Finding Netherlands

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Last March, we had the opportunity to visit our relatives in The Netherlands. Of course, we have been to other parts before but this time, we concentrated in the South of Netherlands. Our trip was actually double purpose as I also ran my first half marathon in Den Haag for my beloved Keith

For the first time ever, we took the train from London St. Pancras to Brussels. And then from there we took another train from Brussels to Dordrecht. Believe it or not, for 6 six days we were in and out of Dordrecht train station, but I actually didn't SEE Dordrecht. I don't know, I just didn't really think about it as I was pre-occupied with other cities that we wanted to visit. I later found out that Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland. Damn. At least I have a reason to go back to Holland, and of course to see my family again.

The first city we visited was Breda which is about 30 minutes away (by train) from Dordrecht. I loved the fact that we had to go through a park to get to the city centre from the train station, which was about 7 mins walk. The Breda castle was also just around the corner from the park.

Breda Castle

The next day we visited was Leiden, 20km from The Hague and 50 minutes from Dordrecht. 
It says Delft on the boat, but promise it's in Leiden.
The Koornbrugsteeg

I am not sure how we managed to visit three cities in a day, but we did it. Perhaps because they are fairly smaller than the other cities we have visited before. It wasn't as if we took pictures and left. We actually stayed for a cup of tea at one of the cities.

Then we went to Utrecht. 

The last city we visited on that day was Gouda, a city famous for its cheese. 

When we're traveling, we always take an alternative route. Because of this, we get to see the other side of the cities more often than not, are the most beautiful ones. 
We explored the quiet streets of the city and was able to see some unique houses.

After exploring three cities in a day, we thought we'd take it easy the next day so we visited Rotterdam, about 21 kilometers from Dordrecht. Rotterdam is the home of Desiderius Erasmus, a philisopher, humanist and also a traveler. There is actually a bridge in Rotterdam that is named after him.
The two buildings behind me are very interesting. You wouldn't think that the white and blue building with yellow pipes is a library. The one beside it is the Pencil building (Het Potlood).
The most amazing building I saw in Rotterdam is the Cube House. Unfortunately we were not able to go inside as we didn't know that  you could actually go in. This building is situated beside the Rotterdam Blaak train station.

The most important part of our visit (apart from our family) was Delft because of  Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring". Unfortunately, it was on loan so we didn't get to see it. We still went to the museum though, but only to have a cup of tea.

Delft is a quiet city I think. We were in the centre of town on a weekday, between 1-2pm,  but the square was empty. In fact there were not many people walking around anywhere in the city.   
The side of the City Hall
The view of the City Hall and the square on top of the New Church.
Delft.

There are a few things that I would like to share from our trip:
If you're looking for a real cup of tea, don't confuse yourself with this Coffee Shop. Look for the Cafe. :)
In Utrecht, there are a lot of beautiful cafes and restaurants. We chose Winkel van Sinkel because of its location. You can sit outside and enjoy the view better if the sun is out. We only had cakes so I can't say anything more about the food. 
My family in Holland told me not to miss Bram Ladage Verse Patat. It's basically a french fries chain. In my own opinion, the fries is just okay. What makes it special is the Dutch mayonnaise. I kid you not, it's the best mayonnaise.


There you go, my late winter adventure in the Netherlands.


tintin x

2 comments:

  1. hi Tin!

    it's so great to see your travel post! i can see that you've been fulfilling your goals for running marathon for Keith. Its very insipiring from you!
    i never been to Netherland hopefully we could one day.. I enjoy your pictures and you always looks great!!!

    take care always.
    xoxo,Meg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Meg! Netherlands is beautiful!

      Delete

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