The Netherlands

“God created the world but the Dutch created the Netherlands.” – Rene Descartes

Amsterdam_HousesWe went to the Netherlands for a week back in April, and I crossed another country off my list. Thirteen countries down, 17 more to go to reach 30! Andrew says travelling with me is starting to get easier, lol. I wouldn’t say our travels together have ever been difficult, but it does continue to get easier. It feels pretty normal to pack our carry-ons, and hop on a plane to another country. This trip marked our third Easter spent exploring somewhere new. Am I allowed to call it a tradition yet?

Where We Stayed

We stayed in Haarlem, a cute little town outside of Amsterdam. Our hotel was right around the corner from Grote Kerk, and we woke up each morning to the sound of church bells.

Haarlem2It was v dramatic to turn the corner and see this view!Haarlem3Haarlem4The inside of the church was just as beautiful.

What We Did

The home of Corrie ten Boom, one of my heroes, was also in Haarlem. The ten Boom family helped Jewish refugees escape the Holocaust by hiding them in their home. We were able to take a tour the house, and see the ‘Hiding Place.’ The tour was a highlight of this trip, and I definitely recommend making the jaunt over to Haarlem if you find yourself in Amsterdam. It’s only a 10 minute train ride away, and such a lovely town.

Of course most of our time was spent in Amsterdam exploring the canals, and eating lots of cheese! Spring hadn’t quite hit yet, but we were still happy to spend most of our time outdoors despite the chilly weather.Canals of Amsterdam2Canals of Amsterdam1

Cheese for daysss

Amsterdam_Gatehouse

I became a little obsessed with the charcoal/black painted houses that we saw everywhere, and have decided that we’re painting our house that color if we ever own a house.

Amsterdam_Black House1Those windows tho 😍

What’s a trip to the Netherlands without windmills? We headed to Zaanse Schans with a picnic lunch to spend the day in the little village looking at windmills, and trying on wooden shoes.Zaanse Schans Windmills3Zaanse Schans_Wooden shoesZaanse Schans Windmills1On our last day we went to the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, and it did not disappoint. We’re spoiled to have so many free museums in London, and I think it’s made us a bit particular about what we’re willing to pay to see when we travel. This one was definitely worth the admission fee Our favorite part was climbing all over an old ship. Amsterdam Maritime Museum2

What We Ate

We booked a food tour for one of the days we were there. Our tour guide (behind the mountain of cheese below) was a local with a lot of fun stories about what life was like growing up in Amsterdam.Amsterdam_Food tour1The tour started at Het Papeneiland, a traditional cafe where we tried Dutch apple pie. After that, we ate our way through Jordaan, and then boarded this antique boat for a canal tour and more food!Amsterdam_Food tour2Andrew’s favorite stop was Urker Viswinkel, a fish shop where we tried fresh herring and the most delicious fried fish ‘kibbeling’ we’ve ever eaten. We had to go back the next day for seconds!

We also ate fresh stroopwafels as often as possible, and learned that they are 100% better served warm.Amsterdam_food

Amsterdam has such a relaxed feel to it, and we’ll definitely be back for another holiday someday!

 

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