Deventer, Netherlands – Seeing where my Oma and Opa grew up

Since I was very young, I always wanted to know and see where my grandparents grew up.  Well, today I am in the Netherlands staying at my Dad’s cousins house, who would be my distant cousin, Peter.  Peter is a pretty amazing guy, and offered to have me stay at his house while visiting.  I believe I have only met Peter 3 times in person, when he and his family came to Canada to visit.

Before I get into today’s trip, I want to quickly talk about my first day here.

I arrived in Amsterdam on Tuesday around 1:30 pm, after more than a 28 hour commute from Thailand.  Peter met me at the airport and drove us back to his house.  I don’t know how, but I am not that tired yet.

The first hour or so Peter and I just visited and caught up on each others lives and just before dinner, Karin arrived for a short visit before she went off to work.  Karin is also a distance cousin of mine and it was great seeing her.  Hopefully will see her a few more times before I leave.

For dinner Peter treated me to a meal and beer at a local pub.  I am already getting a taste of the true Dutch life and am loving it.

That night I went to bed around 9 pm and quickly passed out.

The next day Peter offered to drive me to Deventer to show me where some of my dad’s family grew up.  This is what I have been waiting for, for years now and am very excited.

Off to Deventer we go!

Back side of my Oma’s house.

We park on the same street and get out for some pictures and a walk around the city.

The house where my Oma grew up.




During our walk through the Deventer, Peter points out a building in the oldest part of Deventer and in that building is a museum with some artifacts from the cities history.

Peter again being the amazing guy he is, treated me to a walk through the museum.

You wouldn’t believe it, but the very first painting I see, is one from my Great Opa.  He is one of the famous Deventer Trio (Three).
Hendrikus Johannes Balsink

Another cool picture is of the WW2 cans that were dropped from planes with food and supplies.  At the back of the picture.

Little more walking around the city and then off to see where my Opa lived.

Sorry Peter for the bad picture of you, but you have to admit, I look cute as a button!

This is the house where Opa grew up on the left side, and on the front corner is where the Pharmacy used to be.

The people owning the house now have a bottle and labels from the old Pharmacy in the window.  I am glad they were not home, because I would be wondering who the heck this hot looking bearded guy is, looking in our windows.

Our next great stop was to see the street named after my Great Opa and the sign even has his birth date and death on it.  Pretty cool!

The last stop is at the grave where my Great Oma and Opa were buried along with their 4 year old son Hein.

Thank you Peter for the amazing trip, and being a tour guide.


The last time I saw my Oma and Opa.  See you soon again!

On the way home we stopped at the local grocery store, where they have a cute dutch girl handing out free coffee.  Why do we not have this in Canada?

Anyways, with the food we bought, Peter cooked me a damn good meal.  It has been forever since I had something home cooked and definitely missed it.  Oops, I don’t think Peter wanted anyone to know he can cook.

I am now heading to bed and cannot wait for our next big adventure in the Netherlands.

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