The Netherlands Experience
“The Netherlands, a country in north-western Europe, is known for a flat landscape of canals, tulip fields, windmills and cycling routes”
I had the amazing opportunity to travel to one of my ‘bucket list’ countries. Boy was I amazed!
Arriving on 26 September 2018, I knew that I was in for a lot of hard work, however I never knew I would fall in love with the Netherlands as much as I did. With its rich culture and friendly community, the Netherlands is surely a must see for every traveller.
Amsterdam is home to many cool museums which are not only limited to art and history exhibitions. Some of these museums include famed agricultural buildings for example, the Rijksmuseum which is located near the Van Gogh Museum and others low-key historic sites such as the Parliament Building “Binnenhof” located in The Hague and built primarily in the 13th Century with original agricultural designs. This concludes that there is something to everyone’s liking in Amsterdam!
This lively city is more than just the famous tourist hotspot known as the “Red Light District”.
A canal cruise is a must! On the cruise you will learn more about the history of Amsterdam. Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands originated as a small fishing village in the 12th century. The entire city is built on stilts – which is massive wooden stakes that have been built into the ground and lays the foundation for every building. It is recognized that home residents had to pay taxes on the width on their property and therefor the houses are very narrow. Some of these houses date back to the 14th century.
In the Netherlands, the most preferred method of travelling by riding a bicycle. Of the 17 million residents in the Netherlands, 13.5 million are cyclists and the population owns 22.3 million bicycles in total! As in over-all Europe, most residents in the country use Trams to get to their daily work commitments and leisure visits
Food & Markets
Wow! Food in the Netherlands are absolutely delicious to even say the least! You will be able to find basically anything to fill an empty stomach. The most well-known dishes that are true to Dutch dishes are Stroopwaffels, Bitterballen (deep fried crispy meatballs traditionally served with mustard), Kibbling (battered and deep fried morsels of white fish; usually cod) and so much more! The food is extremely tasty and always freshly prepared.
After visiting Amsterdam, I travelled to The Hague. Traditional markets was an absolute highlight! The markets can almost be compared to our South African flea markets, however in Holland a flea market is a completely different thing! Fresh foods, clothing, jewellery, cheese (so much cheese!) are sold at the markets. Anything, you name it! You will be able to find it at a market.
Rich in history
My personal favourite city of the Netherlands would definitely have to be Maastricht! This town is found in the very south of the Netherlands. The town is distinguished by its medieval-era architecture and vibrant cultural scene. In this cobbled old town a lot can be viewed like the Gothic-style church Sint Janskerk and the Romanesque Basilica of St. Servatius which houses a significant collection of religious art. This town is rich in culture and great history.