Yesterday, Marjan took me to Madurodam, an attraction in Den Haag that is essentially a miniature Netherlands. They advertise themselves as allowing you to see “all of Holland in one day!” and have miniature versions of famous buildings and attractions from all over Holland, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Den Haag itself, as well as some of the smaller villages.
Standing beside the miniature Rijksmuseum
It was a small place, but very cute, and the detail on the miniatures was seriously impressive. Some of the buildings even had clear windows that you could look through to see more details inside.
Miniature Night Watch painting inside the Rijksmuseum
Later that day, we had ice cream for dessert (eis). Marjan, JulieJanne and I went to pick it up – we got our ice cream cups, and then the ice cream shop wrapped them in foil to keep them cold as we drove home! This was very funny to me, as in Canada we would never go out for ice cream and bring one back for somebody – it would be melted (or eaten) by the time we got back. But then again, my family’s favourite ice cream shop is a 20-minute drive from our house, while this eis shop was a 3 minute drive. Everything in Holland feels so close compared to Canada!
Eis for dessert.
After our eis, Sjaak took me for a drive to see the place where our relatives are from. He showed me Oude Wetering, where my great-grandmother was from, as well as Roelofarendsveen, the village where my grandmother was from. Roelofarendsveen is on a beautiful lake, which is where my grandmother’s maiden name, “van der Meer”, comes from – it means “from the lake”, and many people in the area share that last name.
The lake near Roelofarendsveen.
I got to see the place where the house that she grew up in used to stand, as well as the land they used to own and the church they went to. The church was right across the street from their house (which might explain why they had 11 children – good Catholics!). A part of the church building was also where my grandmother likely went to school for several years.
It was very nice for me to see the place where my grandmother was from. Both of my mother’s parents emigrated to Canada from the Netherlands, so visiting here has long been on my bucket list. Something I am very glad to see indeed.