March Photo Challenge: Day 10: Loud


Let me tell you about one of the weirdest days I have had here in The Netherlands. It was back in January when my mom was visiting my new home for the first time. She had been here a few days when a Monday rolled around. For those of you in the know, Mondays can be a little boring around here. Shops have odd opening hours and museums all take this as their day off. Stuck finding something to do, my mom, Loek, and I set off for Utrecht's Center to open up my Dutch bank account. ( This really has nothing to do with the weirdness of the day, I just want you to understand why the following happened at the time of day that it did.) After our trip to the bank, we decided to check out a local area castle. So, we loaded the bus we would have to take to get back to my house and road it all the way to the end of the line in Vleuten. From there, we loaded another bus to Haarzuilens, so that we could go and visit Kasteel de Haar. 

When we got off the bus, I pointed out that I believed the Kasteel was to our left, however, we spotted signs with a castle on them to our right so we decided to follow them. It was about 3:06 at this time. The last guided tour for the kasteel is at 4pm and to go inside you have to be on the tour. So, we started walking through Haarzuilens, which is really a lovely little town, all the windows of the buildings have red and white shutters to match Kasteel de Haar. So, we are walking and the whole time I am sure that we are going in the wrong direction, when we stumble upon an ostrich. In the middle of The Netherlands. Apparently, there is some kind of town community bird and goat park. There were signs all around specifying what to feed the animals in the fence. The ostrich for some reason decided that it needed to protect me. Anywhere I would walk around the encampment, she would follow. It was pretty cool actually. Then a goat came what it deemed too close to me. The ostrich decided to charge it, full on wings up in the air. It was awesome! But it happened so fast that none of us got a photo. Needless to say, I think I made a friend.

Birds are really common in The Netherlands, in fact there is hardly a minute that goes by when I don't hear any squawks. It suprised me that so many stayed all winter long!  But I never thought I would see an ostrich just hanging out in the middle of a small town. Oh and Kasteel de Haar, it was in fact the way I thought it was, but we didn't make it inside so no tour for us. Because it was Monday, everything in the entire town was closed. The bus only comes once an hour and I really had to pee. So, we walked back to Vleuten and thankfully on the way I got to have another first experience, a dutch port-a-potty. 



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