In the start of 2014, we drove from Denmark to Holland in order to visit a friend there. We wanted to see tulips and i read that spring is the best time for that. Our initial plan was to split our vacation between Estonia and Holland, but as time passes plans tend to change 😀
So the second week in april, we packed our stuff in the car and headed off to south with and end destination Warmond, Holland. The trip went very well, the weather was nice and sunny, there wasn’t much traffic until we approached Kiel where we sat in line for about 10 km. This wasn’t actually too bad as the company was good and i find it pretty fun to pass and repass the same people again 😀 After that we managed to stay out of traffic jams and overall it took us 9 hours of driving to reach our vacation spot.
I didn’t plan out the whole trip and sights to see, mostly because we don’t usually tend to follow it whole or we find some other exciting things to do, but there was a few places i most definitely wanted to visit and see.
One was the Hague. A city where they have their parliament, the peace palace and so much more. We parked our car in a shopping mall called MegaStores, where parking was cheaper than anywhere else in the city. It took us around 20 minutes to walk to the city center and the shopping street. It was quite difficult to figure out what places were, because there wasn’t many signs 😀 that was what happened to us and the parliament 😀We spent a whole day there and managed to see most of it.
It was quite easy to recognize places that were tourist attractions, as there was a lot of people there.
We ended the day with a visit to a small Belarusian store, where they sold a lot of souvenirs and also different kinds of dumplings. As our dutch friend hadn’t tried them, we decided to buy him some. And they were delicious!
Next day we took a field trip out to see tulips and all sorts of other flowers in Keukenhof. It is a large flower garden with amazing flowerbeds and every year they also paint a picture using only different sorts of flowers. This year, they displayed houses and houseboats on a canal. Only trouble, what we also noticed quite early, was that it is a very popular place to visit and lines to their parking places were very long, although they do have prepared for large crowds and there is a lot of space for parking. Parking also costs, so when buying a ticket at the entrance, you also need to buy a parking ticket that they will ask from you when leaving, so it is important to not throw that away We saw some people having troubles leaving 😀
It took us half a day to see it all, so luckily there was also a house where we could buy some food. The prices were not cheap, but it was good food.
Next day we took a train to Amsterdam, as we thought that parking and driving would be a nightmare there. It was nice to see all the tulip and other flower fields from the train window. It took us about half an hour to get to the capital, but already before the main train station stop, you could see big office buildings and IKEA.
The city was crowded, there was a travelling Tivoli in the center of the city, which attracted a lot of people as well. We walked through the shopping street and then of course the red light district, that didn’t have much going on, as it was day time, but there were quite a lot of tourist groups there. Our mission was to find a fridge magnet, and we did, from a small souvenir shop, next to an onion market. Not edible onions, but flower onions. They sell a lot of tulip onions there, and probably throughout the year. We decided to get our onions from a gardening shop, because of the high prices on the streets. There we were told that, it was too late to buy them, as they will not grow so late in the year. So all the onions sold on the market will probably not give any flowers.
So, we didn’t get any tulip onions, but we found a very cool store that sold all sorts of hammocks. And i bought one for our little balcony
After all that walking, we got hungry and decided to try the best dutch fries. To me, they weren’t too good, but they did the trick
The last place we visited was a sort of a theme park in the Hague called Madurodam. It is a park where they have miniature sculptures of all important and interesting buildings and transportation. When we were there, it was raining, so there wasn’t many people, but it was definitely something to see. Kids seemed to enjoy it more than their parents, but for 3 over 20 year olds it was also a fun place to see.
When we finally packed our things in the car again for the ride back to Denmark, i was very happy and satisfied with the trip. I saw everything i wanted to see, plus a bit more, and had a great week of vacation. As we went there on the high tourist season, we probably missed a few things to see, due to the crowds, but we can always go back another time