Our last morning in Nijmegen was an early one. We woke up really early and drove to another town about an hour or so away. There are only a few rental car locations open on Sundays, so we had to drive quite a ways to return the car. It was a fabulous few hours. We drove through so many little towns that Greg had never seen, because he always took trains on his mission. We listened to a podcast about missionary work and had great conversations about church, missions, Greg's mission, our future family, what we want our lives to look like, the best ways to provide service, etc. It was a great Sabbath morning. This was one of my favorite little towns we drove through. They have the largest roofs I've ever seen!
We turned the rental car in at the town of Utrecht, and then boarded a train to Amsterdam. We put our luggage in the lockers in Amsterdam (another perk of packing light!) and then continued to Haarlem. I was so pumped to visit Haarlem! For starters, Greg had never been there on his mission, so it was a place we were discovering together. But of course, we had an advantage because Greg speaks Dutch!
Our first stop in Haarlem was at the home of Corrie Ten Boom, author of The Hiding Place. Here's the post I wrote all about that.
After our visit there, we went to the most lovely street market in the center of Haarlem.
(Greg is so Dutch! He matches all the gingham decor! Oh, how I loved watching him interacting with people in Dutch. :)
Can we talk about these flower shops? They're incredible. And all over The Netherlands. There is a reason the Dutch are known for their tulips, but also every other flower you could dream about. Holland is a giant in the global floral economy and these prices were incredible! I so wish I could have gone to one of the big warehouses that have floral auctions. It's like Wall Street but only about flowers. Amazing!
We also stopped at a TON of cheese vendors. They let you sample almost everything they sell, so we filled up lots of good things, and also stopped at every cheese stop we passed between the center of town and the train station.
Once we hit the border of The Netherlands, Greg was on a search for any signs that said "Patat Snacks" which means "fries and snacks." Little shops like this have all sorts of deep fried wonders. The frites were INCREDIBLE. And they had so many great sauces to go with them. Greg's particular favorite is the croquet. I still don't understand exactly what it is, but it's like a meat with ragu sauce that is breaded and deep fried. It didn't look or smell like my cup of tea, but Greg was in heaven. We stopped at lots of these places throughout our stay. But most of the other ones were in a vending machine type device. A cook would make them hot, and then put them in a window display case full of little square lockers. If you saw one that you wanted, you would insert you money, and then choose the number of the square shelf you wanted to unlock. EZPZ!