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    • Day 3

      25.000 stappendag

      September 20 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      🎶De ochtendstond heeeeft goud in de mooond🎶

      Alleen was de ochtend voor ons wel een beetje de middag. 💤Dag begonnen met lekker broodje salami en een iced coffe die ik (weeral) op de grond heb laten vallen.🙁 Even sip momentje😿
      Maar daarna al snel terug opgefleurd 😁door de prachtige stad Amsterdam met haar mooie mooie huisjes. 🏠We hebben vooral vandaag wa rondgeslenterd en minstens 3 snoepwinkels bezocht, 🍭ni omda we iets wilde kopen, 💸ma omda ze er toch o-zo mooi uitzagen. 😍
      Na veel wandelen 🥾hebben we ons gedeplaceerd aan de kant van het water 🌊met een aperitiefje en daarna een frietjes van zogezegd “de beste frituur” hier. 🍟

      De zonsondergang was ook geweldig, stad stond precies in brand. 🌅

      Om de laatste avond te vieren zijn we nog een theetje ☕️gaan drinken met een red-velvet taart. 🍰Ook de terugtocht was red want we moesten terug via de redlight district. 🚨Ben daarna dan ook maar eventjes voor een raam gaan staan om deze reis terug te kunne betalen. 😌NEEEE MOPJE MAMA, ben een bescheiden dame. ⚠️⚠️⚠️

      We hebben de laatste avond wel in stijl afgesloten met een tekensessie. ✏️

      Nou slaapwel he 🛌
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      Traveler  Gebalanceerd dieet wel

      Traveler  Elaba, tis vakantie

      Traveler  ♥️

    • Day 4


      September 20 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌬 19 °C

      Heute sind wir von Enkhuizen nach Warkum über das Ijsselmer gesegelt. Wunderschöner holländischer Ort mit schnuckeligem Hafen.
      Morgen geht es dann durch die Schleuse ins Wattenmeer und nach Harlingen.

      Traveler  So was als Ferien Häuschen würde mir auch gut gefallen !

      Traveler  Shapen 🐑

      Traveler  Hui das sieht aber ungemütlich aus…das Wetter und das Meer meinte ich

      Traveler  Sehr stimmungsvolles Foto… Holland hat eben das gewisse Etwas

    • Amsterdam 🇳🇱

      September 3 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      According to my coffee swilling, Istanbullian fortune teller, it’s all waiting for me in Amsterdam… only I’m assuming he means on a different trip. This time around the only thing waiting for me is a date with Vincent Van Gogh.

      I make it into the city early enough to join the queue for Van Stapele cookies which were a firm favourite my last time here. I kicked off my 30th trip around the Sun with these cookies not far off this time last year and it strikes me just how far I’ve come in a year.

      Cookie in hand, I amble through the streets before most of the city is out of bed. It might be a quiet Sunday morning but aggressive bell ringing from bike riders still fills the air while tourists are shouted at for wandering into the bike lanes. Ahh… Amsterdam.

      I reach museum square and make a beeline for the Van Gogh museum. I missed this one last time and I’m
      so excited to finally see it for real. The exhibition is a walk through Van Gogh’s life as much as his work. From his earliest paintings, his friendships with other artists of time, to his most famous paintings and his mental health. It’s a beautiful ode to the artist, albeit a melancholy one which is hauntingly fitting giving that the artist was partly diagnosed with ‘melancholia’, what would nowadays be classed as severe depression.
      The art is shown along side letters and correspondence to and from Van Gogh. It shows his thoughts and perspective on the world, a glimpse into the man and the inspiration behind some of his most beautiful works.

      Van Gogh museum done, I start to venture towards the train station until I spot a Pathé sign. Pathé are a film company, you might recognise their logo from the start of a huge number of British/American films, especially kids films like chicken run, but here in the Amsterdam, they’re a cinema chain that just happens to own one of the oldest cinemas which happens to be just around the corner. The Theatre Tuschinski opened in October 1921 and has retained much of its original art deco style. It’s a beautiful building inside and out and will come as absolutely no surprise that it’s the home of most red carpet events in Amsterdam.
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      Traveler  Love the old theatres, cinemas and puppet theatres, such beautiful buildings! Such a lovely experience it must have been in olden times when everywhere was dark and dingy.

      Traveler  Take it that was for the interval ice cream - I remember that with great fondness although somebody had to carry them on a tray and I don’t think I have ever seen a wee trolly?

