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Off to Holland

September 20, 2016

I got myself a little gig co-leading a travel video workshop in Holland. I took care of logistics — finding and booking the hotel, arranging transportation — and worked with the videographer to develop a program. We have ten students, so it’s a nice manageable group.

Instead of staying in Amsterdam, we’re cosseted in a charming hotel outside Volendam, in the region known as the Waterland. This is the view from my room.



Yesterday before the group arrived I walked the 2 km into town along a bike path running past farms, following a small canal, and enjoyed lunch on the waterfront of Lake IJsselmeer.

The lake was once the Zuiderzee, or the South Sea, a fat finger of the North Sea that dipped down into northern Holland. In 1918 the Dutch, fed up with losing towns to erosion as a result of the raging sea, decided to try to reclaim the land, even though it meant closing a door to the Atlantic. In the early 30s they finished a 20-mile long dike cutting off what is now IJsselmeer, a body of water about the size of Rhode Island. After a period of draining portions of it and reclaiming the land, they actually created two new provinces. By and by IJsselmeer lost its saltiness. In the 70s they built another dike, creating the smaller Markenmeer. The downside to all this was that the local saltwater fishing industry was pretty devastated, though freshwater fish are abundant.

Tomorrow we’re taking the group into Volendam to shoot video.

Next door to the hotel is a cheese and clog shop (a common combination hereabout), so I decided to make a visit. The clog maker was demonstrating his craft and explained the various types of the shoes: for everyday wear, wedding clogs, fishermen’s clogs, even horse clogs.


Souvenir Clogs


Horse Clog









My favorites were these. Can you guess why they’re called criminal clogs?Criminal Clog.jpg

After tasting a bit of cheese there, I was curious to find out what else was around the hotel, so I set off on a bike path bordering the north side. Just off the hotel property I found cheese on the hoof!


Cheese in the making

Besides cows, there were white sheep, black sheep, brown sheep…


sheep asleep…










and one incredibly fat sheep


Wonder if he can stand up?

And before you know it it was time to convene the group for orientation, and that was my day.


  1. Marlo Quick permalink

    Your day sounds perfectly wonderful!


  2. How exciting! You, for the new experiences of travel sights, and us for the videos you shall soon share.Go Diana!


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