If you are thinking of a trip to somewhere in Europe, or you’ve never been to Holland, or you’d like to go on a city break… ADD IT TO YOUR BUCKET LIST!
As I mentioned in my previous post, I was in Delft with family over New Year. It’s such a beautiful little city, near Rotterdam and The Hague. It’s famous for its canals, Delft Blue Pottery, the University of Technology, and it is also where Prince William of Orange was assassinated and buried!
When you turn every corner you’re greeted by stunning views, amazing architecture, cute little canals and bridges, and of course bikes.
|Delft City Hall|
We decided to be touristy and take a trip on one of the sightseeing canal boats, and I learnt a lot about Amsterdam's history that I never knew before. I always thought the gabled houses along the canals leaned forwards due to wear and tear and weathering over time, but they were actually all built like that on purpose to be sheltered from the rain, and to make lifting furniture easier. (The hook on each gable is to allow residents to move furniture into the house via the windows – the doors, halls and stairs are too narrow, so the windows are the easier option!)
The houses were also built tall and narrow, which was to avoid paying high taxes – the cost of tax was based on how much of the street you owned! In the photos below, you can see steps leading up to the doors of the buildings, and a smaller door underneath the stairs – the main front door was for the family and visitors, and the door under the stairs was for servants to use.
|The seven arches as seen from our canal boat|
We went for a walk through the woods near our hotel on New Years' Day, and bumped into some chicken, geese and deer...
On one of our last days, we visited Scheveningen (try pronouncing that after a few drinks! Actually, if you’re not Dutch, try pronouncing that sober!!) for a walk along the pier. It was very windy. And cold. And windy. Whilst there, we spotted the SprookjesBeelden aan Zee (or "Fairytale Sculptures by the sea") by Tom Otterness.
|'Eat a Herring'|
|'See no evil'|
|'Hans Brinker' - The boy who saved The Netherlands|
If you’re by the sea, you have to enjoy some fish! We stuffed ourselves full with kibbeling (fish fried in batter and served with sauce to dip), and then later in the afternoon warmed ourselves up with coffee and poffertjes (small fluffy deliciousness in the form of mini pancakes served with powdered sugar and butter – UGH amazing!)
Speaking of food, if you visit Holland, you have to eat Dutch food. I must have put on about two stone in chips and mayo, cheese, meat, gherkins, cakes and cookies!
Have you ever been to The Netherlands? Let me know in the comments where you went, what you did, and what you thought... Also, leave a comment if you have any other travel recommendations or blogs!