      Traveler  This looks like a cinema theatre but the screen is quite small, lovely dark wood !

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    • Bikes, Height and Other Dutch Sterotypes

      September 2 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      The moment I step through the ticket barriers in The Hague, I’m hit with the strong smell of weed. It might be the seat of the International Criminal Court (ICC) but it doesn’t stop Dutch stereotypes being in full swing.

      My hostel is tucked away just off a busy square full of cafes and bars and by extension, it turns out to be the noisiest hostel I’ve stayed in yet. Thanks to a lack of foresight, my base in the Netherlands is The Hague, however my few days in the country are eaten up in other cities and unfortunately it means I don’t get the chance to see much of The Hague itself which is a bit of a shame. Given the geopolitical importance, I’d quite have liked to explore the ICC, especially as hearings are open to the public. The USA even has a piece of legislation nicknamed ‘The Hague Invasion Act’ which allows the US president to authorise the invasion of the Netherlands in order to protect and/or rescue US citizens from custody or prosecution in The Hague. That being said, I’ve got a busy few days planned and I’m very excited to explore the Netherlands a bit more!

      When I hop on the train on the Saturday morning, it’s heaving. Full of people with rucksacks and camouflage trousers, making the journey to Arnhem for the annual pilgrimage that is the Airborne March. The Airborne March is an annual event that commemorates the Battle of Arnhem during the Second World War. Starting at Oosterbeek just outside of Arnhem itself, the routes lead past some of the most important wartime landmarks in the area. For now though, I bypass Oosterbeek and head directly into Arnhem where a familiar face is waiting for me.

      I meet my resident Swiss expert, Flying Dutchman, and long time friend Ben at the gates of Arnhem station. He guides me round the city, pointing out important sights including John Frost bridge (quite literally the Bridge Too Far for anyone that’s seen the movie), Arnhem cathedral, and taking some detours for good book shops and record stores.

      After lunch, the plan is to head out to Oosterbeek to visit the airborne museum. Ben, in an attempt to give me the quintessential Dutch experience, produces a bike for me, unfortunately failing to take into account that Dutch bikes are designed for Dutch people, who just so happen to be the tallest nation on earth, and not for short legged Scots. Seat lowered to the very lowest it’ll go, I jump (jump being the operative word here) on it, to discover that I can’t quite get my toes to reach the ground. After 10 minutes of faffing around and and a lot of laughing, we decide that there’s no way in hell I’m riding that thing anywhere but straight to A&E, and so we ditch the wheels and set off on foot.

      The Airborne Museum is housed in an old hotel that was used as headquarters by the British Paratroopers in the Battle of Arnhem and as we walk into Oosterbeek we’re greeted by the sound of military marching music as we run into the thick of the Airborne March participants. There’s a cheerful atmosphere as people in military gear, civilians, military bands, and Dutchmen in Kilts with bagpipes pass by, all on their way towards the same place we’re headed. We cut through and loop down a side street to eventually reach the museum. Ben asks for two tickets in Dutch and the woman at the counter presents us with audioguides, speaks to me in fluent Dutch, quickly realises I understand nothing as I blink at her blankly and then kindly offers me an English audio guide which I accept somewhat sheepishly.

      The museum itself is a wonderful albeit somber ode to both the brave airborne soldiers who played their part in the battle of Arnhem, and the local civilian population such as Kate ter Horst who was known as the ‘Angel of Arnhem’ for the role she played in helping the allied soldiers. While we’re there there’s also a temporary exhibit on Jewish Germans who left Germany and joined the allies as soldiers. It’s a serious and heavy subject but covered so well by the exhibit. It talks about British immigration policy on the eve of World War Two and the attitude towards Jewish German refugees in the run up to and during the war. The exhibit doesn’t pull punches in discussing British attitudes towards the refugees and as I walk around I notice echos in the current UK government’s immigration policies. Just before we finish up at the museum, we down to the final exhibit.

      In the basement lies ‘The Airborne Experience’ and suddenly we find ourselves ushered into a room set up like the interior of a glider. We sit on the benches around the side while we’re briefed on our mission and our ‘plane’ leaves England, coming into land in the occupied Netherlands. A door opens and to shouts of ‘go go go’ we suddenly find ourselves entering a walk through that’s set up to give you an idea of what soldiers in the battle of Arnhem would have seen. It’s complete with shouting in both English and German and sounds of bullets ricocheting overhead as we pass through shells of buildings and scenes of war. It’s a somber look into what these often young soldiers would have faced, and quite a thing to have quietly hiding in the basement.

