Holland Holiday

We traveled back to the Netherlands during Golden Week! Wow, did you know Holland is absolutely beautiful? We were so lucky with the weather, which can be very rainy but was fantastically sunny the two weeks we were there. Not only did we visit our family and friends, we traveled all around Holland to the most beautiful spots and celebrated King’s Day and Liberation Day. It was an amaaaaaazing two weeks!!!NL-4

Our flight was great, since we had clear weather the whole time, seeing bizarre otherworldly ice landscapes above Siberia:NL-1-6In Holland the weather was nice too, and we traveled all around to see as many places as we could. I discovered I really like windmills haha.

NL-3This amazing place is called “Het Twiske” and our friends are lucky enough to live right next to it:
NL-28The first weekend in Holland we spent in Amsterdam, visiting all the famous musea and attending a classical concert in the Amsterdam Concert Hall!NL-22 NL-8I really like Dutch architecture :-)NL-23The Rijksmuseum!!! I looooooove the Rijksmuseum!!NL-10 NL-11Funnily enough there was a Breitner exposition, about paintings of girls in Japanese kimono :-)

NL-17Not only is the collection in the Rijksmuseum amazing, the building itself also is beautiful.NL-13NL-16Next we went for modern art in the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum.NL-19 NL-21(I love windmills!)

Utrecht is another city we spent a lovely sunny afternoon!NL-65 NL-71 NL-67Besides cities we visited a looooot of the beautiful nature The Netherlands has to offer. We spent one morning biking around the Park de Hoge Veluwe, with its heaths, marshes and sandy plains.NL-60 NL-58 NL-59 NL-57NL-46NL-55In the middle of the park is an old building, almost like a castle.NL-54And there is the famous Kroller Muller Museum! (yay, windmills XD)NL-56Around the Veluwe there are more spectacular nature areas like the Kootwijker Zand. I used to come here often and play as a kid, and I was amazed by how impressive this area is!NL-37 NL-40The Kootwijk shifting sands are quite unique and are Europe’s largest sand plains. They were formed around 1000 AD by overusing the country as farmlands, causing the vegetation to diminish and leave these huge shifting sand areas. NL-36NL-43Near the sandplains of Kootwijk is the fantastic art-deco building ” Radio Kootwijk”, which played an important role in the communication between Holland and its colonies in the early 20th century, and later during the two World Wars. The building has long ago lost its function as a radio tower, but hasn’t lost its allure!

NL-44NL-45By the way, sticking around the Veluwe, we spotted some wild boars!NL-61

Now, what besides windmills is very, very Dutch? Yes, tulips! And what do you know, it was tulip season!NL-30 NL-33 NL-34Visiting Wards family near Leiden we had the chance to pick some flowers in these awesome tulipfields! And make a quick trip to the Northsea :-DNL-35Ok so we saw windmills, tulips, the sea, cathedrals, Amsterdam, at least 4 famous musea, the nature of the Veluwe with its typical Dutch landscapes, Dutch wildlife… but we’re not finished yet!!! How about some old, 13th century ruins??NL-48This lovely ruin is Castle Nijenbeek. It was built somewhere before 1266, and was mostly intact until it was heavily damaged during the second World War.NL-1-8I remember this place from my childhood and was always very fascinated by it, and I still think it is a beautiful building.  NL-52And hey, an ooievaar (stork)!NL-51O, another type of windmill, very common in the Netherlands:NL-50We headed up further north, to another place I know well from my youth: Giethoorn. This Venice of the Netherlands we used to explore with my grandparents and their boat!NL-64 NL-68Near Giethoorn, we had the chance to dive even deeper in Dutch history, and visited the “Hunebedden”. These stones were built as early as 3300 BC!!! They were used as gravesites by an ancient tribe, and somehow the structures survived until this day.NL-1-7 NL-63And you can climb them :-)NL-62After our travels all around Dutch landscapes and history, we relaxed near the river in a field full of daisies:NL-73NL-74Wow!

Holland is beautiful isn’t it?? NL-29