Guus Bosman

software executive and technologist

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Nora in Middenmeer

Nora didn't join us on our trip to Ghent but stayed with Opa & Oma in Middenmeer. She didn't mind at all and had a great time with Opa & Oma.

On Saturday tante Ettie and the kids came for a visit and they all went to Medemblik to the farm and castle Radboud.


Trip to Ghent

Sasha came back from Bulgaria on Wednesday and Jaap and I went to pick her up from Schiphol. She had enjoyed 30+ degrees and sunshine in Perushtitsa and the mountains.

Train trip through Alkmaar, Amsterdam, Roosendaal, Brussels and Ghent

On Thursday morning Jaap brought us to Alkmaar where we took a train, the first in our trip to Ghent, Belgium. Nora was in good hands and didn't mind at all that we were going to leave her for a few days with Opa and Oma.

The journey was fun. We took trains from Alkmaar to Ghent. In Amsterdam we walked around for a little bit at the station. We had to take a detour on Thursday due to an accident near Sint-Niklaas so we went through Brussels. We decided against the high speed Thalys train since it requires a reservation and we didn't want to fix our travel plans, so we crossed the border in an old Belgian stop train. The other trains were newer and faster, especially enjoyed the double-deck trains. The Dutch trains are great and have excellent free Wi-Fi that even tells you which train you are in and what the next stop is.

In Ghent

On Friday we visited the Saint-Bavo cathedral, a magnificent building. We saw the Aanbidding van het Lam Gods. The crypts were very impressive. Some parts were about 1,000 years old.

We also went into a comic book store. Very cool to see that, reminded me of the Guust Flater comics. In a bookstore we saw that "Huppel" is indeed Belgian and actually part of a series.

We went to the area near Ghent University again in the evening and tried several different croquets in a kroketten restaurant.

On Saturday we visited the castle near our hotel, Gravensteen. It was interesting to see the history of the building, from student occupation before World War I through significant renovations that required the year-down of buildings that were built on top of the remnants. The exhibition of torture instruments was a good reminder of the progress of civilization and we didn't stay long in those rooms.

We had dinner twice in a brasserie called 't Klokhuys. Funny enough, it meant house with the clocks -- not, as I expected, the core of an apple. Loved the local food such as waterzooi, steak tartare, kaaskroket and of course Belgian beer.

Ghent is a great city and we really enjoyed our stay. We did a little bit of shopping too. There were several nice bookstores and on Saturday we stumbled across an annual flea market. Bought 4 children's books there for Nora, and enjoyed browsing the stands. I also bought a 2,5 kilogram book (5 lbs): the latest edition of Ons Kookboek, a classic cookbook with Flemish recipes. We managed to fit everything in the suitcase.

Train trip to Haarlem

The trip back went smoothly. We took a streetcar to the train station and from there various trains to end up in Haarlem. Since it was a Sunday there was maintenance being done so the connections weren't as good as they normally would have been.


To Grootoma

After a fun evening with my friends the alarm went at 7.30 am. We were at Oma Groen a little before 10.00 am. Nora and her great-grandmother were happy to see each other.

Ettie and Evelien came a little later and Evelien immediately recognized me. She laughed and said: "tou tou tou!".

Mieke and Evelien later went for a walk. We all had lunch together and then we said goodbye.


A fun evening

This year there was no good opportunity for a big party. Life is different with a toddler!

I really wanted to see my friends, and have them meet Nora, and several made the long trip to Middenmeer on a weekday, which was awesome.

It was very special to meet Max and Lex, Jerry and Marjolein's children. They are two sweet, lively boys. Max, the oldest, is quite protective of his little brother. When I took hesitant Lex in my arms Max came running and said: "Blijf van m'n broertje af!" -- leave my little brother alone!

Later in the evening the 3 toddlers played together.


To Oma Groen

We left at 8.50 am and had a nice trip. My parents explained Nora that we were on the Afsluitdijk and pointed out the Lely Monument and other sights.

It was wonderful to see Oma in person. Nora was a little shy with Grootoma in the beginning but that didn't last long. It is a strange idea that Nora now looks at Grootoma the same way I did 33 years ago.

We had lunch together. On the way home we stopped by Ettie's work, also in Heerenveen and it was interesting to see her office. Tante Ettie gave Nora gifts and Nora enjoyed the turning office chair.


Ettie and Gerben in Middenmeer

Yesterday we spent a great day with Ettie and her family in Middenmeer. We went for a walk to feed the duckies and to the playground. Jasper and I played Ganzenbord together. He is a very sweet boy. Evelien, the youngest, enjoys adventures and loud noises.


Saturday morning shopping with my parents

Saturday morning is the traditional time for my parents to do groceries and Nora and I joined them. It is great to do these things together.

At the cheese monger we got a slice of cheese to try. I bought an extra carry-on suitcase for all the goodies we will be bringing home, including the many children's books Mieke has ordered for us from


To Medemblik

After the rainy days in Hoorn, Alkmaar and Edam we enjoyed a sunny afternoon in Medemblik. It's such a beautiful city! I remember it mainly from when I was very little when we lived in Opperdoes; obviously a 35-year old looks at things differently.

We walked through the main street and some of the small streets along the canal, and the to the harbor and the Radboud castle. These little streets and canals are so cute.

At the harbor we found a cafe with outdoor seating and we had a drink -- "Texel beer" -- and bitterballen. The Radboud castle overlooks the IJsselmeer and from there we walked through a petting zoo, back to the center of the city.


Edam cheese market

On Wednesday we went to the cheese market in Edam with my parents. I had a bit of a cold but we had a good time.

The cheese market shows how cheese trading was done until the 1920's, and it takes place in the beautiful village of Edam. Incidentally, that reminded me a lot of Opperdoes.

We had a very nice lunch together in the Hof van Holland restaurant.


To Alkmaar

The next day we went to Alkmaar, another gorgeous town nearby. Stores there were open -- but the same Kermis vendors that were in Hoorn the day before started building up in Alkmaar on the day we were there. The stores were all open though and we bought some Dutch clothes and toys for Nora.

We stayed long in a cafe at the central market, chatting and drinking coffee.


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