      From the museum we take the Airborne approach and head for a pint before it’s time for me to hop across the country back to The Hague for a good night’s sleep (assuming there’s no US citizens up for prosecution just down the road 😉).
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      Traveler  🩵this, I want to go do the basement thing , it sounds like a fantastic virtual recreation.They didn’t have anything like that when we were there in 1985😳

      Traveler  All those bikes , note to self ‘If hiring a bike in Holland order one for a 12 yr old 🫢🤣

      Traveler  😮 what a message! I was amazed they got so many soldiers out of there!

      Traveler  Where did they find the note? Was it on wallpaper?

    • Day 9

      Zoutelande - Imkerij

      September 16 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      Heute morgen erstmal Markise putzen angesagt. "Das perfekte Wetter dazu " meinte Arnold. Dann einigen Nachbarn beim Abreisen zugeschaut. Mit dem Rad sollte es heute über Zoutelande zur Imkerij Poppendamme gehen. Heute war auch die Kirche in Zoutelande geöffnet und bumms saßen wir in einen Konzert des Shantychors. Ich fands klasse...tolle Akustik. Dann weiter ins Landesinnere. Die Imkerei ist versteckt und so idyllisch gelegen. Schön eingekauft und Eis geschleckt! Dann wieder mit dem Rad zurück durch Zoutelande gebummelt und heute Abend gehts in den Strandpavillion zum Abschluss. Morgen reisen wir ab !

      Danke Isabelle für den Reiseführer und die Radkarte ( hilft wenn dein Akku vom Handy leer ist🤣)
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      Traveler  Urlaub schon wieder vorbei 😥 Aber schön entspannt sieht Arnold auf jeden Fall aus 😁 Gute Heimreise 👋

      Traveler  Ja, schon rum🫣. Hier war es wirklich sehr entspannend.

      Traveler  Gute Heimreise 👋 Funfact: Ich lese gerade einen Campingkrimi, der in Kapelle und Yerseke spielt 😃

      Traveler  Gruselig.....😂

      Traveler  Auch von uns gute Heimfahrt 😊

    • Day 8

      Strandtag wunderbar

      September 15 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      Heute sind wir vormittags mit Sack und Pack an den Strand. So kam auch endlich mal wieder unser Sonnenschirm UV 50 aus unseren Frankreich Urlaub an der Cote d azur zum Einsatz🏖. Wir wollten ca 1-2 Stunden waren dann 4 Stunden. Und sooo entspannend. Buch gelesen, gegessen, die Ebbe kam und ging .... .Read more

      Traveler  Cote d'Azur ... schon Jahre her oder?

      Traveler  Das war 2013....solange fahren wir den Schirm spazieren 🤣

      Traveler  Okay. Lesen, Essen, entspannen...läuft 👍

      Traveler  OMG 😂

    • Day 6

      Mit dem Rad nach Vlissingen

      September 13 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      Heute morgen war es ziemlich stürmisch und wir überlegten ob wir überhaupt da Rad nehmen sollten. Aber am späteren Vormittag wurde es sanfter und wir wagten einfach den Versuch am Meer entlang nach Vlissingen. Das ist eine der größeren Städte ( 40.000 EW) mit vielen üblichen Geschäften ( H&M, C&A, etc) die zum Shoppen gedacht sind. Wollten wir aber nicht! Es gibt aber süße Cafes und Bars. Wir wollten zur Windorgel, Nollestrand, Lotsenhafen, Sint Jacobskerk ( leider geschlossen🫣 irgendwie verfolgt uns das ) .
      Mit dem Rad durch die Dünenlandschaft macht einfach Spaß, man darf hier überall mut dem Rad hin. Nur der Sand kann gefährlich werden wie Arnold lernen musste......aber nichts passiert !
      Es gab noch eine Cappucino und ein kl Windrad für den geräumigen Stellplatz hier. Später geht es wieder an unseren Strandpavillion zum Sundowner.
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      Traveler  😱

      Traveler  Das ist eines von den Lotsenbooten. Die rasen wie blöd on den Hafen. An Bordd sind Lotsen die zu den Containerschiffen gefahren werden. Sie regeln den Verkehr zw Antwerpen und Rotterdam.

      Traveler  Ist das die Windorgel?

