Sunday, February 22, 2009
My Grandfather's Childhood Home
Yesterday started as normally as any other day, with coffee and hagel slag on brown bread. A little MTV or CNN (those are the only two TV stations we get in English) and some e-mailing. We had a mission though, and that was to get a car. Gabriel spent the morning on sites like www.autotrader.nl and www.gaspedaal.nl looking for potential cars. Armed with a list of dealerships in Almere, Hilversum, and Naarden, we got into our rental and hit the road. After a trip to the BMW dealer, we realized that cars here were QUITE more expensive than in Canada. Ok, on to plan B : Volkswagen. It seems that there are a lot of Volkswagens here in the Netherlands, and most of them are hatchbacks. We currently are driving around a Golf, and it is actually quite a sporty little car which is easy to park along the canals. Gabriel finally settled on a car he liked, and is determined to finally get it this week! That is one more thing crossed off on our list of things to do (house, job, activities, car, bank, doctor, etc etc).
Since we were in Naarden, where my grandfather grew up, we decided to try to find his childhood home. I had visited Naarden once before, to see the Vestingmuseum, and fell in love with this star-shaped fortified city. Back in Canada, as I told my grandfather about my trip there, he show me an aerial picture of the fortified town, and pointed to the home where he was born. It was near the most north-easterly point of the star, and I tried to solidify this information into my memory, and vowed to visit it when I returned to Europe.
The longer I stay in the Netherlands, the more family history I slowly uncover, and it is one of the most amazing feelings in the world.