Zutphen, the Netherlands
Jul 4, 2008
|We have come to Zutphen to visit our friends, Antoine and Machteld, whom we met while hiking the Annapurna circuit in Nepal. Kyla often credits Antoine with making it over the pass as when she woke up on pass day with some incredible food poisioning signs, he convinced her it was just nerves and to continue on. He warned,"only turn back if you puke with more than 2 hours to the pass". Words to live by?
We met up on Friday afternoon and were treated to a typical Dutch lunch and a quick tour of downtown Zutphen. That evening we were in luck - the annual festival in Devinter (just 15km north of Zutphen) was on. It was a top notch show with bizarre characters on stilts.
On Saturday we went to the beach in the west, before attending Antoine's newphew's 6th birthday party. It was a nice afternoon meeting his family and friends. After the birthday party it was back to Zutphen for a neighbours anniversary celebration. Karoke lasted long into the night - Nick was convinced he could learn Dutch through singing the many Dutch songs that played - which involved a lot of heartbreak and dead Mothers. If you are Dutch, you know exactly what we are talking about!
Everyone at the party welcomed us warmly to Holland and the hosts even found 2 Canadian Flag shot glasses for us. That actually became a bit of a problem as everyone kept wanting us to drink from them. We avoided one very nice guy for almost the entire evening as he would walk around with various bottle of hard drinks in his hand and we knew if the Canadians were spotted, we would have to drink, yet again!
As an example of how friendly we were received, entire tables of Dutch would simply switch into English when we would join them so that we could understand all of the conversations. Its those little things that really make you feel at home here.
After the party Nick, Antoine, Machteld and Kyla stayed up talking until the sun came up. Breakfast was actually lunch the next day!
We set off the next day for a leasurely canoe ride along the local canals - with lots of laughs at the Canadian mishaps in the canoe. Sorry to our entire country for misrepresenting you!
We enjoyed a quiet evening - a fantastic dinner and then looking at photos of Antoine's mountaineering adventures in South America, and Machteld's 5 years of volunteer work in Eastern and Western Africa.
Thank you so much Antoine and Machteld! You are a beautiful couple, we wish you well in you do together, and we look forward to vacationing with you in Canada!
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We have updated quite a bit today - added lots of photos from Holland and went back and edited some photos from our time in France. We even edited some photos from our time in Israel.