Saturday, November 27, 2010

The visit to Middellaan: it's almost a Gerritsen rite of passage

As I've mentioned before, I'm half Dutch - although he is now about as Aussie as they get, my Dad spent the early years of his life in Apeldoorn, roughly an hour from where I now live. I've been to this quiet town a handful of times over the past few years and on each visit, made the journey either by car or foot to where it all began: Middellaan, a pretty residential street only a short walk from Palace Het Loo. All 3 of my sisters, my brother-in-laws and niece and nephews (and a few other relatives I believe) have also visited the little Dutch house where my Dad was born and grew up in - it's almost a Gerritsen rite of passage.

The first time I went to Middellaan, I couldn't believe that the house had been my Grandparents - it really doesn't look that old, the entire street was pristine and looked like it could have been in a brand new estate. I guess this is just a testament to how clean & tidy the Dutch are - they really do take pride in their homes. Middellaan is also a great example of the Dutch window display, I remember Mitch and I being in awe of the perfectly arranged items on display in the window of each house.

While Dad was visiting over the summer, a visit to Apeldoorn was high on the priority list. I had such a lovely time with Dad here and it was really special to be the one with him when he was rediscovering his roots - especially while driving around Apeldoorn. We visited some cousins, saw my great-grandmothers house, Dad's school, the town hall where my great-uncle was married and so many other landmarks and streets that Dad had some story about. The following week when my sisters arrived, we trooped back to Apeldoorn in the torrential rain (on the news that night was images of people fishing from their front steps!) and posed for the necessary photo in front of the house.

I've never been inside but I'd love to see what it looks like - having heard stories about this place over the years, I need to work up the courage to knock on the door and ask to go in (my sister did this last year and was shown around by the owner). Perhaps on my next visit - we'll see though. For now, I'm content with the customary pose in front of the house shot...

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lu! I love this post - it is a special place to visit...a rite of passage :)) Hope your well! Much love, Martine


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