Huizen Party

Thatched water-reed roof on a very new house in Huizen. This very sustainable traditional construction method has become more popular again, I suspect the extra skill and cost of construction and maintenance is a bit of conspicuous consumption, but it is also a very environmentally-friendly option.

When I told Stefan we were moving to Sweden, he said ‘that is not so far away, come and visit us!’ At that time they lived in Utrecht, but last year they moved to Huizen, a little south and east of Amsterdam. Now that travel restrictions are mostly over, Graham and I thought we’d make an Easter trip somewhere – and since Stefan reiterated his invitation this spring, the Nederlands seemed like a good (short) international trip to make. A 90 minute flight within our time zone followed by a short train and bus trip brought us to Huizen. Stefan met us at the bus stop and there started a great weekend of hospitality chez Stefan and Hester. It is a long time since they came to visit me in Sweden, and in the meantime they have added to their family, so we got to spend Easter weekend with little Leonie as well. It was a really nice and chill visit: visiting the local outdoor market, eating some great meals, reading aloud, decorating and then hunting for easter eggs, petting the housecats, draying with markers, and biking around on the EXCELLENT Dutch cycling infrastructure on a variety of Dutch commuter bikes (check out the family cargo-bike which can accommodate groceries, a kid and kid-bike if the way home gets too long). It was really nice to spend time with the pre-schooler family rhythms, and it made me miss the nieces and nephews in Canada a little more. Now we are planning a summer trip to Canada, and looking forward to some more reading, art, and adventures with the young folk there!

Here is a look at markets

Here are some of the buildings and surroundings

Biking around on the great bike paths felt like a very Dutch experience.

It was really special to be included in the family Easter celebrations, with a secular focus on egg decorating, egg hunting, and then egg salad for lunch. We hope we’ll be able to host Hester, Stefan, and Leonie in Sweden someday soon!