Holland – The Netherlands

Both names are used for this country although Holland is only one ‘province’ of The Netherlands, even if better known.

The contrast with Paris is very noticeable. It’s clean, calm, quiet, orderly and sane. The drivers are polite and the roads in excellent condition. I could be my friendly, polite Canadian self (!) here, whereas in Paris I was mown down.

My friends have a beautiful home and beds that are blissful.

We went out and about, one day out in the country visiting a museum of Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures, work I’ve known since I was young but never really appreciated until now.


There was also a range of pictures by Van Gogh, representing all the stages of his artistry, as well as other artistic works. Some of the sculptures were outdoors and looked their best in nature.


We also visited a Cathedral which was impressive, being less pompous and more a building one can relate to.


Cathedral Holland

And then there was a stop for The Boll – a pastry similar to our chocolate éclair but a round ball, with the same choux pastry covered in chocolate and a mass of whipped cream that filled the centre. The Dutch take their whipped cream very seriously and in large amounts!

The next day was a visit to a castle that had recently opened up – a castle rebuilt with Rothschild money in a sumptuous medieval style.


Another boll; this time meringue and cream – I did mention the importance of cream didn’t I?! And coffee sitting beside a river – or was it a canal? There are so many canals and, to my surprise, land is still being reclaimed from the sea. I thought that was over long ago, but the population is growing and more land is needed so – claim it from the sea!

It was a joy to have anthroposophical conversations, sharing experiences and attempts at understanding. I was a bit sad to leave but Israel calls …

I left Eindhoven for Madrid for an overnight where, counter to expectations, it was cold and raining but offered the most vivid rainbow I have ever seen.

I’m mid-flight from Madrid and needing distraction from all the nausea-creating snoring going on around me. Yuck! This plane is almost half empty and I’m very lucky with two bulkhead seats, window and aisle, all to myself. We’ve just flown over Italy …

We left 45 minutes late and they’ve promised lunch but it’s 13:45 and there’s no sign of it yet. I suppose we are on Spanish meal times. Soon please … My small packet of nuts is almost empty.

Ah – lunch is coming. With so many empty seats many people are having their siesta before lunch instead of afterwards …