Back on board and then off to the Netherlands!

Back at Didim Marina after the most fantastic trip of South-East Turkey with a group of fellow yachties, we were happy to find all was well aboard S/V Sunday.

Good to be back on board!

There was no time to get back into the daily rhythm of life aboard however, as we were booked to fly to the Netherlands in just a few days to visit our daughter and son-in-law and to pick up our camper van for some more land adventures.

Look carefully and you will just see a rare Monk Seal -a regular visitor to the Marina!
A slightly closer view of the Monk Seal!

Other marina residents were also departing that week to visit family and friends – some to Portugal, others to Australia and Thailand. With so many people leaving it was decided to have a Friday night farewell barbecue.

BBQ time at Didim Marina!

It was a great evening!

Boat twins!
It was a great evening

The following day we flew off to the Netherlands and had a very smooth trip with none of the possible hiccups that we have have come to expect in these Covid times.

It was wonderful to see how lush and green the Netherlands was. It had only rained once or twice since the beginning of March in Turkey and on the drive to the airport everywhere looked so parched. There was not a scrap of green grass to be seen – everything was brown and lifeless.

It was wonderful to see how lush and green the Netherlands was.
In contrast, Turkey looked so parched and everything was brown and lifeless

We had brought with us a lovely carpet we had bought earlier in the year in a small carpet shop in Uçağız, a small fishing village in the heart of the landlocked bay of Kekova Roads.

The carpet we bought at Uçağız

We didn’t have room for it aboard Sunday but we were very happy to find it was the perfect fit for Hannah and Pieter’s hallway!

It was the perfect fit for Hannah and Pieter’s hallway!

We had a quiet time the first week or ten days of our stay as we took the Dutch Government’s advice and quarantined at home. However, we went for lovely walks every day and had the occasional lunch at a cafe (outside!) with Hannah and Pieter.

We went for lovely walks every day
A delicious lunch out!

We so enjoyed seeing the last of the late autumn leaves in the gardens and woods nearby to their home.

We enjoyed seeing the last of the
late autumn leaves
This little man was dressed as one of the helpers that accompany Sinterklaas (St Nicholas or Santa Claus)
The last of the late autumn leaves
Autumn was unusually late

The second weekend after our arrival we had an extra special visit from my sister Sarah and her husband Martin. Due to all the Covid restrictions, the last time we had seen them was just before Christmas 2020 and then it was only for a brief lunch in their garden (fortunately it was a relatively mild day!)

Such a lovely reunion after too long!
Jonathan ending a celebratory Dutch beer!

It was so exciting to welcome them as they came off the Eurostar train from London to Amsterdam.

On the Saturday we all went for a tramp and ended up at the windmill cafe in nearby Nootdorp.

We met some miniature horses on our tramp
Glorious colours
A heron waiting to catch its prey

Very fortunately for us the windmill was not only working but also open for tours. We were able to go up into the miller’s loft (two at a time) and be shown round the various working parts and have a demonstration on exactly how the sails worked – listening all the whike to the delightful clack of them going round and round.

It was wonderful to see the sails going round on the local windmill
Fortunately the windmill was open for tours!

We also paid a visit to the local farm shop and purchased some lovely fresh produce for dinner that night.

The cows at the farm were very friendly
Sunset in Pijnacker

The following day we all went to the local garden centre which according to Sarah and Martin was bigger than any they had visited in England!

Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer alive and well at the local garden centre
Miniature Christmas scenes

It has become an annual ritual to go and see the Centre’s wonderful Christmas displays and decorations and stake out which Christmas tree looks the best, and buy Christmas plants, fairy lights and other festive goodies.

A tiny version of the Church near Hannah and Pieter’s place
Santa looks a bit different?!
Christmas carols from the polar bears
Such gorgeous decorations!
Love seeing this giant bunny any time we visit the garden centre!

The other part of the ritual is to have afternoon tea in the garden centre cafe where they serve (among many other lovely things) Dutch apple pie with lashings of slagroom (whipped cream)!

Apple pie – definitely part of our
Christmas rituals!

We also took the bus into beautiful Delft – the canal-ringed Medieval town just 15 minutes cycle ride from Hannah and Pieter’s place.

Beautiful canal-ringed Delft

It is always lovely to walk around this gorgeous place with its massive market square, the graceful Renaissance- style 17th Century City Hall , the Oude Kerk (old Church) and the Nieuwe Kerk (new Church) which was actually completed in 1496!)

Nieuwe Kerk (new Church) which was actually completed in 1496!)

Best of all, it’s just wonderful to wander alongside the canals, crossing them when the fancy takes you and discovering new alleys and path ways along the way.

It’s just wonderful to wander
alongside the canals

All too soon it was time to farewell Sarah and Martin as they joined the Eurostar to head back to London. It had been a lovely weekend but like all good things, it went far too quickly!

All too soon it was time to farewell
Sarah and Martin

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

2 thoughts on “Back on board and then off to the Netherlands!”

  1. This reminds me of our trip to Netherlands. I just love the beauty of the country and miss Hannah and Pieter.

    Hope we are able to meet soon


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