Our visit to the Netherlands was the final stop on our trans-Eurasian odyssey. It was also when we completed the transition from tourists visiting the sights and making our way across continents to spending all of our time visiting with friends and family.
The first of these visits in the Netherlands came immediately upon arriving. We got off the train in Breda, and were soon met outside the station by our friend Martje. We’d met Martje and her boyfriend Frank twice earlier on in our travels, once briefly in Kashgar, China, and again in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. In Bishkek we’d both spent almost two weeks staying with wonderfully generous Couchsurfing host, Nick, while waiting for visas. In that time we’d become fairly good friends, so it was great that we got to visit them at home once their (huge, two year, 35,000km+) Euraustralasian cycling tour had finished.
Martje drove us back to her family home in the village of Klundert (which, had it not been for Apace in Slovenia would have been the smallest town we’d couchsurfed in.) We met Martje’s parents and said hello to Frank and all sat down at the table for a lovely home-cooked Dutch dinner. (Typical Dutch cuisine reminds me a fair bit of German cooking. The techniques and seasonings are similar, though the Dutch at least have a much bigger spot reserved in their menu for vegetables.)
After dinner, in a somewhat surprising turn of events, Sarah got a haircut. She’d made a passing comment at dinner that she needed one, and Martje’s mom, the regular hairdresser for the family offered to give it a go (and did a fine job as well!)
Sarah’s kitchen haircut
The Klundert guild hall by night