Drenthe is an agricultural province in the East, right near the border. This is where Mom's family grew up. A century ago, Van Gogh escaped--or exiled-- himself to the peat bogs of Drenthe to paint. "I think I have found my little kingdom, you know.
. . Journeying through these parts for hour after hour, one feels that there
really is nothing but that infinite earth, that mould of corn or
heather, that infinite sky. . . Indeed, this may be a small misery, but it is a sorrow after all: A
feeling of being an outcast – particularly strange and unpleasant –
though the country may be ever so stimulating and beautiful" ~Van Gogh's Letters.
It is hard to reconcile Van Gogh's dark, murky paintings with the vibrant, lush place we saw. What were once humble farmhouses are now owned by the wealthy: Expensive cars tucked under thatched "garages" and a pet pony in every yard. The thatch work was pure art.
We encountered our first windmill of the trip in Aalden.
And, again, we were warmed to the core by the kind welcome of family we didn't know we had.