Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, October 07, 2013

Finding Vanessa and Maarten
Jisp to Lagarde via Volendam, Marken and Urtrecht - 8th September

If one types "find Chuck Norris" into a Google search box and then hits the "I'm feeling lucky" button, one will receive a message to the effect that Google cannot complete the request, as you don't just find Chuck Norris, Chuck Norris finds you.

That's exactly what happened when we tried to find Vanessa and Marty.  Instead of traipsing around the country in search of them, they arranged to find us somewhere nearby, in this case the little tourist village of Volendam, from where we would travel together to the ancient and World Heritage listed island village of Marken.  

The original plan was to catch the ferry across the bay, but despite the impression given by the photograph, and the optimism of yesterday's sunset, the weather was rather inclement, or bleakish really not to put to fine a point on it, so after finding each other we decided to avail ourselves of the relatively recently completed land connection, twenty minutes or so away by car.  

This was a good thing from several points of view, for instance when we arrived it was exactly in time for lunch (fried eel rolls all round) and any clue that the day had begun with rain and decidedly bitter winds had entirely and completely magically changed into something from a postcard.  We spent a wonderful few hours under clear blue skies sitting like a group of locals in the baking sun.

In the course of our conversation we discovered that Marty's grandfather was having his ninety-something birthday party back in their home town, and they had been resigned to arriving several hours late after making their multiple bus, ferry and train connections.   Since we were now travelling by car, and Utrecht was more or less on our way back to France, it was hardly a challenge to get them to the party on time.

Our change of plan worked nicely for us too.  We were happy to have saved a few hours on the ferry in what turned out to be quickly deteriorating weather in the afternoon and we were in truth quite anxious to get back to Lagarde as well, to the boat to supervise Mr Perkins' removal and just to settle ourselves for a bit as we quietly begin the wintering process.

So our mini-break in Holland ended as it had begun, with a tortuous six hundred kilometre drive, tortuous this time because of the weather not the Sunday evening traffic, but the ending to these trips is always the same:  We arrived home once again tired but happy!

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