First, Lola had a appointment with a youth coach lady on Thursday afternoon talking about college & work, I think it went well & enthused Lola about what to do. The best way forward for her is to knock out 2 A-Levels online, while working part time to pay for some proper dutch lessons. Then in September she could go to Uni properly.
I think Lola needed to discover all these things for herself. She was quietly enthused. So I am feeling positive about that!
On Friday we bought this fab rug in our kringloopwinkel for £10!
That night I got a lift to Life group and had a good time there. I had a good chat with A who needs some English practice. She’s Brazilian and previously lived in Austria. I am going to meet her. Also this Singaporean couple who have been living in Hungary, Germany, Holland. Even the Dutch bloke there has just returned from living in spain. This is a very international group!
Saturday, Lee & I went for our 1st trip to Utrecht. We left around 9am and it was still frosty with a bit of frozen water at the edge of our ditch,
We poured a cup of hot water over our bikeseats to get the frost off! Then got the bus to Breukelen station, all the way there we could see nothing but fog out of the windows! Then we got a sprinter train to Utrecht. The sprinter is comfortable and clean and fast.
Utrecht has city-wide free wifi. Hurrah! We found it a bit dull & grey at first, and it was 1 degree, so quite difficult to enjoy walking around. There is an interesting dimension around the canals, as there is a lower level, the wharves.
there wasn’t much down there.
Then we got to Domplein (Cathedral Square). And there was this Domunder – museum of under the cathedral. And cos I just wanted to get indoors, we did. It was 11 euros each and it was excellent! We had an adorable characterful older lady guide speaking in English, first she gave us a little lesson in types of stone we would see, and told us lots of interesting stuff about the Roman frontier, along the Rhine, which used to flow through Utrecht, Alphen, Leiden, Katwijk but this is now called the Oude Rijn, and is much smaller. the Rhine lets out elsewhere.
Then we watched a very good CGI film about the history of Utrecht, focused on the square and the buildings that have been there. Then we went underground and saw the archaeological evidence for ourselves. It was excellent! As usual in Dutch museums, everything was presented so interestingly. It was more than an hour & we were wowed.
Then went in the first eatery we saw as it was so cold out . It was a sort of wine bar, which usually I’d avoid, but we had delicious tabbouleh and bouillabasse, at a very reasonable price.
We walked towards the Dom Quarter but it was so cold we stepped straight into a posh coffee/hot chocolate place called Hop & Stork. we got hot drinks, they were each served with a shot glass of chocolate mousse & an individual chocolate, and we each had a fab cake, He had a shiny, sparkly blood orange mousse! And I had a cheesecake with meringue on top. Amazing! I looked at the lunch menu and every savoury dish had chocolate in it! Must go again!
Then we stepped into the more funky, old-town where there were a lot of 2nd hand/vintage shops, comic shops, art and bookshops, and a shop selling 50 types of pepernoten – the traditional christmas mini spiced cookie drops.
Freezing in Domplein.
There was quite a few shops selling this turquoise & orange stuff. Lee joined a massive queue in Simon Levelt for his coffee beans!
That was our trip, we deffo need to go again as there’s loads more museums & cultural stuff there.
This morning all 4 kids came to Xrds international church with me. Lola and Fred hadn’t been. I promised I wouldn’t make them do any introductions as this is in fact our 5th new church in 2 years and that’s a LOT of introductions! A LOT of first impressions to give. Lola was able to deal with her anxiety by sitting in the lobby in a comfortable seat during the sermon. It’s piped out there so she was able to benefit. It was very interesting and also included some interesting Roman history, funnily enough!
Then, as we were in Amstelveen, we went to McDonalds and then popped into Action & Xenos to buy our £5 Pakjesavond (secret santa) gifts for each other.