We went into the township of Ermelo, which is reasonably typical as far as Dutch towns go. Its paved road down the centre of town becomes a walking only road after 11am (so we didn’t have to dodge any bikes). We went into the bakery, and discovered that the Dutch makes things Christmas-y by adding Christmas elements to ordinary baked goods. So regular roombotter biscuits become Christmas biscuits when wrapped in cellophane and tied with red or green ribbon. It’s wonderfully pragmatic. We also went into a sweet shop and discovered you can buy sticks to chew on. As a treat. And they aren’t poisonous (clearly its very Australian of me to assume all plant and animal life is poisonous).
Nearby to where we are staying is a huge heather field that is beautiful for walking.
Amongst the heather were ancient burial mounds there were over 4000 years old. Heather fields that aren’t maintained turn into forest, so these fields have been maintained for as long as the burial mounds have been around, which is roughly the age of the pyramids.
Just beyond the heather is a forest and in the forest is a mansion. There are signs explaining about it, but they are all in Dutch. So it was a very pretty mansion.
There was also a folly up the hill from the mansion.
Ben knocked, but no one was home.
In the evening we went to Thousand Hills Church for the Christmas Eve service, the Harris cousins (and the women they love) together.
It was so much fun to be involved for a special service.
The choir was outstanding, the message was simple and poignant and the atmosphere inside was toasty warm. We couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas Eve.