Sunday, April 17, 2016

Saturday, April 16, 2015: Emmeloord to Zwolle, The Netherlands

Wow, is it windy today! We began driving the tulip route outside of the town of Emmeloord.  We will eventually get to the fishing village of Urk.  We saw a few fields in full bloom, and many with buds just beginning to open, so you could see a haze of color not full color. 

We arrived to what use to be a small fishing village of Urk.  Wow has it increased in size – new houses everywhere, except in the old part of town.  The fishing harbors have enlarged too.  Urk use to be an island in the Zuiderzee, but now it is one of the cities at the edge of the polder which has been drained.  We drove through the old town to the monument at the highest point overlooking the sea.   It is a statue of a women looking at the sea, waiting for her family of men to return from fishing.  Around the monument are plagues stating the year, name and ages of those lost at sea.  It is interesting how at times, whole families of men were lost.  Can you imagine the poor women and the rest of the children continuing to make a living?

The wind was really blowing this morning. The Zuiderzee had whitecaps, but we walked around the old part of the town, with the small fisherman’s houses and then around the old harbor.  There are lots of wind turbines around Urk.  Some are placed on the inside of the dike and others are in the sea.  The wind blows all the time in this area.  Today it was so strong it was blowing sand off the beach – it hurt when hitting your face.        
Wind Generators in the Ijsselmeer

Monument for Sailors lost as sea

Names of sailors lost - notice the common last name

Urk Harbor

When leaving Urk we again passed tulip fields until we left the Polder.  

We are going in the direction of the city of Apeldoorn where Paleis Het Loo is located. Het Loo is primarily the summer Palace & Gardens where for generations the Kings and Queens of the House of Orange of Holland would spend at least their summers and maybe even more time in residence.  The Dutch Royal Family today uses it for special occasions.  This is a Royal Palace.

Het Loo is a huge beautiful Palace, with perfect gardens.  We picked up audio guides from which we learned a lot about the Palace and also about those who lived there.  This is a lovely place to visit.  
Horse Stables

Front of Het Loo Palace

Entrance Hall

William of Orange's Bedroom

The gardens

By the time we finished the Palace tour and walked through the formal gardens it was 4:15. We thought we had time to go to a little town about 15 -20 minutes away.  Well it took us longer as we took a detour, and then we realized we needed to take a ferry to cross a river.  We arrived at the ferry dock just after it closed for the day on Saturday.  Oh No, now we have to drive out and around to get to a bridge to cross the river!  We decided to call it a day and drive to the city where we want to spend the night. 

We want to be in the city of Zwolle overnight, as we are planning to drive through the town of Staphorst in the morning when the towns people are going to church. We will not be able to take photos of this event, as they do not want photos take of them as people.  But I will tell you tomorrow what we see. 

After checking into a hotel we set out looking/walking around the old city of Zwolle.  We walked around the city center looking at some of the landmarks, before selecting a restaurant for dinner.   We are now back at the hotel ready to crash for the night!!

It has been a cold windy day, raining every now and then. The clouds kept moving! If you wanted sun on the object you were photographing, usually all you had to do was wait a few minutes.  While eating dinner it rained, thank goodness we had an umbrella with us, but it stopped raining by the time we reached the car.   Norm for the day!!         
Old Zwolle City Gate

The Church on The Groete Markt

Remaining portion of the Old City Wall

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