Spending holidays away from home is always hard, so the best idea is to spend the time busy and crossing adventures off my pinterest lists. So what better way to spend Easter than with a Road Trip around The Netherlands. Whoohoo bring on the Tulips!!!
We hired a cute little Nissan to get us around.
First stop was Eftetling, located half way between Brussels and Rotterdam. Efteling is a theme park based on fairy tales. It’s quite cool and is broken up into a few areas: Enchanted Forrest, the rest was in Dutch, and I forget what they translated to, haha.
The entire different fairy tales were there; the little mermaid, rumplestiltskin, rupunzel, etc, and then a few I had no idea even existed, guess the Dutch had different stories to us. It was then time for the roller coasters.
I have always struggled with rides, being that I get vertigo quite easily. So spinning and upside down ones are out of the question. But I did still managed to lose my belly a few times, on the Pirate ship and a few different other ones.
All in all it was a fun day filled with laughs, rides, reliving my childhood in Dutch and too many candies.
We spent the first night in Rotterdam and stayed at CitizeM, which is an awesome hotel. It has a feel like a hostel, but for adults. The rooms is controlled from a Samsung tablet; the lights, the TV, the music, the blinds, everything. There is even mood lighting in the shower, which also houses the biggest shower head ever. I could definitely get used to that.
The bar of the hotel felt like you were in someone’s home. The book case was lined with soo many different artsy books, a complete penguin collection, different vegetables preserved in glass jars. It was honestly one of the coolest places I’ve ever stayed.
Rotterdam has a cool vibe. Unfortunately we didn’t have much time to explore, one night just wasn’t enough. We had dinner a three story Persian restaurant. The food was amazing!! The restaurant had a very cool atmosphere, so much laughing, and good food being enjoyed. It was your typical delicious Persian food; I had a dish called seafood tutti frutti. It was a dish of delicious mixed seafood’s grilled on a skewer with rice, vegetables and mixed dried fruits. Soo much yum in one meal.
Day two started off a little rough. After a delicious fest for breakfast, we were then locked in a garage due to a broken ticketing machine. This did result in free parking however, SCRORE!! But set us back a little while.
Finally we were off to The Hague.
The Hague is a cute little town on the coast. We decided it was a great idea to park the car a few km’s from where we intended to have lunch (yes, we preplanned where we going to eat, hehe), this was probably not the smartest idea. It was freezing on the boardwalk, honestly the coldest I’ve been in soo long. And the wind, mannn the wind was soo cold it gave me a headache. I was not dressed appropriately for this. However the meal at the end the of the boardwalk was worth enduring that pain.
Next stop was something I’d been dying to do for quite a long time. I had pinned this on pinterest long before I moved to the UK. Keukenhof is a garden filled with Tulips. Tons and tons of them. All different varieties, in all different patterns. It really was more than I could have ever expected. It was truly beautiful. There were visitors of all ages at Keukenhof, it really had something for everybody.
We arrived at the hotel, and checked in our bags, and then began the task of goggling places to eat for dinner. My favourite past time 😀
Amsterdam is packed full of restaurants, however cost per meal, and value for money was more of a priority for us. I stumbled upon an ad for “all you can eat and drink buffet for £20, BARGIN!!!
I immediately made a reservation and we were on our way. When we were walking to the restaurant I was feeling the sense I’d been there before, and sure enough across the road from the restaurant was a restaurant I’d eaten my last group meal at when I went on my Euro trip in 2012. Ohhh the memories…..
So back to the restaurant. The Restaurant View is situated on the water, and you get a really nice view of Amsterdam. Only around 2-3 stories high, so not a full city view, but a nice one nonetheless. The restaurant is set out kinda like sushi train, and you are sat near a moving conveyor belt and on your table is a hot plate. The raw/uncooked food passes along the belt and you pull off whatever takes your fancy and you cook and eat it all on your table. BRILLIANT!
There is a bar at the end of the room, which is self managed, yep you pull your own beers. And the salad and condiments are located on a different station. The kitchen is in the middle of where four different belts meet, so it’s super open planned and you feel part of the kitchen crew.
I loved this place. Not only cos its all you can eat, and I’m an excellent chef, but because it was fun. It’s such a novelty to cook your own food in a restaurant.
I sufficiently stuffed my face, and left with the biggest, fullest belly. Sooo much salmon, tuna, and vegetables were consumed. Mmmmmm.
What is an Amsterdam trip without a walk through the town, and watching all the tourists get high and ogle at the windows?
I’d done most of the touristy things in my past trip, so this time I was happy to sit in a local dingy bar and drink gin and tonics.
The perfect night cap….
As we set off for day three, we were rudely interrupted by someone getting Bali belly in Amsterdam, and it wasn’t me! This was rather annoying but I made sure this didn’t stop me filling my belly with delicious foods.
First stop was brunch of course. And on top of my list was Omelegg. This place won me over with their menu of omelettes only, particularly omelette with banana and peanut butter. The restaurant was super cute, and decked out with wooden furniture, with an open plan kitchen. So you could watch the chefs cook your food. Pretty spesh.
After breakfast, Bali belly was still not being too cool. So we walked at snail’s pace, which is really not a speed I know, around the rest of the city. Stopping by the I AM STERDAM sign, walking through the canals, and through the parks. There was another shop I was keen to find and check out, but tempers were flaring at the snail’s pace, and discomfort of the Bali belly, so we decided to leave, and head off to the next town.
It wasn’t a very far drive to Giethoorn, luckily, and when we got there our moods lifted and the cuteness of the town won us over.
Giethoorn is a town built around canals, and for most of the houses the only way to access the homes is via little boats or bridges that connect the land. The place is seriously one of the most beautiful towns ever.
There isn’t a whole lot to do in Geithoorn, other than wander around the canals taking in all the wonderful sights. Being in the middle of nowhere I decided this was definitely the time I should try and drive on the wrong side of the car and the wrong side of the road.
Sitting in the left hand side of the car to drive, feels so awkward, and let’s not even start on how weird it is to try and change gears with your right hand. So will windscreen wipers going, and blinkers, I set off driving down the left hand side of the road. This was okay, I was doing well, till I had to slow down and try and turn the blinker on to turn the corner. I freaked out and couldn’t tell which side of the road I needed to turn into.
Needless to say that 1km drive was hectic, and I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.
The hotel we stayed in at Geithoorn was like an old school B&B, it was pleasant and cosy. Though the Easter Bunny must have forgotten to come find me on Easter Sunday, however the staff left us a nice little Easter treat with our breakfast.
The final leg of our holiday was to Arnhem. Being Easter Sunday the town was extremely quiet. Nothing much was really open except for a few little pubs and cafes. And again there wasn’t a whole lot to do there.
Coffees were had, naps were taken, and all you can eat Tapas was consumed. It was a great end to a fabulous Easter break.
The Netherlands is a country I’d definitely travel back to.
Peace out for now
P.s this is a late post, like super late, but whatevs you guys are used to that from me 😀 Promise to be better in 2015, hopefully.