Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Europe trip: Holland

For the first year of marriage with Adam I was constantly planning European vacations. I kid you not at least once a month I would sit him down and say something like "Adam, here's a 14 day itinerary to [enter European countries of choice], we have to go because [enter a long list of unrelated reasons], if we save [enter astronomical amount of money for two collage students], by [unrealistic date], we could make it work...what do you think?" And then of course my sweet husband would very gently remove my head from the clouds and place it firmly back on my earth stricken body. This went on, and on, and on. Until earlier this year one of my best friends moved to Rotterdam, Netherlands to do a study abroad.

I came up with this long presentation where I would sit him down and list all of the logical reasons that I go visit her in Europe and how good the opportunity would be and yadda, yadda, yadda he agreed. Not only did he agree but he made it very clear that I would 100%, not an option, no if ands or buts, be going, "this if your chance" he said to me. So after figuring out some logistics and getting through my semester at school I hopped a plane to Amsterdam where I would spend 6 days of my life wandering the narrow streets and oohing over the spring flowers. Then my friend and I would take a train to Paris where we would spend 6 more magical days.

I had some anxiety about the flight. I was worried that I would get claustrophobic, or get terribly board or uncomfortable, but the long haul flight both ways was totally doable. In fact on the way home no one sat in the seat next to me (hallelujah) so I was more than comfortable.

Arriving in Holland was sort of like a dream I arrived at 8am and my friend and I went for breakfast and wandered around her neighborhood.

In the Netherlands the main mode of transportation is Biking. Everyone bikes. It was cool. I was introduced the the delicious stoopwafle which is basically just a crispy caramel filled waffle/cookie, that is gently warmed over a hot cup of coffee or tea. Maybe I brought home two packages of stroopwafles. Maybe they're both almost gone. Maybe.

One afternoon we took the train to Delft, it's the sweetest, most quaint old village I've ever seen. While I was there I bought two mugs delft ware mugs. They're beautiful and I love them.

Also while in Delft I had a delicious encounter with apple pie. Dutch apple pie...it was heaven. The apples remained quite crispy, and were not overly sweet. The cream and the crust were perfect. It was a beautiful thing.

Probably my favorite thing I ate in Holland was poffertjes they're like little German pancakes but not as puffy and round but so tasty - eaten with lots of butter and powdered sugar. Yummm. I still can't get over the buildings in Amsterdam. The tall colorful canal houses are probably some of the most beautiful buildings I've ever seen. Some are crooked, and some are wearing with age, but they are so unique and full of character. I found myself taking a photo of every street we walked down, just because the buildings were so cool.
In Holland they celebrate a holiday called Queens Day. It's a big coronation ceremony for the royal family. This year was especially big because the queen was switching to a king. Everyone was celebrating and partying in the streets. There were DJ's set up all over the city and food vendors and orange EVERYWHERE. Everyone wears orange. The is because the Royal families last name is Oranje. Oranje, Orange...get it?

One morning we visited the Keukenhof gardens. The tulips and other spring flowers were in full bloom and were beautiful. The Gardens were just outside the city, it was a fun day trip.

In Amsterdam we had the chance to go to the Anne Frank house. It was a wonderful experience. Since reading the Diary of Anne Frank when I was younger I have always had a fascination with her story. Visiting the museum and seeing it in real life was a dream come true.

Holland was pretty fantastic, and a great leg of my first trip to Europe. People were warm and welcoming. Sights were stunning. And the food was tasty.

Next we're off to Paris!!

1 comment:

  1. You are too cute! GORGEOUS pictures. What a perfect time of year that you got to go!! And I don't even like apple pie but that looks amazing. Save me a stroopwafle please.