Yesterday was Drew’s first day of working obligations here in The Netherlands, and I had an entire day to myself. What to do with a whole country at my fingertips, all connected via a high-functioning rail system? The answer was to travel from where we’re staying in Apeldoorn to Dordrecht (via Rotterdam) to see a friend, Jessica, who is living there!
Jessica and I have “mirroring” stories from the last couple of years. We each met our future husbands 3 years ago while we were each living in Kiev, and we each met our husbands in other countries while away from Kiev. Jessica and Randolf have been living The Netherlands (Randolf is Dutch) together since their wedding, which was one month after Drew and I were married. It’s been 3 years since Jessica and I saw each other, and that was during the Euro2012 in Kiev as we were walking around in the fan zone!!
Jessica and Randolf’s lives have changed drastically over the last few months as they have welcomed a little one into their family. I had the joy of meeting 2-month old Daniel, who was a little fussy since he had just received his first immunizations. Jessica showed me around the charming little town of Dordrecht, and I found it to be a quintessentially cute place. Brownstone houses and apartments line many of the streets, boats along the canal can be observed docking near the center, and everything is a walk (or a bike ride) away.
Dordrecht is the oldest city in The Netherlands and as a result, the King will visit Dordrecht on the King’s Day holiday, which falls on Monday, 27 April. We were walking around on a Monday, which is usually a “low day” in Europe. Despite this fact, we were able to take in the town and have a nice leisurely stroll after a lunch in one of the shopping center food courts. We took in the the city hall, which was decked out with a red carpet laid out in preparation for Kings Day, the Grote Kerk (great church), cute European squares, and gorgeous canal scenes. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to go inside the great church because it was Monday, so I don’t think Dordrecht can be crossed off our future travel list.