A respite of 2 nights in Wannaperveen, a charming cottage on a point of land surrounded by canals in the National Park that surrounds Giethoorn. We celebrated Marina's birthday with a dinner at Ristorante Fratelli. At our Windmill BnB Jannika added a birthday bow to Marina's bicycle. The rest day turned out to be not so restful with a circular ride exploring the area with a lunch stop at the LockView restaurant in Blokzjil. I was reallly tired so the girls cooked a wonderful dinner for us and served on the patio.
Enroute we saw harvesting of reeds for thatched roofs. Thatched roofs are everywhere and a sign of distinction. They need to be replaced every 20-30 years - and expensive and labor-intensive process that requires special craftsmanship that's becoming harder to find. On the barge of dry thatching reeds you can see some is already tied into bundles. Another downside to thatched roofs, we discovered is their attraction to wasps and hornets. Apparently there is a new breed of European hornets that are huge, aggressive and nocturnal that came in through crack in windows, under doors and terrorized the girls overnight. One daughter is particularly loved and pursued by all insects so she was specially targeted. Luckily no one was stung. Mark Twain says the definition of an adventure is "something that while it's happening, you wish it wasn't" so last night definitely qualified for the girls, while the old folks slumbered on in ignorant bliss.