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    • Day 6

      A Day in Dordrecht

      September 6 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

      This morning we picked up our rental car in Utrecht. As we were about to leave I noticed that I couldn’t get my phone to map the route to Dordrecht where we going to spend the day with family. I asked the fellow at Hertz who was showing me the car for instructions. He gave me a few to get me on the route, but failed to tell me about the navigation system built into the car. Soon we were lost. I discovered that the car had a functional mapping system, but it was in Dutch. Fortunately, I was able to bumble my way to the settings and change it to English. We were on our way! Sort of. The system seems to have chosen for us the most scenic route to Dordrecht, not the fastest. However, we arrived soon enough that we were still able to do all that Jessica and Ruben had planned for us. And, that was a lot!

      On arrival, we were greeted by Jessica, Ruben, Peter and Atie. Jessica soon picked up their son from school and after a bit of socializing at the house we walked into town and went for lunch at a very nice restaurant. It offers a variety of meals made using mostly ingredients from their own garden just outside the restaurant. After the lunch meal, we then walked through that garden and over to one of the canals in the centre of town where we went on a narrated boat cruise along the main waterways. Dordrecht is a very old town and has a long and rich history as a significant port.

      After the boat tour we walked over to one of the only remaining windmills in the area. It still functions, and volunteers use it to grind various grains into flour. A mixer is used to combine the grains which are then sold in the store inside the base of the windmill. I was able to ascend several steep staircases to view the gears and ingenious mechanics that are used to convert wind into the mechanical energy used to turn the large grinding stones. We were able to get a nice view of the city from the deck located on the outside of the windmill, just below the sails.

      After visiting the windmill, we walked back to Jessica’s house where Ruben was busy preparing a bbq dinner for us. Laura and her fiancée Martijn had arrived to join us for dinner. Ruben is a very good cook and we were served roast with grilled vegetables and shrimp. Following dinner we had a beverage and an ice cream and just sat around in the back patio talking.

      Ruben helped me download the Google road map for most of the Netherlands onto my phone and then connect my phone to the rental car’s screen using Apple AirPlay. It was amazing. Made it home in half the time it took to get to Dordrecht!
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       What a nice day with family. Good company, good food and free tech support 😁 [Andrew]

       Looks like a good company and a hood meal with the family! [Cathy]

       I thought plastic things were banned! [Carhy]

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    • Day 9

      Day 8 Amsterdam

      September 7 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌙 25 °C

      We were a bit too knackered to pack last night and thought we had it down to a fine art so were up about 7 and all ready packed and showered by 8. Trisha had a coffee in the square looking at the amazing Cologne cathedral which gave us a sitting spot. I went in search of something to eat on the train for lunch. We have really missed having a fridge. I found a Rewe to go which had a great salad bar amongst other things and even had fresh milk. So I got a salad and banana and then got lost in train station trying to get back. I was just thinking about googling the cathedral when I worked it out. Then finally remembered my middle of the night thought that Trish and I should share location on snap chat so we can find each other.

      We were at our train platform pretty early, and Trish went and got her salad. No drama on the train today. We hadn’t reserved our seats but no one moved us on so was all good. We switched trains at Utrecht so we could go directly close to our accomodation and had a 1.2 km walk when we arrived and chose not to try the metro to get closer.

      Our room is rather tiny. We are at an Airbnb which is a one bedroom flat. The owner, his wife and their 8 month old baby relocate to the lounge when they have guests. But Peter is really nice and been helpful when I contacted him before we arrived and part of the charm was having free bikes to use.

      So after putting some washing on, didn’t realise the front loader would take 3 hours so my clothes for going out were limited, we were off on our bikes whizzing around Amsterdam. It was soooooo much fun! Trisha did really well, probably didn’t expect it to be nearly as chaotic as it was and also probably surprised that she survived the experience! Bikes, people, cars and trams were everywhere.

      The sights were pretty cool. Lots of boats in the canals, pretty bridges, found the flea market, looked for optician shops, found some lens cleaner and basically just absorbed the atmosphere. Found a gelato shop and mine was limoncello and mango. They also sold hemp cookies, great combination!

      So it just got busier and busier so we decided that we had had enough and started the bike back. Found a spot where lots of people were swimming in the canal which was a bit surprising.

