Wishes for a good year


Before departing for our adventure in Belgium we attended Yom Kippur services at the synagogue in Amsterdam from the 17th century.  In the interest of full disclosure, I did not take the photograph of the synagogue interior as it’s disrespectful to photograph during a religious service.  The photograph comes from the internet.  The synagogue is used for cultural events as well as religious services. We also took some nice walks and have overall had a lovely and relaxed time in Holland.

An aerial view of Naarden to give you the complete view.
An aerial view of Naarden to give you the complete view.
Just before leaving for our trip to Belgium we rode our bikes (a short preparatory ride) around the walls of Naarden a walled city in a star pattern with complete walls and moat from 1300.  The church may even predate that.
Just before leaving for our trip to Belgium we rode our bikes (a short preparatory ride) around the walls of Naarden a walled city in a star pattern with complete walls and moat from 1300. The church may even predate that.
The Esnoga (Portuguese synagogue) built in the 17th century by Spanish and Portuguese Jews who fled Spain in the Inquisition.  It has no electricity and is lit completely with candles.  It was magical to be there for the evening service for Yom Kippur.
The Esnoga (Portuguese synagogue) built in the 17th century by Spanish and Portuguese Jews who fled Spain in the Inquisition. It has no electricity and is lit completely with candles. It was magical to be there for the evening service for Yom Kippur.
Inside the lower buildings you see is a large cobblestoned courtyard.  Once it got dark and you could see the glow of candlelight inside and children running around playing games outside, it was easy to imagine being there in the early 1700s.
Inside the lower buildings you see is a large cobblestoned courtyard. Once it got dark and you could see the glow of candlelight inside and children running around playing games outside, it was easy to imagine being there in the early 1700s.
The large and imposing building that is the synagogue is in a very central location in Amsterdam.  Somehow it survived World War II unscathed.  Not sure why.
The large and imposing building that is the synagogue is in a very central location in Amsterdam. Somehow it survived World War II unscathed. Not sure why.

 

In typical Dutch fashion this household has named itself an embassy of peace. Let's hope for that in the coming year.
In typical Dutch fashion this household has named itself an embassy of peace. Let’s hope for that in the coming year.
A pond near Bussum to start off our new year. One can see how much water is in the life of this country. They are always trying to get rid of it and we are craving it. Let's hope we get some this year. Apparently these ponds were dug to take earth to Amsterdam for landfill. They now are slow moving bodies of water with lush vegetation all around.
A pond near Bussum to start off our new year. One can see how much water is in the life of this country. They are always trying to get rid of it and we are craving it. Let’s hope we get some this year. Apparently these ponds were dug to take earth to Amsterdam for landfill. They now are slow moving bodies of water with lush vegetation all around.
Sheep in the woods keep the grass mowed and wonder around at will. We biked to a lovely cafe to get out of the rain.
Sheep in the woods keep the grass mowed and wonder around at will. We biked to a lovely cafe to get out of the rain.

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