So the first thing we learned is.. All of Holand is dutch and in the Netherlands BUT the Netherlands is not only dutch and not just Holand. so Friesland is a large province of the Netherlands who have their own flag, language, national anthem and sport (kinda of a cross between tennis and handball). A large portion of the province is reclaimed sea bed so they have a large amount of water way and a huge sea wall that now holds back the sea and forms a large shallow fresh water lake.
We are currently staying in a very small village of Easterin near the city of Sneek (said snake). our hosts Peter and Marjie, a physiotherapist and a district care nurse are a lovely welcoming middle aged couple. They live in a beautifully converted farm house right next to the canals and at an entrance to a large next work of foot and cycle paths that crisscross the whole country. The work we are doing is mainly gardening in the large garden they have, omg soo many beans! But they are very tasty.
The town of Wommels is a 10 minute cycle along one of the paths, Wommels has a supermarket, a butcher, a post shop/toys store and a pub/restaurant. All the makings of a great place to live. Also there is a great community run pool centre, awesome place for young and old alike. Even met a fellow kiwi from Christchurch there with his friesion girlfriend.
The nearest city to us is Sneek it is a nice little city, lots of waterways which is common here, most roads will cross a moving bridge at some point as Sneek is a very busy boat town. The find of the day was an amazing cheese shop. As everything is so close here we cycled from Easterien to the city about a 50 minute leisurely cycle. Soo the cheese shop is awesome, upon entry we were greeted by a amazing selection of cheese, crackers, salamis and nuts. The owner Remco is equally amazing, funny and passionate about his produce with a catch phrase “you can try anything” and it was true. We tried at least 10 different cheeses, and some dutch sausages made from smoked pork. The energy and enthusiasm about his craft was amazing, if any of you reading this are in the area please stop in and check out Remoc’s products and try many. The store website is https://www.zuivelhoeve-sneek.nl/
We were also lucky enough to be taken on a tour of the canals by our hosts in there little boat and then allowed to take it by ourselves and explore the waterways for the day. Also on Wednesday after dinner Peter, Marjge and Peters elderly mother took us on a sight seeing trip to Hindeloopen. This is an old very small city on the edge of the large fresh water lake. It has some amazing waterside views and lots on nice restaurants.
Being able to see the country side from bike, car, boat and on foot allowed us to see a large area of Friesland in a great way. A big thanks to Peter and Marji for hosting us and letting us have free use of their bikes and boat, this HelpX thing is going well so far.
We are off to Utrecht tomorrow to catch up with Courtney’s brother that she hasn’t seen in almost ten years so should be fun. Getting closer every day to the UK. Amsterdam on the 6th, then into England. see you there!