It’s (finally!) time for my superlatives round-up for The Netherlands! As usual in my Snapshot posts, I’m including a few never-seen photos and stories from our trip this past April.
I absolutely loved our visit to Keukenhof Gardens. I set off for Holland with a longtime dream of photographing tulips, and it was at the gardens that I officially checked off that bucket list item. Being the worrier that I am, I fretted before we left that the tulips wouldn’t be in bloom during our visit, but (obviously) it worked out perfectly and I practically skipped around the park snapping away with my camera.
I loved that while Keukenhof is mostly a huge, well-manicured park, there were also some secluded areas that felt like we were in the middle of rural Holland. It was all beautiful along each path and around every corner.
Alternate category title: Museum Misfortunes. Our time in The Netherlands was actually pretty smooth, so the two worst moments weren’t even that bad, but they were both museum-related. First, the day that I was able to purchase advanced tickets online for the Anne Frank House also happened to be King’s Day, and getting from Point A to Point B through the thick crowds proved to be more difficult than we anticipated. We nearly missed our scheduled time to tour the museum because we had to wade our way through mobs like this one. We even got a bit separated from each other and I couldn’t see Chris for a few minutes, inducing a lost-child-in-a-department-store kind of panic.
Adding to the stress, we were using my iPhone to navigate and it ran out of juice before we located the museum. We did find it just in time and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to tour this historically important exhibit.
And then on the last day, we walked over to the Van Gogh Museum for their Vincent on Friday event only to realize I had not purchased tickets in advance like I thought I did. Oops! I’m usually incredibly organized when it comes to travel planning, but I goofed this time. We opted not to stand in the super long queue in favor of packing for our flight the next morning, so sadly we missed the museum. Next time, as I always say!
As much as I loved trying local favorites like bitterballen and poffertjes, my favorite meal was actually a burger and fries! It was the smokey flavor of local cheese that made the burger amazing, though. That, and we sat at this cool table with our own self-serve Heineken tap! Fun fact: I tried my very first Heineken while in Amsterdam.
Something We Learned
The fascinating process of how Dutch clogs are made is no longer a mystery to us thanks to the Wooden Shoe Workshop in Zaanse Schans. The machinery mesmerized us as simple blocks of wood rapidly transformed into the familiar wooden shoe shape. I was shocked at how quick it happened!
We’re Thankful We Packed
Orange accessories to wear on King’s Day! My orange t-shirt ended up beneath layers of hoodie and jacket, but it’s in there. I found the sunglasses on Amazon for $7, and I purchased the lei in one of the many shops in Amsterdam selling everything orange for the occasion. (Side note: I’m not sure what happened in the King’s Day photo below. I think my point-and-shoot might have accidentally applied some kind of filter/effect? But I think it’s kind of fun.)
We Didn’t Need To Bring
Short-sleeve tops. It was so cold for our visit in late April that we needed to wear multiple layers all day every day. Brrr! (This one is a direct cut-and-paste from my Belgium Snapshot because the same exact thing was true of both places.)
Not a thing! I would have loved to stay longer, as is true of most places, but I loved our itinerary and I don’t have any regrets.
Reasons To Go Back
We didn’t get to go to the Van Gogh Museum (see above) so this is on our list for next time! We also didn’t “get” to try pickled herring, so um…I guess I can put that on the when-we-go-back list.
Hands-down, this is my favorite photo! It’s the exact image I wanted to make on this trip.
I also love this shot Chris took of some love locks along a canal bridge.