Back from a very snowy weekend in Amsterdam which turned into two extra nights as our flights were cancelled and earliest home was Tuesday.
Easyjet found us complimentary hotels for both the unplanned nights and looked after us very well. The crowds at the airport were scary - we allowed 4 hours to get to our flight home and needed it, the doors to the airport were closed as they could not manage the crowds. Luckily we had entered via the train terminal so got in ok but had to stand in long winding queues for most of the duration just to get through security. Home safely now and any inconvenience was outweighed by the wonderful snow and pretty places we visited.
We took a train to Haarlem to see the Christmas market and also to visit Corrie Ten Boom's house. We missed our booked tour in English so joined another in Dutch, we had read up before visiting so knew the story. This tiny house over a shop had so much atmosphere and there were pictures of the family and their original furnishings in the rooms. They were a Christian family who saved the lives of many Jews during WW2 by hiding them and enabling them to escape transportation. Corrie was imprisoned for her actions. I felt privileged to sit in her living room and look at her picture hanging there and know that I had touched the same walls as her.
We also took a free ferry over to the North side and tried the tram too. At times the snow was very thick and the pavements slippery which slowed us down a lot.
We went to Microbia, a museum full of live bacteria which you can view under microscopes. We learned about algae, good and bad bacteria and the bateria inside our own bodies. They have a laboratory where the bacteria is maintained and replenished and you can see the people in there at work.
I loved this little shop display below with the 'houses' to grow your tulip bulbs, inside is a glass container so you can see the roots growing. Unable to carry home or I would have taken quite a few to fill a windowsill!
Back home all that creativity got me feeling inspired and I made our Christmas wreath for the door. This year I also helped my neighbour make one and a swag for another neighbour. There is so much holly and ivy out in the woods although not so many berries, I only took rosehips and some cottoneaster hanging over garden walls as I don't like to deprive the birds. I have noticed a lot of tiny nests around the woods so think the birds are bedding down for a cold spell. Squirrels are very active in the woods which I think may mean they have not put on enough weight to hibernate this Winter, some of them look very young. I will have to ensure I put food out for them regularly.
This Christmas we are all home and are looking forward to having a traditional dinner together so I am busy looking for things that will decorate our table. I try to make things myself or rely on lucky finds in charity shops but the best things are found in the woods, we are so lucky to be able to put wellies on and walk straight out there exploring.
I'm off to catch up on your blogs now.......