After dealing with a barrage of house and car problems that cropped up at the last minute including a squirrel invasion, Walt and I began our sabbatical year (called a faculty development leave at RIT) on May 26 when we left the tulips in our garden behind
for poppies (wild and otherwise) in the Netherlands.
Our trip was reasonably uneventful with a few delays here and there, including when we picked up our car that we'd shipped in Antwerp, Belgium.
Yesterday (May 29) we drove to the beach at Scheveningen to view the sand sculpture competition. The sculptures are on display from May 15 through June 6 and are quite a production. It is interesting that they will even withstand wind and rain for several months.
The weather was gorgeous (we may have been having summer yesterday; you never know with the Netherlands. :-)). A traffic jam on the motorway served as the motivation for a trip through the countryside were we saw many familiar, typical Dutch sights.
Here is a look at the Scheveningen beach. It is our experience that this is typical for European beaches.
This excursion was suggested by our friend, Erik Verhoeven, who has opened his home for us for the duration of our stay in the Netherlands - until the end of August and then again for the Christmas and New Years holidays.
Ten teams have created elaborate scultures that stand seven or eight feet tall. Unfortunately, but reasonably, they are keep behind individual fences and are located in various spots along the beach. Here are a some shots.
We spent a couple of hours on the beach where we saw other familiar Dutch sites, including a steet organ vendor. The organ plays "piano" scrolls and are often seen at public events, such as market day or Queen's Day. The vendor makes his money from contributions; he goes around rattling a metal cup that has some change in it.
Nan was excited to find that she need not have withdrawal from her favorite ice cream.
We then visited Madurodam which is only 5849 kilometers from New York! :-)
This is a "museum" that contains many buildings from around the Netherlands built to scale and with exquisite detail. Here are just are some examples:
We can't decide if it's best to visit Madurodam before or after having toured the area. On the one hand, it motivates other trips; on the other, if you've already been there, the models are more interesting.
On our way home, we experienced another Dutch phenomenon - torrential rains, seemingly out of the blue! It was good to find ourselves back home by the real Evoluon.
Nan Schaller's and Walt Bankes' Sabbatical Page
Nan C. Schaller / Walter J. Bankes Rochester Institute of Technology Computer Science Department / Electrical, Computer, and Telecommunications Engineering Technology 102 / 78 Lomb Memorial Dr. Rochester, NY 14623-5608 / 5604 telephone: +1.585.475.2139 / 6108 fax: +1.585.475.7100 / 2178 e-mail: email@example.com / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 13 July, 1999