Tuesday, May 20, 2014

::DAY 2: Zwolle & Finding Family in Friesland

Boats in Zwolle's star-shaped canal. . . and the guy who had something to say about that: "Take my picture. I'm prettier than a boat." 
Open air markets are great, but they're extra great in a medieval town center. We found our first one in Zwolle and wandered from cart to cart hand-picking our lunch. I had my first fresh herring in all it's slimy glory. "It looks and smell disgusting,"  my daughter decided, "but tastes like salmon." Um, not sure about that. But it went down easy.
We gaped at the immensity of our first European cathedral. Zwolle's St. Micheal's was a lovely specimen. Soon enough we would realize that every town seemed to have one of these colossal structures, and after awhile they would all start to blur together. But on this particular day, we craned our necks upwards and gaped.
And then it was up, up, up to Oosterbierum in Friesland. An assortment of great uncles and distant cousins were gathered in great-grandma's old town to meet us. We were led around the tiny cluster of buildings that make up Oosterbierium, each steeped in family history.

FIRM handshakes, red lilypad leaves and our first croquette. Tales of two churches, and headstones of the long gone. We set foot in great-great-grandpa's old bakery, and learned that Dad has his grandfather's eyes. Far across the dikes, we found family in Friesland.