Wednesday, May 25, 2011

European vacation, Part 3--In which I buy yarn and acquire fiber!!!

Thursday, May 5–We drove to Hauwert to see Annie and Jan. Annie was sure I’d get lost as it’s difficult to remember exactly which left turn to make after passing “Whoville” (a housing development that looks exactly like something Dr. Suess would think up. Where WERE the architects brains that day?). We were only 2 minutes late! Annie treated us to fresh coffee and cake, a walk through Medemblijk with a stop for lunch (brie on crusty bread, sparkling iced tea). When I mentioned that I couldn’t find stroopwafels in the supermarket where we used to shop in 2007, they stopped at the local Deen supermarket where I cleaned out the shelves. I am the Stroopwafel Blackmarket Maven! Then we drove over to Hoorn to see our friend Wilbert who owns Shouten Handwerken–you’ll have to check Annie’s blog for pix. Somehow, 2 skeins of sock yarn jumped into my hands and went home with me? The purple/pink Trekking Handart sock was started in Belgium--I looove it.

Friday, May 6–While we were getting ready to leave Akersloot, the front desk called to say my friend was waiting out front for me. She had about 3 kilo of Belgian flax for me stuffed in her bicycle saddlebags! Since it's considered an agricultural product, we could not take it in our suitcase (and it's just too much to fit in there without leaving clothes behind). On Monday morning, we stopped at the Belgian post office and mailed the flax home after much hand-waving and sad attempts at saying "Customs declaration" with a French accent. It cost 25 Euro (about $36) to mail home and it arrived quickly, although the side of the box was completely destroyed by US Customs and then taped back up with 2 (ONLY TWO!) strips of tape.

flax fibers against a black Prismatic pencil to show fine-ness

We hopped in the car about 9:30am and drove south through the Netherlands, heading for Belgium via Maastricht. Arriving around 4 at the Hostellerie du Cerf, we unpacked, washed up and had a lovely gourmet dinner accompanied by a local white wine. This dinner was just the beginning of a week of yummy delights cooked up by our host/chef.
The garden, 'our' chairs

The back of the establishment

Next: piles of rocks, we are adopted by dogs

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