Friday, April 9, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 The Bicycle Adventure


(Alexander). Today we went to Karin Janz's horse riding school while daddy worked on his writing. We went to a field where the horses were and brought them into their stables. Karannina and I walked the horses and took care and rode a New Forest Pony 'Diplomatic' or 'Dippy' in the forest and in the riding stable. Karannina rode a Norwegian horse 'Jul'. After the horses were put into the stable. We saw a horse with a mustache (Tinker). Thanks Karin for this wonderful horse riding experience. After the horses, we pumped up the bicycle tires and went for a bike-ride with the GPS to find a grocery store (3.6kms away). Later we found that grocery stores were closer. Driving, not riding, a bike in Netherlands is like driving a car. There are speed limits, dedicated bicycle lanes with dotted lines for passing and traffic lights specifically for bicycles. If you break a rule, you can get a fine up to 300 Euros ($450 Canadian). Because not all bicycles have locks, Nina and I took turns watching over the bikes while mommy bought groceries and something to drink and eat. While watching over the bikes, we saw many people, such as two people riding unicycles caring groceries. All the riding we did today, on horse and bicycle, our butts are sore and ready for bed. Then we go with Aart to the shopping market which is much closer than the GPS showed and played in the park. We went to the horse-riding school and watched the teachers exercise their horses (Karin and her daughter were trainers). Then off to bed.

(Sandra's version) Our first full day in Zwolle, Netherlands. It involved riding horses and bicycles - both which caused a bit of 'saddle soreness' for Karannin and Alexander :) Karin (whose home we are staying with through Mennonite Your Way) invited Karannina and Alexander to join her with her work with horses in the middle of the day. So after some journal work we walked over to the horse barn and both Karannina and Alexander led a horse from the pasture into it's stall. They then had an opportunity to brush the horse they would be sitting on for a walk in the woods. This was exciting for them. Alexander was with Dippy, short for Diplomat and Karannina was with Jul. The next 'riding experience' for the day came in the form of bicycle riding. Karin and Aart lent us extra bicyles to use. We needed to get groceries for the week and so off we went with our GPS which mentioned that the nearest groceries were about 4 kilometres away. Dieter needed to do some computer work and so the three of us set off on our bikes on a beautiful warm spring day. The 4 kilometres were terrific! Biking here is definitely different! The designated pink pavement bike paths are clearly marked, but not always easy to understand to new learners. No one wears helmets. Hand signals are simple and logical. And there are bicycles everywhere! We only got off the GPS path once. The groceries fit nicely in the knapsack and we returned to the home we began from, but only after a tasty snack - leftover Easter marzipan pasteries and a unique rhubarb/raspberry drink. After some 'down time', we enjoyed a meal with Karin and Aart. We then went for a walk with Aart and he showed us a place to buy groceries - a place our GPS did not mention. We then had the opportunity to walk to the horse stables again and watch Karin and her colleagues train horses. This was a terrific learning time. A great 'riding' day!

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