we have been in apledoorn in the netherlands for nearly 2 weeks now. we are staying with michiel, boke and their son, dali. michiel is another yidaki friend, he has stayed a few times with us over the years and you may have seen him pop up in blogs in the past. we hadn’t met boke and dali before so that was always going to be a highlight of our visit.
we flew up from zürich to amsterdam and then caught the train out to apledoorn, michiel lives about 10 minutes from the center of town in a lovely little village with a good shopping center and lots of pretty parks around.
we have had a very relaxed stay, not really doing anything too adventurous! a highlight for me was a visit to a massive food and chef’s supply warehouse nearby called hanos, it supplies a lot of the restaurant trade in this part of the netherlands and michiel has an account there. it had every type of food you can imagine there, from all over europe. i was like a kid in a candy store!! we bought some fantastic fresh mussels – €1.50 for 2kg, as well as salamis, cheeses and other bits and pieces. the size of the warehouse was incredible.
we also did a visit to the zoo, it is renowned for its primate collection and we saw bonono’s, orang utans and the gorilla feeding, it was fascinating and very well organised with most of the monkeys able to mix with the visitors to the zoo and all the fencing hidden from sight so it felt like a real wildlife experience.
one of the things michiel had promised us was some herring, netherlands style, which is basically a whole, raw herring eaten with a bit of raw onion – deliscious if a little challenging to eat with any semblence of style!
we also were lucky enough to be in town for the 10th annual apledoorn beer festival so we got to taste a great range of local and belgium beers during the afternoon!
as always we have enjoyed lots of yummy meals together, and with the weather less than ideal for much outdoor activity its been nice to cook up some good food to have with the large range of beer we have been working through! plenty of tasty belgium beers available in the supermarket as well as the local ones. today michiel had a gig on the other side of the netherlands so boke took sal and i to an area covered with a carpet of beautiful purple heather where we walked thru the heather over the hills, it was a little late in the season so the bloom had nearly finished but it was still impressive.
we then had lunch in zutphen, a very pretty and old town that dates back to early middle ages and has some magnificent buildings and a really nice feel to it. we have just a couple more days before we fly down to athens and catch the ferry out to ios to stay with chelsea and joe and meet their beautiful baby daughter zara.