Thursday, October 20, 2011

Delta Expo and a Missionary Birthday Party

We have been wanting a chance to return to the Delta Expo exhibit to spend more time, so the Tibbitts agreed to be our travel companions.

The park is called Neeltje Jans after a mythical mermaid.

It takes all three missionaries to figure out how much it costs to go inside.  We all agreed that it will be nice to be back in America where we understand the language.

We enjoyed our visit to the Sea Lion exhibit. 

One of the young ladies in the audience was given the opportunity to reward the sea lion for his excellent performance.

The trainer checks to see if he really swallowed it whole.  Yup.

Brother and Sister Tibbitts pose in front of the large concrete blocks that were built here to hold back the sea.  The Dutch people have invested billions of dollars in this engineering feat.

A huge whale pointed the way to an exhibit about - you guessed it - WHALES!

Walking down inside the whale, we learned how Jonah felt when he was swallowed up inside of one.

We were impressed by this life-sized skeleton on display.

Those are VERY big teeth.

Exiting the whale exhibit we paused to check the schedule for the boat that will take us out into the lake.  Okay - we still have time to do more exploring before it leaves.

The exhibit includes a walk down into the structures that have been engineered as barriers to hold back the ocean.  (Wandelroute = Walking route.)

This is really an impressive sight.  It is mind-boggling to know that man has been able to develop something to control his environment of this magnitude - (must be why it is called one of the 8 Wonders of the Modern World.)

Looking down toward the water we could see the metal panels that are dropped down into the sea when the surge gets too high and treatens the dikes.

We passed these marathon runners on our way here and now they've caught up with us.  They are running across the road that goes along the top of the structures we have been exploring.

When we got back to the boat it was already quite full.  People were out in large numbers to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.

All aboard -

All of this area was dry ground until the project began. 

From the lake side you can see the large barriers and the road that runs along the top of them.  The concrete dams are spaced apart so that sea water can flow into the lake. Once a year the metal barriers that close off the ocean are dropped into place between the dams to check that everything is still working properly.
It's an amazing world we live in!

Traveling further south, we stopped at the small town of Veere to get something for lunch.

Elder Beckstrand takes a minute to pay for parking.  He's well acquainted with the truism -  'Pay now or pay a LOT more later.'

Our happy travel companions in front of the village church. 

Lunch awaits in the form of kibbeling and frites. Mmmm.  That'll hold us until we get home to Amsterdam.  General Conference begins in just a couple of hours.
Sunday evening after conference we invited the elders and sisters to come to our home to help us celebrate Elder Bastien's birthday.

Everybody gets into the act of lighting the candles on the cake.

Conversation stops completely while the cake disappears.  Happy # 21, Elder Bastien!

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