of the old church of Amerongen and the Amerongen castle (which has a real moat around it!).
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That’s a picture of flat land above, because J thought it was important to remember how flat it is here.  And in case you were wondering whether we were really, truly in Holland, here are some cows and an old windmill (sorry, no sheep): IMG_3096 IMG_3097

This is Cocky’s old studio — it’s an old sheep barn (the closet thing I have to a picture of real sheep):IMG_3098

And this is the old church and inn in Atie & Cocky’s village of Leersum, where we also did a final shopping trip for snoep (candy), drop (licorice), and krenteballen (raisin buns).IMG_3101Here’s a picture of Cocky sitting on the bed in our room before I finish blogging for the morning:

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We’d like to give a hurrah to Cocky and Atie for being incredible hostesses:  wonderful food, great tours of the area, good energy, and fun conversations.   We were very sorry to leave.  It may be true that fish and guests both go bad after three days, but we suddenly no longer believed it!

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We started a Greek language cram session on the flight from Amsterdam to Copenhagen.  Better late than never, we hope …

And now it turns out that we have more than enough time to blog, because our flight to Santorini — which was already scheduled to arrive at 2:00 in the morning — has been delayed for two hours.  So we have four hours to while away in the Copenhagen airport, and we’ll be arriving in Santorini at 4:00am.  We’ve spent some of that time here trying to figure out how to log onto free wi-fi without giving away life and state secrets to the Danish government; then we looked at the shops (this airport is so fancy that you can buy Hermes scarves, try on Brooks Brothers suits, and create a wedding registry of fancy china).  I spent a little time having a slightly more threatening conversation with AT&T, and now we’re hanging out watching the sky grow dark (which won’t really happen till 10:00).  Plenty of time to take a picture with a miniature-sized Little Mermaid statue:

Copenhagen airport

It’s not a bad airport in which to be stuck, all things considered, though this travel blip is going to wreak havoc with J’s plans to get more and better sleep.

J doesn’t like to fly, by the way.  Not at all.  Quote of the night:

Tina:  “Takeoff and landing make me sleepy.”

J:  “They make me sick.”

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