      We have access to a fridge here, so planned a supermarket visit. Trish stayed outside with the bikes and probably wanted to send out a search party for me. For a start it was a huge supermarket and I was feeling the responsibility of deciding what to buy. Then I used the self checkout and my wise card wouldn’t work. There were several people waiting for assistance which took quite a while. The assistant told me that only European credit cards were accepted, really? But then said cash was ok and there was an atm at the entrance. Of course my wise card wouldn’t give me cash - found out later that I had disabled it in the app. So it was outside to Trish who also didn’t have the 25 euros we needed. I had her wise card and she kindly told me her pin which I have forgotten. So got cash out on her card and then had to try and find my shopping. I nearly fell over it on the floor and the lady who had it said do you still want this? At that stage not really! Then back to the cash lane and finally outside to Trish.

      So back to our room and had a lovely dinner with some yummy chocolate for dessert. We had thought about going out tonight but have piked out. Maybe tomorrow.

      30 degrees, 10,836 steps, but several hours of biking too.
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       Yeah, dark choc with hazelnuts is very common in the Netherlands. I love it but has to resort to dark with almonds here. [Matilda]

       *had [Matilda]

      Traveler  Oh yes please for some Cannabis tea 🫣

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    • Day 5

      Castles and Mansions Bike Tour

      September 5 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

      After an all-you-can-eat breakfast at our Bunnik hotel, we rented bikes today. The hotel recommended The Castles and Mansions route. We thought it was a good one so I downloaded an app linked to the route, packed a lunch and away we went! It was supposed to be a 60 km circular route beginning and ending back at our hotel.

      We cycled the 80 km route with our heavy heavy cruiser bikes, boasting saddles wide enough for an elephants behind and a frame strong enough to support one, in about seven hours. We did not race the course, snapping photos along the way and making pit stops for beverages and to eat our lunch. With the extra 20 km of unplanned side trips it took us about 7 hrs. It was a very enjoyable ride!

      We got home in time to relax, shower and eat a packaged dinner we had picked up at the AH in Bunnik on our bike tour. We each had a beverage after dinner and played some cards at a table in the outdoor eating area of our hotel and then retired to our room feeling a bit sore after the days ride.
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       The route had beautiful sights and scenery. Those bikes are built to last! [Andrew]

      Dewit Family Travels  Yes, it was very scenic most of the way.

       What a great day for you and Laura! Scenic and lots of exercise! [Cathy]

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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Kingdom of the Netherlands, Niederlande, Netherlands, Nederland, Nɛdɛland, ኔዘርላንድ, Países Baixos, Niðerland, هولندا, ܗܘܠܢܕܐ, Países Baxos, Hollandiya, Нідэрланды, Холандия, Peyiba, হল্যাণ্ড, ཧའོ་ལན།, Izelvroioù, Holandija, Països Baixos, Nizozemsko, Yr Iseldiroedd, Holland, ནེ་དར་ལེནཌསི, Nedalands nutome, Ολλανδία, Nederlando, Holanda, Madalmaad, Herbehereak, هلند, Nederlannda, Alankomaat, Niðurlond, Pays-Bas, Payis-Bâs, Nederlân, An Ísiltír, નેધરલેન્ડ, Holan, Nizozemska, הולנד, नीदरलैण्ड, Nižozemska, Hollandia, Նիդերլանդեր, Nederlandia, Belanda, Olanda, Niðurlönd, Paesi Bassi, オランダ王国, ნიდერლანდი, Uholanzi, Голландия, Hollandi, ហូល្លង់, ನೆದರ್‌ಲ್ಯಾಂಡ್ಸ್, 네덜란드, Nederläng, ھۆڵەندا, Holandi, Olandɛ, ເນເທີແລນ, Nyderlandai, Nīderlande, Холандија, നെതര്‍ലന്‍ഡ്സ്, नेदरलँड, နယ်သာလန်, Niterand, Tlanitlalpan, Nedderlannen, नेदरल्यान्ड्स, Pays Bas, Païses Basses, Gollandii, ନେଦରଲ୍ୟାଣ୍ଡ, Paises Bahes, Hulanda, Holandia, Pais Bass, هالېنډ, Uray Llaqta Suyu, Pajais Bass, Ubuholandi, Țările de Jos, Нидерланды, Paisi Vasci, Vuolleeatnamat, Holände, නෙදර්ලන්තය, Holandsko, Vendet e Ulëta, Hôlanê, Nederländerna, நெதர்லாந்து, నేదర్లాండ్స్, Нидерланд, เนเธอร์แลนด์, Hōlani, Ol Nitelan, Hollanda, گوللاندىيە, Нідерланди, نیدر لینڈز, Hà Lan, Olland, Nedän, Bas Payis, Nederlandes, ENetherlands, Orílẹ́ède Nedalandi, 荷兰, i-Netherlands

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