Sunday, April 29, 2007

Our home base

Since there were 4 of us, we wanted something more comfortable than a pair of hotel rooms. Marc found this really lovely house in Enkhuisen. Unlike most things, the place was at least as good and perfect as the advertisements. No overhype; if you ever want to go to Holland, get the info from us and you'll be very pleased.

It's a 2-story with an attic room, and from the narrow street we couldn't get a photo of the entire building at once:

the top -- Marnie's room was in the attic space

our front door and windows.

It's very historic -- it began as a bakers' guild house in 1644. Whatever else the sign by the front door says, we are clueless. People kept stopping to read the sign, which was sometimes startling to see them standing outside our windows.

The back courtyard was wonderful, although we never used it except as a view out the large kitchen window:

In the little building in the back were 2 bikes that came with the house for "doing grocery shopping."

Here's the back of the house:

And the flowering vine crept up this evergreen tree, cascading its
pink flowers down the tree like Christmas tree garland:

The only strange thing about the house is that the single toilet was on the 1st floor, off the kitchen, and the bathroom (without toilet) was on the 2nd floor -- shower, huge bathtub, and sink. I guess the other strange thing was that the stairs were so steep and narrow, with minimal handrailing, and painted with high gloss enamel paint. I was sure someone was going to fall, but we only had minor slips. We each had our own large bedrooms with huge windows, and the beds were soft and comfortable.

I guess I can't leave out the couple of things that drove us all to distraction: #1 - the bells. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, bells chimed every 15 minutes. On the 15-minute mark, crazy discordant songs. On the hour, the songs plus one bong for each hour. And a couple of times each day, nonstop bell ringing -- very loudly -- for a good 15 minutes. It was crazy. It was a bigger problem for our daughters, since their bedroom windows were oriented a bit more toward the bell tower. And #2: Marc and I suffered with very early morning (say, 5am) busy men. A couple of days, a fisherman was loudly hurling his nets and gear into a truck in the street right below our windows. And a couple of other days, demolition in the building 2 doors down meant wheelbarrow loads of old bricks being smashed into a truck. It sounded like glass breaking, to me. At 5am, seriously.

But the house was really wonderful. The host, Mr. Klaver, was perfect -- friendly and helpful, gracious about our needs and mistakes, but never intrusive, even though his little frame shop was right next door. He'd lived in the house for 50 years before turning it into a rental home. And the other perfect thing about the house was that it's in Enkhuisen.


David said...

It's obvious you had a splendid time. It's great to see!

Just a quick note about the metal plaque by the front door. It says something to the effect of a brewery called the Three Hares established in 1644, that it was also established as the baker's guild (guildhall?) where trainee bakers had to take an exam/test, and that the stone with the inscription "in the glowing oven" has been transported from another building/house in North Havendijk (harbor wall?), which has been the name ever since.

David said...

Oops. My mistake. Haringen = herring, not hares. Three herring would make more sense, given the 'three fish' motif.

StormySleep said...

You are a man of many mysterious talents! Gardening and translating among others I have yet to discover. Thank you for this -- it makes sense. There was a kind of glowing oven with some fish near the top of the house.

Marthe said...


Got here through the luscious food blogspot. The translations of the plaque is very accuarate! The 'Noorder Havendijk' can be translated as NorthernHarbor Embankment (or dike, whichever you prefer!)

It's nice to see my country through the eyes of overseas tourists!

Lori said...

Hi Marthe! Thanks for the feedback on the plaque translation. We so loved our visit to your beautiful country and just wish it had been longer.