Holland and Gone


These little trees are actually bushes of geraniums.  And there just happened to be a pretty church in the background. This is in the town of Lisse where we came just to see the tulip museum.  Pictures were strictly forbidden but when we went into the next room after the admissions desk one of the ladies came in and whispered that if we took pictures her eyes were covered. 

These pans with holes in them are how bulbs were sorted for size.  One of the curators explained that when bulbs were first introduced to Holland (from Turkey) they were so valuable that a person could have a nice house built with just three bulbs.
We had planned to stay in Holland several more days but had one heck of a string of bad luck finding a place to overnight yesterday.  The road to the first town we drove to was closed for some reason and because of all the canals we couldn’t figure out a detour to get to it.  In other countries we can usually get the gist of road signs.  Not in the Netherlands.  The only words I have learned are “De Koop” which means For Sale because of seeing Remax signs in front of some houses.
So then we drove to Gouda and that turned out to be a much bigger town, actually a city, than we expected.  The Aires was right downtown and guess what?  The whole main street was torn up and the road to the Aires was closed. It was no fun finding our way back out of Gouda either.
Okay, next place was Roosendaal and the coordinates in our Stellplatz book was incorrect and took us right to a church in the center of Oud Castle (or something like that).  It turned out Roosendaal was about five miles further down the freeway but by that time we decided to give up on Holland.
Each time we struck out we ended up having to drive through another big city.  So yesterday we drove through Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and then Antwerp.  You have to change freeways  on that long stretch about every 5 miles to a different freeway with traffic merging into where you have to get off and nobody cuts you any slack.  That was so stressful that when we finally got to a nice stopping place in Belgium the first thing Steve did was pour us some wine. 
We stayed in Lier last night where there is a big parking lot that people use to walk into the town center.  It’s an easy walk across a canal bridge and Lier turned out to be really, really nice.  I didn’t take my camera (drats!) but I enjoyed the sights in town as much as Brugges and maybe more because it was minus the tourists.