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S&M in Emmen

Written on: Thursday May 21st, 2009

After getting our fill of Amsterdam, Marty and I set off for his former home, Emmen. Located in the far northeast corner of the country, the train took less than two hours to get there.  That was quick...gotta love the compactness of Europe.  We were met at the train station by Marianna, the fantastically outgoing wife of Marty's colleague, Erik. 

It wasn't long after arriving at their beautiful waterfront home that Erik took us out to see the sights of his city.  We stopped at various locations for uniquely Dutch photo ops, one of which was at the city limits for Nieuw Amsterdam (New Amsterdam), which I learned was the original name of present day New York City in the 17th century, as that area was then a Dutch colonial settlement.  Following this we drove to a nearby windmill and even donned clogs, the wooden Dutch shoes that are still worn today...on occassion.  A walking tour through the downtown district was next, taking us past hoardes of locals out and about enjoying the gorgeous day.  We ate ice cream, freshly fried fish from a street vendor and even stopped for a beer in the pub where Erik formerly moonlighted. 

Making our way back to the house, we hopped aboard Erik's electrically powered boat and spent an hour and a half cruising through the canals and lakes.  It truly was a beautiful location.

A mellow night ensued as Marty and I took advantage of Eilering's Laundry Service and Internet Cafe (thanks again!), where we spent significant time sorting out electronic responsibilities. 

Our stay was not nearly long enough, as the next day we were slated to leave for Switzerland.  Before doing so, however, we took another tour around the city, stopping at a couple athletic fields.  Still an avid baseball player, Erik showed us the field upon which he embarrased opposing pitchers.  We also witnessed the fatefull place where, years ago, Marty suffered a torn achilles tendon playing football for the local ameteur team.  Dang, that had to hurt!

Alas the time was at hand.  Erik was kind enough to drive us to Arnhem, a nearby city which served as the rendezvous point for the train taking us to the land of the Swiss.  Along the way I was introduced to one final Holland highlight, even it was an unusual one.  We drove on the longest, continuous highway curve in all of Europe, 4.8km in length.  I suppose that proves there was more to The Netherlands than tulips and windmills!


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