Memories of a Spring Road Trip in Holland

In En-Route, Europe, Memories, Netherlands, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travelby Janis2 Comments

Was it all Tulips & Cheese?

Soft hues, Keukenhof, Holland, Netherlands

A few years ago, we had visited the Dutch city of Amsterdam on a mini road trip via Delft & Gouda. However, this time we wanted to discover more about Holland beyond its colourful capital.

We decided to visit the country in bloom and headed off to Keukenhof in Lisse. Not just content with admiring the amazing displays in a few days, we extended the road trip to take in other delights of the Netherlands.

As it was such an enjoyable break, we have selected our stand out high points from our Tulips & Cheese road trip, to share them with you. Hopefully, they tempt you into creating your own adventure, as we would love for you to share your memories with us.

A helpful guide

If you're thinking of heading of to the land of tulips and cheese, then grab this DK Eyewitness guide to help with your planning.

I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.




Highlights


Keukenhof – You don’t really need to be a flower enthusiast to be able to appreciate the time and effort that is given to this park, it is amazing.

Seven million bulbs are planted every year and kept manicured throughout the few months that it’s open.

fields of colour, Keukenhof, Holland, Netherlands

Kinderdijk – The UNESCO windmill network at Kinderdijk is a must see & definitely take the boat trip, you get a great perspective of the 19 windmills that grace the banks since 1740.

The electric tour boat, Kinderdijk, Holland, Netherlands

Harbour towns – We had a day out from Alkmaar and visited four old harbour towns, which were Hoorn, Edam, Volendam & Monnickendam.

All were interesting to visit but my favourite was Monnickendam, it was like stepping back in time.

The quayside at Monnickendam, Holland, Netherlands


Cheese market, Alkmaar – Now if you are in Alkmaar on a Friday there is one thing you should be doing and that is visiting the Cheese Market display. Now mainly performed for visitors but it really is a spectacle & an interesting insight into Alkmaar’s history.

The porters or kaasdragers, Alkmaar, Holland, Netherlands

Haarlem town – we stayed at Haarlem while visiting Keukenhof, but I’m so pleased we allowed an extra day for this town. It’s only 12 miles (20km) from Amsterdam, but has such a different feel about it. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Amsterdam but this is its quieter little sister.

The Windmill De Adriaan, Haarlem, Holland, Netherlands

Why not?

Start creating your own adventure and discover the delights of the Netherlands for yourself, British Airways and easyJet are a couple of options. 

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Pleasures


Canals & waterways – strolling along the canals is always a pleasurable way to see a town and Holland has these in abundance.

Sleepy Hoorn, Holland, Netherlands

Architecture & Culture – From the imposing old merchants houses with their crow-stepped gables, to the Dutch “Golden Age” of artist such as Rembrandt & Vermeer, to the more recent Mondriaan & Rietveld.

The almshouses Haarlem, Holland, Netherlands

Trajectum Lumen – This was a pleasant surprise when we were in Utrecht, an intriguing light trail that takes you on a historical journey through the city centre every evening when night falls.

The Dom Belltower, Trajectum Lumen, Utrecht, Netherlands


Poffertjes – While in Alkmaar it was King’s Day, so the streets were bustling, this gave us the opportunity to try poffertjes, the delicate little fluffy Dutch pancakes.

Poffertjes, dusted with icing sugar, Alkmaar, Holland, Netherlands

Tempted to?

Discover more of Holland, you'll be amazed how easy it is to tour around by car with. You can then visit the iconic towns of Edam & Gouda and also see the 19 traditional windmills at the UNESCO site of Kinderdijk.
SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.



Treasures


Driving through the fields – the planting through the fields are not only tulips, if you see a field of hyacinth you must jump out of your car, the fragrance is amazing.

Fields in Bloom, Holland, Netherlands

Cheese – Holland wouldn’t be Holland without the cheese, so we just had to buy some.

Cheese selection from Edam, Holland, Netherlands

Zandvoort – What or where I hear you cry, yes Zandvoort it’s a town on the Dutch coastline by the North Sea.

And why did we come here, oh yes it is a motor racing circuit, F1 legends of past and present have raced here.

A selection of the famous to have raced at the Zandvoort circuit

Something to make your travels easier?



What I would do differently


Whether we were a bit late in the season or took the wrong road, but we headed to Naaldwijk to pick up the Bloemen Route (Flower Route). Unfortunately, it wasn’t until we got to Leiden where the blooming fields came into their own. Not that it really mattered at least we weren’t on a motorway.


Not too sure if we would take the boat trip around the fields at Keukenhof again, the views from the windmill were better. But I always like a boat trip.



A funny moment


One evening when we were sat at a bar in Alkmaar we decided to try the Dutch tipple of Genever gin. It had quite a kick to it, and when we asked the barmaid whether she drank it at all, she said “no way , I can’t stand the stuff”.

Genever - The things we do for research, Alkmaar, Holland, Nether



A slight disappointment


Although the Dutch smoked sausage of Rookworst, was on Gary’s wish list we didn’t stumble upon them. That’s one for next time!!!!

A sausage and pulled pork, Alkmaar, Holland, Netherlands



Point of Note


Buy your e-tickets to prior to your visit, they can be used for any day during the Keukenhof season.


Alkmaar cheese market is held every Friday morning from 10:00 until 13:00, from April through until late September, oh, be sure to arrive early, we got there 30 minutes before it started and we were 3 or 4 rows back.

Closing note

The overriding feeling we had when we returned from Holland was that the people were so friendly, go on give it a go.



Have You

Seen Holland in bloom? Did you turn it into a full-blown road trip? Or is it something you want to try? Any questions just ask.

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Memories of a Spring Road Trip in Holland, Netherlands

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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Comments

  1. Ooh, your roadtrip looks great. How fabulous that you visited Trajectum Lumen. I have lived in Utrecht now for over 12 years and didn’t go on the walking tour until last winter and loved it! (And nooooo, I also don’t touch jenever, not for the life of me!)

    1. Hi Esther,It’s amazing how we so often delay visiting places that are on our doorstep. We have been guilty of this in the past and we’re trying to make a concerted effort to see more in the UK.We loved Utrecht – Gary especially loved Café Olivier, searching out Dutch beers in a Belgium café. Come on, be honest there’s more bikes than people.We met some great people in Holland – so warm & friendly. We really enjoyed the differences between each place we visited.We know that we’ll return to the Netherlands to discover more of the wonderful country.Thanks for the comment,Janis & Gary

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