Wednesday, November 21, 2007
My mother invited us all for a weekend in Zeeland, to celebrate her coming 60th birthday. Not the new Zeeland with those fat blokes that shout and stick out their tongues at rugby games and the kiwis and the dubious sexual practices involving several sheep, but the old one in Holland with the dikes and the canals and the windmills.
We all took a day off on Friday, and in the afternoon the whole family got together in a bungalow in Port Zélande, a Center Parcs holiday resort. It was a nice place, although not so chique that it merited a French name. But such are the Dutch, they think they speak every European language fluently by nature.
Our bungalow was bright pink, for some reason, but it was close to the harbour so we had some nice views. We spent our time drinking nice drinks and eating great food. Both were imported (from Belgium of course) because it’s hard to find either in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. They produce some of the world’s finest foodstuffs. It’s just that they generally fail to turn it into anything but absolutely disgusting preparations and extremely odd combinations.
There was, however, a tropical swimming paradise that was absolutely great. We spent hours soaking in hot bubble baths, racing down the water slides, bobbing up and down in the wave pool and leaning into powerful water jets that massage every inch of your body. Lovely!
Wolf had a blast in the baby pool, which looked surprisingly pee-free despite the number of babies and toddlers splashing around in it. He had never seen a bath this big before, and he loved to play with the toys, especially with the little watering can. He loved the feel of the water raining down on his hands and tummy, but he wasn’t very pleased when he got splashed on the head because of some rambunctious four-year-olds racing by.
The weather was fine too, we had a lot of sunshine and virtually no wind. Despite that, it was very cold on the beach so we didn’t go very far. But still, our little guy was very impressed by all the sand and that even greater bath tub full with water. In fact, the holiday centre was located between two large bodies of water: the North Sea in the west, and the Grevelingenmeer (a lake) to the north, east and south. It used to be an island in the delta of the rivers Maas and Schelde, but now its linked to two larger islands in the delta by means of a dike. All that water gave some nice opportunities for pictures (sun setting in the sea!), but they’ll have to wait until I return from Congo.