The Netherlands - Inside Scoop
Welcome back to another blog post!! I am so excited to share one of my favourite places with you! My moms background is dutch so I am very lucky to have family there, my boyfriend and I went to Europe for a month back in September of 2019 and of course Holland was on that list! My family lives both in and around Amsterdam, so we spent a few days there and a few days in the country side. Our first few days was in the city, and it was amazing! I love dutch culture because everyone is very calm, relaxed, no one is rushing, people respect the rules and for the most part the energy is very laid back - and i love that. We did all the main attractions except for the Anne Frank House, unfortunately we didn't realize you had to prebook and buy your tickets online, so i guess i will be doing back to do that! 1/3 of my cousins had a friend who owned a boat, so he was kind enough to let us borrow it for the time we were there and we went all over the different canals! Talk about a way of life! It was so cool to see all of the house boats, it is unlike anything else! If you ever go here you MUST go for a trip through the canals!!
How beautiful is this building by the way?! I mean, I don't know about you but when I saw this I HAD to snap a picture! (peep the adorable family riding on their bikes together) That is another thing i love about the dutch culture, they are so dedicated to physical activity, they bike absolutely everywhere! On highways an main roads as well they have designated biking lanes, all of which the residents are super cautious about.. bikers are always priority over there! Unlike here haha!! I remember when i was abut 12 years old my family and I took a trip there to visit family and we went to this place called "Zaanse Schans" . I have such amazing memories from this little place and I knew we had to go back and revisit it, so we did! It is basically a very beautiful area where there are windmills, shops, restaurants/cafes, chocolate and cheese shops, beautiful scenery, historic information booths and the coolest part of this place is the building in which you can actually watch someone hand make their famous wooden shoes!!
It is safe to say that this place is a must visit! There is tons of walking so make sure you wear comfortable shoes - I promise you it is worth it! Plus, you have the opportunity to sit in a wooden shoe .... why wouldn't you come here? The city is always nice, but next up we have the country side, more my cup of tea. We got to visit the the Island of Marken one day which was by far the cutest little town ive ever been to. We actually stayed at an airbnb way out in the country - because we were in the city for a few days we had to experience the countryside of holland too! This place we rented out was a tiny house in the back yard of someones home, it was brand new and BEAUTIFUL! The owners were delightful and amazing. They provided us with 2 kayaks, 2 bikes, wifi, maps, you name it! In the photo below the blue building is the airbnb and the one beside it is their home!
We spent a day biking to the island of Marken, took about an hour and then we walked around the cutest tiny township, had some lunch at a beautiful cafe on the water and stopped for dessert. If you are ever visiting Holland you cannot not get stroopwafle which is basically a super super thin batter that looks like a waffle and in the middle it is held together with syrup or in some cases, honey! You can put the most mouth watering toppings on them too, this time around i did m&ms hehe.
I mean.. how do you say no to this?
The views on this tiny island were stunning, not only because it was on the water but like i mentioned above, the way of life is just so different than ours here. We were walking around after lunch and we just saw tons of families hanging out on their boats, having wine, cheese boards, soaking up the sun - it was so peaceful!
This is the kind of lifestyle that i could get used to! Right?! After we got back - about 5 hours later - we didn't realize how sore the bikes made your butts! I SWEAR i couldn't sit down for about 3 hours without it hurting LOL. So... lesson here is - if your body isn't used to you biking for so long, be prepared to have a very sore bottom for a very long time haha! Last but not least, KAYAKING! We took them out and kayaked around the whole river around our airbnb - took about 3 hours and yes... my arms were complete jello afterwards! BUT it was worth it and i would definitely do it again!
I hope you loved this post as much as i loved going down memory lane!! If you ever get to go to The Netherlands be sure to visit ALL the places and do ALL the things! Thank you for reading!