In the morning I spent several hours visiting Olaf and looking out from his expansive view from the 14th floor across the city of Vlaardingen and all the shipping and industry that surrounds it. We had a lively, romping conversation about everything from music to the environment to total solar eclipses. It felt like we could talk forever. But it was time to move on to my next Dutch destination.
A bus took me to the metro which took me to a commuter train which took me to an intercity train that let me out in Eindhoven, a city in the south of The Netherlands. Flying in were Markus and Elbeth, returning from a vacation in Israel. They arrived tanned, relaxed, and happy. I apologized for the cold rainy weather. We put our bags in their waiting car and Markus steered for the highway and a speedy trip home.
Thus began several days of visiting the Dutch highlands at Arnhem. One evening I bought Corona beer at the shop to show my disdain for the eponymous virus and we took them on a visit to Robb and Monique for a jam session with their daughter and her musical prodigy boyfriend. Robb has an impressive array of guitars and I got to try some of them.
Another day Markus had a business meeting in Luxembourg so I drove with him, three hours each way, at exciting speeds when we used the German autobahn. Ettelbruck, calling itself "The Patton Town", has an impressive museum of WWII artifacts and displays dedicated to their hero and liberator General Patton. The battle here was known in the West as "The Battle of the Bulge".
Elbeth prepared us delicious dinners each night, including one starter dish made from smoked eel. Each culture has its own tastes in food. I found this one quite yummy.