|Last night as we wandered the city of Harlingen, we were approached by a curious young lady who led us to Le Tjollen, a seafood restaurant. She kept up a monologue switching from English to Dutch to other languages always assuring us we would like the food....especially the fish stew. We had seen the restaurant the previous evening filled to overflowing with a lineup. So Gord tried the fish stew...mostly salt cod but good and I tried the Norwegian lobster...5 very small crayfish...I doubt they had ever heard of Norway...but okay.
From here our wandering took us through a narrow alley to a larger street blocked off from cars and lined with people, cheering. Opposing teams were playing a very different game. It was similar to tennis as a ball was hit with a bare hand....no racquet...and returned by an opposing player. It is counted like tennis. Kaas...bal it was called. We were witnessing the semi-finals. Apparently it is only played in Frisian communities.
Gord found a bar nearby and people to talk to. One, a lady was proud that her hair was growing back. She told us how she had been a bartender who had retired. She had just beat cancer. She has 9 grandchildren and is enjoying life.
A drink was served...berenden with coca cola. It is a local drink only drank in Harlingen.
From there we walked home and stopped in the bar for a nitecap. We were soon joined by Jemma and Mateus, the hotel owners, a Worchester, English couple travelling on their motorcycle, and a young Dutchman who works building special cranes for suited to the job at hand. He is both an electrical and mechanical engineer as well as a welder. All are well-travelled so talk was of travel...stories of places we'd been, things that had happened funny or not. It was late when we toddled off to bed.
It was with sadness that we said our good-byes and left to drive to Amsterdam. We stopped at the Zuider Zui memorial. We found Cleo's 'home' then went for lunch. We dropped Cleo off an hour early and were taken to our hotel. We've a 4a wake up call and are settled in our room. We are checked in, we have our seats, we are homeward bound.tomorrow we are home.