"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
~Psalm 127:1

April 21, 2011

Europe: Day 3, part 2

So after a lunch we decided to explore the town a little.  There was a large church on the opposite side of the square and it had a really tall bell tower that you can climb up.  It is called the Martini tower, and it has been in the city for over 500 year.  It burnt down a couple of times but was rebuilt to it's full height of 97 meters (~318 ft).  We were only able to climb up to around 56 meters (~184 ft.), I think, we couldn't quite tell from the brochure.  But we were up pretty high and had a great view of the city!

The tower contains 52 bells of various sizes. 

Roger trying to ring a bell

But to get to this height you had to climb up 251 small, steep steps, up a spiral staircase.  There were a few breaks along the way but the climb was a lot more work than we had done on the trip so far.  And if you met anyone going the opposite direction on the staircase, you had to back up to the wall as much as possible so that they could get past without falling down the steps.  And the hand-rail was a big rope running down the center of the spiral.

Like I said in the video, I was getting dizzy coming down because it was a lot quicker to go down than up.

So after the tower we decided to drive up to a farm near Warffum, where our friend Peter and his family live.  We didn't tell them we were coming, they knew we were in the country and were planning on staying with them a few days later.

Seeing pictures is so much different than seeing something in real life.  We had seen pictures of Peter's farm before, but I didn't imagine that the land would be so huge.  Everything is flat where he lives, which is about a half mile or so from the dike that is closest to the sea.

So we looked around the barn, guided by Peter's mother and brother.

A gray/blue cow
And I was absolutely terrified of this guy, he is huge (I don't normally get to see full-grown bulls up-close).  And they said he was actually pretty friendly (I wouldn't like to know what an unfriendly bull looked like).

But then he ate a carrot, and he wasn't so scary after that.

The carrot is that orange thing in the feed that he's sniffing at

Doesn't he look so much more friendly, he's practically smiling.  That is why you should eat carrots, they make you nicer.

It's a very beautiful barn.  And then Peter showed up, he had been at school.  So we were all surprised and happy to see each other.  So he showed us the sheep, who were not put out to pasture yet, they were in the old, old barn that was attached to the house (which is a huge thing over there, to have the barn and house attached). 

Playing "king of the mountain" on their mama
Then we had coffee with the family and Peter took us out to the dike.  It was very windy and chilly, but very worth seeing.

Peter's farm viewed from the top of the dike
 Not what I expected to see at all.  I always thought that the water was always right up on the other side of the dike, but it only gets like that in certain seasons with bad weather.

Then Peter showed us another farm that they bought and we all went out to dinner, drove Peter home, said goodbye for a few days, and went back to Groningen to our hotel.  I must say that on our drive back to the hotel, the other car with half of the Canadian group, got caught twice for speeding by one of those radar camera things.  We just saw 2 flashes of light, but they probably won't get any tickets because we were in rental cars and out of the country.  But who knows, they may track them down yet.  It is a humorous story anyway.

And we went to bed, to get ready for our second of three days of farm tours.  I think this day was my favorite part of our time with the group from Canada.

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