Okay. Here we go. One of my favourite countries: Holland. Bless the land of cheese, Heineken (even though I hate it), windmills, canals and bikes galore. The Dutch are friendly, the cheese is out of this world (and free for sampling – win!!!), and the canals are glorious.
When we started in Delft, I knew right away it was a great decision. Having been to the small college city before, I knew we would be immersed in culture. In Amsterdam, it’s easy to hear English around every corner but in Delft, everybody speaks Dutch. All the children are blonde haired, blue eyed beauties. The college kids sit in their window sills blasting music and smoking. The older generation are found in the Markt Square enjoying the sun on a patio. Everything is quintessentially European and even more quintissentially Dutch.
From Delft, it was off to Utrecht where we opted to stay for four nights and take day trips to Amsterdam. As you can imagine, hostel prices in Amsterdam were skyrocketing with the summer coming so we put our Eurails to good use this week.
What can I say about Amsterdam? The minute I walked out of Centraal, I felt at home. The canals were familiar as well as the crowd of tourists and the slight stench of weed hanging in the air. We headed straight down to Vondelpark, spending some time lying in the grass. Then it was off to Rijksmuseum and the museum square where we found the infamous I amsterdam letters. Photos galore ensued:
When in Amsterdam, one must also rent a bike – even if you can’t really ride. We took to the streets, the parks and confidently rode alongside the numerous canals (all with only one incident involving myself and a Vespa in an intersection – whoops…).
We even ventured out and found the bench from The Fault in Our Stars! It’s incredible to see the messages from avid lovers of the novel. The impact a writer can have on his audience is truly visible through landmarks like the bench. I was so overwhelmed, I had to take a seat (hint: sarcasm).
Despite missing out on the Anne Frank Huis and the Red Light District, it felt like we got an authentic feel for the Dutch culture. Holland remains one of my favourite countries but with so much more to come, who knows what will change! I guess I’ll wait and see.
Stay curious, readers 😉 xx