Friday, April 25, 2008

Dutch Vacation

It seems like I just went on a vacation only two months ago but in reality it was almost three! The events of the past couple of months with the MD-80 fleet have made a vacation a welcome diversion.

Since I haven't been back to work in a couple of weeks, I'll have to supplement my blog with more vacation stories. My apologies once again.

This time it was to be a week in The Netherlands with a side trip over to Belgium. We left from DFW on KLM's new service from DFW nonstop to Amsterdam. I've never been a huge fan of any Airbus product but I must admit that KLM's new A-330's are very nice. And the service on KLM was outstanding! Our US airlines are put to shame by the service from the foreign carriers. The overnight flight lasted just under 9 hours and was smooth as glass. Western Europe was experiencing some unusually clear weather and the descent and approach over England, the North Sea and then the western coast of The Netherlands was quite scenic.
Our home base was to be in the city of Haarlem which is fairly close to Amsterdam. BD has some family there. Her cousins live in a 19th century windmill. More about windmills in a later post.

One of our excursions was a drive up to the island of Texel in one of the northern provinces. We had to take a short ferry ride where I got a shot of this dredging ship. There's always a lot of dredging going on all over the place. There must be an ongoing problem with the sediment.

Driving along, we came by a small airport with this ex Royal Netherlands Air Force F-104 Starfighter parked outside. The airport only had a small grass runway so I imagine that the 104 had to be trucked in. The fighter seemed a little out of place here.

The northern end of the island has a small lighthouse. We walked around the beach for awhile but the wind was howling (and extra cold), so we made it quick. Heading back south again we passed several small towns with their requisite churches. There are more sheep on the island than people. Lots of horses too.

These were Friesian horses. They were huge.

So back across on the ferry again and then on back to Haarlem for the night.
On the way we passed numerous windmills...the old kind and the new. Also we passed several fields with tulips and various other flowers in bloom. Lots of colors!!

More to follow in a few days.

For a look at some more of my photos, please aviate over to Plane & Simple.

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