It was easy and quick to take the train to Gouda, arriving at 10:30 a.m. We weren't sure where to meet Angelica and Herman, so we were waiting outside the station when they emerged looking for us.
|Angelica and Herman Wilkens emerging from Gouda Train station|
|Back view of Wilkens Home|
The Wilkens have terrific taste; I wanted to photograph every detail of their interior decoration, but I was afraid of being too intrusive, and we had lots to talk about.
|Tower of Babel sculpture; |
part of the Wilkens' collection on this subject
We started our visit with tea and fancy pastry. Here's Angelica in her kitchen.
After tea and buoyant conversation, we all piled into Angelica's red Toyota Yaris, and headed for Kinderdijk, a town where you can see a lot of windmills. The ride through the country roads was quite scenic, and we took a ferry across the Rhine river, which is called the Lek in that section. Captain Dan loves to ride ferries.
|Ferry that crosses the Lek River|
Windmills can have a variety of functions. Sometimes wind power is used to operate flour mills or saw mills. In Kinderdijk the windmills are used to drain the swampy land, as the area is below sea level. Here's a diagram showing how the system works. We didn't spend a lot of time delving into this.
The day was warm and felt very muggy as we walked the trail along the canal, along with hoards of other tourists. Since there was no breeze, the windmills were not turning.
I was surprised to see that boys were actually swimming in the canal at one spot near a bridge.
Angelica chose a very interesting route to get back to Gouda. Then she and Herman showed us around their house. Herman has an austere book-lined den on the second floor. The third floor was remodeled from two rooms to one large, well-lighted studio where Angelica does her needle-work projects. It has loads of storage for her materials. The only problem is that the third flight of winding stairs has such narrow treads that you have to carefully place each foot sideways when descending.
We had dinner at Yoshi Sushi, an all-you-can-eat restaurant with a wide-ranging menu. I remember pigging out at the dessert bar, and lively conversation. Again, Herman picked up the tab.
At the end of the evening, Angelica drove us back to our hotel in The Hague. It was a very satisfying day. The Wilkens couldn't have been more welcoming.