The Dutch Countryside

Our home base during our stay in the Netherlands was my old hometown of Mijdrecht. Mijdrecht, located 20 minutes outside of Amsterdam, is a quiet and typical Dutch town: not much to do, a few small shops (closed on Sundays of course), and a population predominated by parents with young kids, and older couples.

After Mark ran his marathon, we went out on a two day trip to Putten and Harderwijk. The first day, in Putten, consisted of a day long stay in Saunadrome. In the Netherlands, it is very uncommon for saunas to allow bathing suits. Needless to say, it took a while to get used to this atmosphere. In the end, relaxing and getting a massage turned out to be a great way to start the recovery phase.

From Putten, we visited Harderwijk, a typical Dutch fishing town. Unfortunately, it rained most of the day, so we walked around the town quickly and ended with eating a “Hollandse Nieuwe”. Stay tuned for a post about all the strange food the Dutch eat.

Beyond Amsterdam

In my years of living in Boston, whenever I told someone I was Dutch, the typical first reaction was: “Ah, Amsterdam.” But, there are quite a few other cities worth visiting. We went to three: Utrecht, Delft, and Leiden. All are built around canals, and the most notable difference is the size of the city.

We visited Utrecht on our way back home from Harderwijk. We stayed for just an hour, but this turned out to be enough time to wander around the city center. We didn’t particularly do anything, but the walk was very nice given we were inside most of the day due to the rain.

In our last week in the Netherlands, we visited Delft and Leiden. In Delft, we met with Niels, a friend of Mark. He quickly showed us around during his lunch break, and one of the places we went to was a cheese store. However, in addition to just selling cheese, they also sell sandwiches with any cheese you might like. This turned out to be a great and cheap (around 3 euros per sandwich) lunch. From Delft, we went to Leiden, a 30-minute train ride. Leiden is bigger than Delft, and therefore felt a bit more alive. Just as Delft, the mix of old roads, canals, and bridges gives a very cozy feeling.

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A Day In Amsterdam

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We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.

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We are currently in … London