Sunday, May 14, 2017

Eurotrip 2017- Part 3 (Netherlands)

It has taken me way longer than expected to finish my blog posts about Europe.. it's almost irrelevant to write about it now since it has been almost a month since we came back, but I am determined to finish it so the anecdotes can at least go down in blogging history...'s goes nothing...
After we left Germany, we headed to Amsterdam, which has always been one of my dream cities to visit.  The drive was about 4 1/2 hours and not too bad since the kids slept and behaved most of the way there. 
We arrived in the afternoon and headed straight to the "I am Amsterdam" sign, one of the most famous icons in the city.  We stopped at the one that is less crowded for some "VIP" pictures (ha!) and then headed to the one by the Rijksmuseum, which is obviously the one most people visit.
The day we arrived it was really cold, probably the coldest day in our trip, which makes sense since Amsterdam was the most north we went; the girls were happy to wear their heavy jackets for a change since we'd been hauling them around...
We walked around the city for a bit that afternoon and I was immediately captivated by the beauty and magic of this wonderful place.  The canals, the tulips, the bicycles...everything I had imagined and then some...and the weather was simply perfect so that made for an even better experience.
Here are some pictures of Amsterdam...

Here's a cool rubber ducky store we found in the middle of the city...they had dozens of different was so cool!

I will admit that by the time we left Amsterdam, I was a little sick of the bicycles and how rude the bikers can be; they basically think they own the road and will run anyone over just to get their way.  Amsterdam is a HORRIBLE driving city and that's probably one of the most difficult challenges we found; the streets are insanely confusing and really narrow so it's very hard to navigate by car..I seriously think cars are discouraged in that place.  I was really stressed out while Iggy was driving.  On top of it, parking rates are insane (for the same reason!), so if we ever go back, we will NOT be driving in the city... lesson learned. 

After Amsterdam, we headed to Lisse to visit Keukenhof, the most famous tulip garden in the world.  Keukenhof is only open 2 months out of the year so we planned our trip around it because it has always been my dream to see the tulips in bloom in Holland...
OMG.. I had NEVER seen so many beautiful flowers in the same place; the tulip bulbs were in full bloom and the gardens took my breath away. I probably looked like an idiot taking so many pictures of flowers and zooming in to get the details of the petals and their dew but it was so worth it.  
We walked around Keukenhof for a good three hours and the whole time I was in awe about the beauty of these flowers and the wonderful display of perfectly God created nature.... a dream come true...

After our short visit to Lisse, we headed to The Hague to walk around and also to visit Madurodam. I figured since mom had gotten her chance to do her thing, why not let the kids to theirs.  Madurodam is a miniature city and a park for children that features several scaled famous buildings of Holland and a few attractions for kids.  
We loved it, but Oliver was just mesmerized by it.. he even tried walking over some of the displays and looked like a giant walking around tiny buildings.. it was so cute!

After our brief visit to The Hague, which was incredibly beautiful by the way, we began our drive to Belgium, which was our next stop. 
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the Netherlands and I was SO happy to finally visit some of the places that I had longed for. Dutch people were incredibly friendly and the country is a tourist paradise; everything works right, there are lots of places to visit, the food is good, souvenir shops are well supplied and everywhere you look there is something beautiful.  What a wonderful place to be... we will definitely go back some time! :)

I hope to finish my next (and last) post about Europe within this week! It was a trip for the ages!

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