At the end of January, after almost two months working at the wonderful Fountaine Inn, Linton, in The Yorkshire Dales National Park (where food is served all day, every day!), Keira set off to Leiden University in The Netherlands to do an MA in Literary Studies. She has a flat share in The Hague and can commute by bicycle and train to and from Leiden with relative ease.
Happily, I was able to tag along with her for a few days to help her settle in but mainly in order to build her flat pack wardrobe and desk!!!
We were able to spend a lovely day sightseeing in Amsterdam. It was a great day despite rather wet weather.
We walked absolutely miles and, in a particularly torrential downpour, found ourselves in a Cheese Museum
where we must have eaten a kilo of cheese from their tasting board. Who knew that Gouda could have so many variations? My favourite was a mature cheese flavoured with roasted cumin seeds.
After a sobering visit to the Anne Frank Museum we returned to Den Hague, eating some delicious fast food falafel en route.
On the Tuesday, Keira attended her orientation in Leiden whilst I completed the flat pack job. I joined her in the afternoon for the Mayor’s welcome speech to all four hundred plus international students starting at the half way stage of the academic year. He was very amusing. The student body seems very well organised. There were lots of offers of support and assistance, discounts and social events that made me wish I was starting my studies again.
We were taken on a tour of Leiden which is just so pretty; with its arching bridges over the many canal cuttings criss-crossing the town and its beautiful windmills slicing the sky and making wonderful silouettes.
On my last evening, we tried out a well known Surinamese restaurant in the centre of The Hague. The food was an interesting mix of Asian and Indonesian, Caribbean and European. There were some items that we had never tasted like casava chips; we had a veritable feast for a few Euros.
I returned to the UK in time to take over from Erin who had come up North to look after Ian post hernia operation. He is recovering nicely thanks to her ministrations. Keira is enjoying her course and life in The Netherlands.
Next: Sarah heads back to India after a gap of 35 years.