You meet interesting people when you walk cross a new country.
I met a man from Argentina who was wearing the ugliest red sweater. He wore it every time that I saw him. He didn’t have much of a sense of style. He didn’t seem to care. He studied physics, back in his home country.
We met in Munich, but I took this picture of him in Amsterdam at the Van Gogh Museum. It was the last day that I saw him in person.
The sun was shining in a bright blue sky. It’s rays were warm but the cool ocean breeze was brisk and sent a shiver down my spine. I was walking across Scheveningen beach on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in Den Haag, Netherlands.
I took in the scene and breathed in the fresh salt air. The seagulls cawed. In the distance, I could see cargo ships lurking across the horizon. I directed my eyes to the west and imagined the vastness of the ocean that lay between me and my home. The distance was immense.
I felt the crunch of shells and frosty sand below my boots. I looked down so as not to miss a single detail and stumbled upon this dried starfish laying in the sand. I don’t know how long it had been there, but I like to think that it had been waiting there just for me to find it.
Situated in Lisse, Netherlands, Keukenhof is one of the largest flower gardens in the world and it is also a must-go-at-least-once-in-your-life-just-for-the-experience thing. This post is dedicated to all flower lovers! I visited around Easter time so the weather was changing from winter to spring. It was still quite cold, and not very ideal for the flowers. It […]
Sometimes it takes laying by a random canal in the Nine Streets of Amsterdam looking up at the sunshine and moving clouds to really remember why you study abroad in the first place. I came to experience the Danish culture but also to explore Europe and open my perspective of the world wider than it […]
I’m finally back! Unfortunately, my well deserved holidays ended and I’m in Suzhou again now. We went to Spain for our annual visit but we also spent some days in Amsterdam. I had never been there before and I wanted C. to see more of Europe. My parents, my brother and his girlfriend also went there […]
Utrecht is the beating heart of the Netherlands. It is an intimate city of narrow streets and sleepy canals. The picturesque cobble-stoned streets lined with boutiques and cafes and medieval architecture along two-tiered canal ways create a recipe of charming delight. Even though it’s the fourth largest city in the Netherlands, Utrecht manages to maintain its quaintness. […]
I took this photo in Leiden, Netherlands, a small town an hour south of Amsterdam by car. The city has a very charming allure to it and is dotted by quite a few of these typical dutch windmills. There are also several canals, churches and medieval structure that are absolutely delightful to walk through.
Traveling through a foreign country can teach us many things. We learned about different cultures, different languages, traditions. We learn about who we are and where we stand in the world.
The best part is that depending on where you go, you can learn different things.
Traveling through the Netherlands taught me quite a few things so far.
I’ve learned that the country still has a reigning king and queen. Their monarchy is something that most people are proud of.
The country’s royal color is orange and on King’s day, the entire country gets decked out in orange and they celebrate in the streets and canals!
I’ve learned that the dutch didn’t invent the windmill, but they did revolutionize it.
I’ve learned that there are no mountains here. Just flat, flat, very flat land. And lots of canals!
I’ve learned there is beauty in every small city you walk through, even on a dreary cloudy day.
Above all, while traveling here, the utmost important thing that I’ve learned is that when crossing a street, you look left first.
Then left and right.
And then you run across that street!
There are about 10 bicycles for every person in the Netherlands.(Don’t quote me on that) and if you are not careful, they will hit you! And you will die! Seriously, I’ve never seen so many people on bicycles. Going left, right, diagonally, on the sidewalks, on the roads, just everywhere!
It is actually quite beautiful to see this as part of their way of life. Sure, we see people on bicycles all the time in Canada but not like this. On every street, on every post, in every city that I’ve been to, there are bicycles absolutely everywhere!
So just a word of advice for anyone going to the Netherlands (or Europe in general), look both ways before crossing any street and if you get a chance, rent a bicycle and most of all, don’t look like a tourist!!!
7 days since I’ve landed in this beautiful country. I’ve toured through Amsterdam, Leiden, Den Haag and Rotterdam and cross nearly half of the country on foot.
I’ve walked fields ornamented with dutch windmills and crossed bridges spanning the Netherlands never ending maze of canals. And every time that I get bored of the typical dutch scenery, I turn a corner and find another old building or a rich piece of history about this magnificent country
I must say, I absolutely love this country and their people!
My journey started when I landed at Schiphol Airport, just outside of Amsterdam. I stayed in Amsterdam for 2 nights then hopped on a train and made my way to Leiden. In Leiden, I couchsurfed and stayed with a charming host who was nice enough to tour me around her city and then she even cooked me a nice warm meal.
From Leiden, I went on foot, south into Den Haag. I stayed there another two nights, one night in a private hotel room and one night in a hostel. I walked across the city to the Sea and then I started making my way to Rotterdam.
Needless to say, this trip has been a success so far! Through the blisters, the sore knees, the train tickets and the hospitality, I am so thankful for having the opportunity to tour through this country!
Amsterdam has a huge variety of things to do. From the more touristy areas to the parks and places most people don’t even think about going.
I spent my time walking along canals and getting lost in the city’s never ending alley ways.
Here’s a few shots from my time spent there.
I truly fell in love with this small dutch city. There are canals like most cities in the country and also Leiden has an abundance of windmills. Along with the old mills, Leiden also has a rich history and in the center of the city lies an old citadel that was built in the 12th century. There isn’t much spectacular about it but the fact that I was able to walk around in a structure that has been standing for nearly a millennium was enough for this cat.
Den Haag (The Hague) is another beautiful dutch city. It is also the seat of their goverment and royal throne. The city has some very charming areas with old buildings, but the best part for me was being able to walk along the coast of the Atlantic ocean.
The walk to the coast, was long and grueling but when I arrived and could see the giant cargo ships out on the water, I was just happy to be able to take it all in.
Rotterdam was nice, but is in fact my least favorite city of Netherlands. Back in WWII, the Nazis dropped bombs on the city and leveled a huge area of the city. Therefore today, the city has a lot a newer building and most of it’s architecture is reminiscent of most modern cities.
It is also one of the only cities in the Netherlands with a skyline.
I’ve since left Netherlands and have made my way into Belgium. More to come on that later!