After realising that crossing the channel, passing through France and driving through Belgium would be quicker than my semesterly commute to St. Andrews, it seemed high time to visit the Netherlands. Amsterdam is a staple destination on any St Andrews students’ travel bucket list, but there is so much more to explore than just that one city.
1. Travel by Water
Holland is famous for its waterways, and travelling via the canals is the perfect way to experience the country. We hired a boat and spent a fortnight journeying from Vinkeveen through towns like Gouda, Leiden and Utrecht. Travelling in this manner provides the perfect combination of relaxation and excitement. You can laze in the sunshine as the world goes by, and each day you are presented with a new perspective.
2. Sprinkles Everyday
Having been told that the Dutch eat chocolate sprinkles on their bread for breakfast, I was determined to do likewise. Paired with white chocolate or speculoos spread, this was the perfect way to commence a morning, albeit highly addictive! Chocolate sprinkles need not be limited to breakfast either, as they make wonderful ice cream toppings!
3. At the Zoo
If travelling by boat, moor up outside the city and take the train into Amsterdam. Amsterdam Zoo is a must see. It was the prettiest zoo I have ever visited, with perfectly kept hedges and pathways, and little animal statues in the various enclosures. The zoo is just around the corner from the ‘Resistance Museum’ (also well worth a visit), so it is perfect if you are in need of some cheering up!
4. Take a Bike
If you enjoy cycling, and are not a fan of hills, then this country is undoubtedly the one for you. The road’s are wonderfully flat! Bikes can be easily rented in most places. If you are travelling by boat you can bring some with you, and this is the perfect way to explore the countryside inland.
5. Dille & KamilleDuring my explorations I encountered the prettiest homeware store I have ever seen. ‘Dille and Kamille’ specialise in environmentally friendly housewares, and the stores stock everything from old fashioned children’s toys to herbs and spices. It’s the perfect shop to browse in, with its library of recipe books and perfectly arranged linen store. I narrowly resisted buying up the whole establishment, but the canvas shopping bag made a very practical souvenirs!
Images courtesy of the author.