Netherlands in Spring

Country: 
Kids: 
10 years
Babies: 
10 months
Author: 
Parent
Date: 
2009-05-05 to 2009-05-10
Description: 

Visit to Amsterdam in May 2009 remained in more pleasant memory than the visits I've done before that. It's not because of the beautiful sighs or the things going on, but because of the Spring time and the weather conditions. Some years before I went with my husband in January, and the thing that I remember most was the cold winter and late sunrises. Fortunately, this time was much better weather, warmer, so we decided to take our kids with us which made our stay even more pleasant. We were able to visit Amsterdam, Hague, Madurodam, Keukenhof and Kinderdijk.

We've flown with the airplane, then took a cab to the hotel, situated in the center, near the borders of The Red Light District, but we evaded going there with kids.

Thin, tall, colorful building are really the characteristic of Amsterdam and it's very charming to observe them while walking, but they are not so practical if your hotel is one of them, and your accommodation is in the attic and you have to take the buggy with you in the room :) . Nevertheless we tried to simplify our life in the hotel by leaving the buggy in the lobby, but this was not possible all the time since the lobby is quite small.

 

DAY 1 (Amsterdam, Dam, Madam Tussauds)

On the first day we tried to explore the hotel neighborhood. The Dam - main Amsterdam square is in a walking distance so we decided to visit it including the streets around it. We should take extra care with the buggy and the bicyclists since in Amsterdam thee is quite a number of them, and it seems that it's easier to make collision with one of them than with the car.

 

Sometimes the city is called "Small Venice" because of the high number of channels of the river Amstel and the bridges over them. Channel houses are also very attractive where some people do live. You can visit one of them, but it was closed when we were nearby. The city is full of tourists, but also of positive energy itself, probably because of legal use of Marijuana :)

 

On the Dam square you can find Madam Tussauds museum of wax figures. Our 10-year old daughter liked very much the statues of Brad and Angelina and Dutch Royal Family. It was also quite funny to see that our daughter is higher than most of the Spice Girls. Personally, I proffered the company of George Clooney, and my husband couldn't resist to have a picture with Marilyn. We also bought a picture all of us with Barrack Obama who just recently has become President of USA. This pictures now hangs in our home, and we had several time funny with some of our friends believing that it is a real thing. It was also funny to see how mass media gives us quite different view of the celebrities, while most of them are smaller then us - something that you would never say for some of them.

 

For the love of our older child we also visited Science Center NEMO despite warning from some of our fiends that it's not worth visit. Unfortunately they were right. There was such a large crowd of the local school children that we couldn't even come close to some of museum attractions, so we really didn't get the spirit of museum as it was supposed to be. That's pity.

 

 

 

 

DAY 2 (Boat ride, Anne Frank House)

The boat ride through the city channels was attractive both to us and our kids. Our boy was entertaining the rest of travelers, which were not in so large number. It is very attractive to see the city from this perspective and to hear the interesting things about some of the buildings and quarters. There is quite a large number of those boats in the narrow channels, so they had to make way for each other very often to enter the wanted channel.

We continued to explore the surrounding buildings on this day too. This city has quite a few of remarkable museum like Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum. Unfortunately we didn't went to visit some of them since with our kids that could be quite impossible because they would be very bored. Maybe we were wrong.

While we were planning our visit to the Amsterdam we wanted definitely to visit Anne Frank house, so we bought tickets through the Internet in advance, what actually was quite a smart move, since there is lot of tourists visiting house. The house itself is nothing special, but the story around the lives of those people in the uneasy times is something that it's not easy to forget. Our daughter is very mature for its age, so she asked a number of questions about the things going on during the World War II, and it was quite difficult for us to answer all of the questions since even we don't understand some of the inhuman actions of those times. This is really the place that anyone should visit, just to have remembrance of the evil that was done at the time. Especially our youngster. 

 

DAY 3 (Zoo, Planetarium)

We spent this day in local Zoo. the weather was really nice, so we enjoyed visiting Penguins, birds and all other possible animals. The Zoo is quite large and we were quite tired after some time spent walking around. To our great surprise and happiness we found out that there is a planetarium in the Zoo. The spectacular view of the Space left my daughter and myself breathless, but my husband couldn't enjoy his turn, since our little son wasn't found of the dark in the planetarium, so they were enjoying the animals outside.

 

DAY 4 (Kaukenhof, The Hague, Madurodam)

When you read travel books about Netherlands, you will probably see the articles about the very famous Kaukenhof gardens. Since it is not really easy to go there (some 40km) we decided to rent a car to go there. After we have visited it I must admit that it has really earned its reputation, because it's really beautiful. It is said that it is the largest flower garden in the World and that they plant more than seven millions of flowers every year. It is quite difficult to count all the tulips and other flowers too. The masters of breeding and design have created really exquisite look and feel of the garden. There were lot of tourists wandering around, but because of the size we didn't had that feeling of scantiness so it was really enjoyable to walk around.

 

Since we did had a car, we've decided to continue our route to the Hague, where is Madurodam situated. It is our first visit to the miniature park so it was not odd that we were truly impressed by the true look of the buildings, the 

airport and all possible vehicles moving around. Really impressive. The most likable thing for me is a small truck thatgoes to the clogs factory and delivers one small pair to you - but only if you put an Euro in a machine. The older child was really enjoying with us, but the younger kid was to small to understand while we were so happy here. Nevertheless we believe that at least the vast number of colors were pleasant to him. The only think that we didn't like was the rain that came from nowhere, and it became quite cold. Also, the tickets were quite high, but we weren't sorry to pay.

 

 

DAY 5 (Kinderdijk, Edam)

The rented car was still with us so we decided to visit the village of windmills - Kinderdijk. I couldn't imagine visit to Netherlands and not to visit the traditional windmills. This village has quite a number of them, and they do have very different tasks. One is a sawmill, the other is a mill, etc. There is also a traditional clog factory where you can see how they are doing them form the piece of wood until the finished products - all by hands. There is not a fee to walk around the village, but there is a fee to enter any of the windmills. It is very nice place to walk and stay with your kids.

 

In the afternoon we've visited the small city of Edam. Very nice small city, lot of attractive buildings, but most known for a Edam cheese, which you can purchase in several stores around the city. The river (or channel) in the city gives it a special charm. In the vicinity of this town when you climb to the dike you will remember again that you are in Netherlands and that you are under the sea level. This is fascinating and frightening at the same time.

 

 

DAY 6

The day of going back to home. We had a splendid time in Amsterdam and surroundings, and we will surely come back again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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