Day 3 Wake up call at 6:30 am (shoot me now)
My body is sooo confused at this point !
But I’ll be okay.
So today we are headed to the island of Vlieland.
We got to the Ferry station at 8:30. I have to say I’ve never seen so many people that are so fashionable in one place. The kids are even fashionable !!! Clothes that I would wear out on the town, maybe to try to impress a boy, were the same types of clothes that the natives wore on an everyday basis. I love it !
We boarded the ferry and right away we all find a seat on the top deck near the railings so we can see everything. When we settle down, we notice 3 tall teenage blonde Dutch girls are singing. It was the Phineas and Ferb song haha…in DUTCH!! How cool was that? I was sure it sounded familiar. What they don’t know is how awesome they sound speaking and singing in Dutch. It’s something so simple to us all… Our own language and culture. And when they take a pic of themselves, they scream, “Selfie !” I know it sounds stupid, but when you’re in another environment that’s new to you with different ways of life and a different language everything impresses you. Literally EVERYTHING! I’m most impressed with how tall and slender the Dutch are, especially the amount of alcohol they consume.
After the ferry arrived we were finally on the island of Vlieland; we walked from the ferry to the city council office where there was a presentation for us by one of the city council people. I found out that more than 90% of the income the island makes is from tourism that occurs year-round. The population is 1,100 in Vlieland. At the age of 12 kids usually move off of the island to attend a higher educational institution. The religion here is mostly “free lance”. 40 of 1,100 people practice Christianity.
Come to find out there is only 1 policeman for the whole island, and usually in the summer when most of the tourists come they may have 2 or three policemen.
After the presentation we had until 5:00 until our Ferry came back to pick us up. That was practically 5 hours of riding bikes through the town on the island and visiting the shops of local Vlielanders. Of course I run across a pancake place that puts every and anything you want inside of a pancake… Yummy! I also ran across a place that sells hammocks and sure enough I tried to sit in it and it fell from the roof and broke. (A bunch of Dutch kids were laughing at me) lol I thought it was funny because of course it would be me !!! I like this island though, it’s really peaceful as I sit and people watch while I eat my pancakes.
Then of course after our time was up, we headed back to the Ferry and still had an hour ride back our Meppel House. We got back to the house and had bikers and old people there having a grand time. There was a 90th birthday party and the biggest motorcycle event happening on Saturday (tomorrow) so everyone was gathered at our “hotel” when we got back from our trip. By the time dinner was served the old people cleared out and the bikers where just where they were. For dinner tonight was a Malaysian dish (pictured below) with a nice peanut sauce drizzled on the top and Pistachio & Strawberry ice cream for dessert. I’m not one to try different foods, BUT it was GREAT!! I absolutely am proud of myself for trying something new, and the fact that it was actually tasty was shocking.
Welp… Now I have the itis ! You know what that means. BEDTIME !
Day 2 …
*Day 2 is really day 3 because day 1 was spent all day traveling*
But .. Anywho Day 2 we are back at it again. Zwolle (swole•ah) is where we are headed on this fine day, leaving out at about 8:30. I woke up and felt terrible, headache, queasiness and all. The freeways were absolute chaos, we were in the middle of morning rush hour, everybody seemed to be leaving Meppel to head toward Zwolle.
I notice that here the plates have no tags and the speed limits are digitally changed according to the flow of traffic. (So sweet !!)
What’s even more interesting to me is that I learned that schooling is free and so is healthcare. Taxes are super high but the roads are always kept nice and your health is is in good hands. My professor (Wagendorp) said that income tax can be up to 71% if in fact you make a 7 figure salary. And 21% in taxes are paid on non-perishable items.
But he says that if you buy an item here, a diamond ring for example, you can take it to a place where they refund you the 21% back if you aren’t, in fact, from EU.
And everybody here has a bike, scooter and/or a motorcycle !! And, not only that, everyone pretty much has a really nice vehicle (usually a car). I find it kind of weird that pretty much everyone drives a car and not a crossover or jeep, or truck. The roads are so narrow here! But the cool thing is they have a separate pathway for pedestrians and a separate pathway for scooters and bikes.
We went to Kampen next, to the city hall. Where the town is so cute, so bright and fun! There are little shops and food stands that reminds me of that little town named Dulac off of the Shrek movie. Here in Kampen, We got a chance to meet the counselor, (the Mayor’s right hand man is what they call him).
We took a tour of urban land and new environmental developments, as well as the dikes, which are structured installments that keep the country from being submerged underwater. In addition to that, we got a presentation along the way and took a closer look into the farmland that Kampen has to offer. Also, new innovative infrastructure ideas were presented to us, they showed us exactly what will be built in the near future.
After the tour we got back to sweet ol Meppel Inn. Dinner on the menu for the night was marinated baked barbecue chicken, baked potatoes, green beans, coleslaw and yogurt with fruit for desert (of course I got ice cream later that night). After dinner Amanda, Marissa and I went to do some exploring of our own. We went through the town to talk to some natives, check out some shops, restaurants and cafès. We got weird stares, but not much more weird than the stares I receive from people in Grand Rapids. Some were really nice to us. There was one guy who spoke Arabic, Spanish, Dutch and English! He was from Iraq originally, but came to The Netherlands. He said “Look on tv that’s where you’re from!” We all looked at the tv and it was some news clip about England. We were like, “We’re from the States!” And his face just lit up, “The United States of A F*ckin Merica!?” Haha he was either shocked that 1. We were so nice or 2. That we came there of all places in the world to come. I wasn’t sure. All in all it was a good and productive day. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s adventure has in store for us.
**Oh yeah I forgot to tell you that people can be a bit rude (I learned that quickly), so one of our guides said we had to be rude first ! Lol it actually works**