Sep 26, 2015

Dutch Days: Introduction by Suze


By Suze:

Most people think about windmills, flower fields and clogs when they think about The Netherlands. I love all of those things. Looking at the flower fields always makes me happy, I like mills a lot and thinking about clogs brings back a lot of childhood memories. I'm proud of the fact that my small country has such a rich culture. I love our art, the clothing, our wonderful brands and our books. There are so many wonderful things I'd like to share during my Dutch Days. I've chosen to show you some of my favorite Dutch brands, I've found some great books that are either Dutch or have a Dutch setting. There are also plenty of really talented Etsy artists. I'm grateful for everything good my country has to offer.

A few tips for when you want to visit The Netherlands:

- If you are planning a one time visit and have a choice, don't choose the winter to travel here, because that usually isn't the best time to come over. The weather is often cold and wet and even though there are plenty of nice indoor activities you will miss a lot.

- Spring time is beautiful, especially because of the flower fields. Most of them are in bloom in April and there are fabulous parades. Bring a winter coat as it can still be chilly. If there's a little bit of sun it's enough for the Dutch to find a nice café with a terrace. They love having drinks or a small bite to eat outside, which is another reason you will need that coat.

- Don't expect many culinary delights (it's an upcoming thing, but we aren't there yet). We do have some nice food, but compared to France and Belgium you might be a bit disappointed. If you want to taste the best thing we have to offer try our local cheeses, drink our wonderful beers and go for something sweet. Syrup waffles (stroopwafels) are delicious, you have to try one while you're here. If you dare don't forget to taste our liquorice, it isn't for everyone, but it's our national candy. We love chocolate, so you'll find plenty. Visit a good chocolate maker or buy our fair trade brands, as those are the best.

- Almost everyone speaks English and people don't mind answering questions. Ask away.

- If you like to go shopping keep in mind that most shops are closing at 6 pm on weekdays. Outside the big cities they close at 5 pm on Saturdays. Most bigger cities have extended opening hours. On Thursdays or Fridays shops are open until 9 pm. And in bigger cities you can also shop on Sundays. 

- The Dutch like their bicycles. I know it can be a bit overwhelming at first, but cycling is fun. You can rent bikes everywhere and it's a great way to see our country.

- If you're on holiday here you should visit the old city of Amsterdam and take a canal tour by boat. If you have children go to the Efteling as it's an amazing fairytale theme park and it's definitely worth a visit. Zaanse Schans is an old fashioned Dutch village which is really nice on a sunny day. If you're here in the spring and like beautiful flowers visit the Keukenhof in Lisse. There are plenty of mills you can visit. One of them is Brouwerij 't IJ which is a beer brewery in a mill in the middle of Amsterdam. It's a great place to have a drink and to taste some delicious beer. Of course in Amsterdam you can go to the Anne Frank House, which is impressive, but be prepared to stand in line for a long time. Any of our art museums are worth a visit. I've been to many of them and loved them all. 

I hope my Dutch Days will inspire you to find out more about my lovely country.

16 comments:

  1. Oohh and when you visit try our bitterballs!! Our what?! Yeah you read it right. It is a crispy outside with meat inside. They are delicious and present at every party!

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    1. lol! I had to go look up pictures. They do look delicious.

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  2. ^^ thank you Suze this was really informative and it makes me want to come to visit as you are not too far away

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  3. This fairy tale theme park sounds beautiful! I'd love to taste Dutch licorice too. Thanks for the tips. :)

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  4. I country whose national sweet is licorice? Why do I not live there?

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  5. The flowers are gorgeous, they look like hyacinth if so the fragrance must have been fab :-)

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  6. I have friends who live in the netherlands, and it sounds like such a wonderful place :)

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  7. We went to The Netherlands three times on working holidays back in the 1990s, spent about 18 months there in total. We loved it, I'd like to visit again sometime :o)

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  8. I'd love to visit The Netherlands one day, it sounds lovely :)

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  9. Great post!Thanks for sharing the beauties and amazing things from your country with us Suzanne,I hope one day I will visit Netherlands :)

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  10. I'm excited for your dutch days!! My boyfriends back ground is dutch, but he knows very little of the history, customs or traditions. His grandfather moved here from the Netherlands. He has many stories and a wonderful sense of humour. He, however, didn't pass along much tradition or culture nor even the language to his sons or grandsons. He thought it more polite for them to know and follow the customs of the country they would grow up in and I think it's a shame. I hope we can visit in the next few years before we start our own family and then perhaps again once we have our own!

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  11. thank you for the info, they're all great advice!

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  12. Pictures are so nice,.. i wish one day i visit this place tooo,.. Thank you for this post,..

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