City Parks: An Oasis of Calm in the CityHeather Tucker, Monday, 16 September 2013
I love the city. There is something about the hustle and bustle that I find inspiring. But even I can appreciate that every once in awhile there is a need for a little bit of peace and quiet. Luckily, the cities of the Netherlands have kept this in mind. Amsterdam has Vondelpark, Rotterdam has Het Park and I headed off to Zuiderpark in The Hague to see just how well it could do at recharging my batteries.
A bike tour through the real Good and Green AmsterdamAmber el Zarow & Harold Verhagen, Wednesday, 28 August 2013
If you only have 24 hours to visit Amsterdam, cycling is the way to go. Dutch cycles and cyclists are on top of the traffic hierarchy. Good and green establishments are taking over Amsterdam and are winning the hearts of both locals and tourists. Everyone you will meet during this tour has a good story; don't be afraid to ask; the Dutch are proud and love to share their passions with tourists.
Indulging in Cheese Samples at a Dutch Cheese FarmHeather Tucker, Monday, 1 July 2013
We had been on the road for about an hour when on our left hand side a large farm came into view with the words ‘cheese’ and ‘clogs’ crafted into the roof. “I think that might be it”, I announced to my friend who was sitting in the passenger seat.
Step Inside the Dutch Windmills on Nationale MolendagHeather Tucker, Monday, 3 June 2013
There are around 1000 old fashioned windmills in the Netherlands according to the VisitHolland website. And as icons go, the windmills tend to steal the show.
Finding a windmill in the Netherlands is easy. You will spot them from the motorway, in the middle of many of the older cities and on location at the famous Kinderdijk. Getting inside one, however, is a little trickier. Luckily, on the second Saturday and Sunday of May, the Nationale Molendag allows you access to a large number of these historical power machines.
Explore the Dutch MarketsHeather Tucker, Sunday, 12 May 2013
Antiques, bric-a-brac and books in Delft on Thursdays and Saturdays (April 12th - October 13th). The Albert Cuypmarkt, the Flower Market and the Waterlooplein Flea Market in Amsterdam. Tuesday and Saturdays in Rotterdam. The Haagse Markt in The Hague.
Markets. There are plenty of them all over the Netherlands. Whether you are looking for fresh produce, exotic spices or someone else’s treasures - you’ll be able to find it. But there is one place in the Netherlands that has it all in one place. A location well known to locals but a little less familiar to tourists.
Searching for Flowers at the World Famous KeukenhofHeather Tucker, Thursday, 18 April 2013
It has been a cold year in the Netherlands. As I type this, less than 12 hours before the start of April, the sky outside is grey, the temperatures are chilly and there was even a spot of snow earlier. This isn’t the spring most people were imagining. It’s not the spring our flowers were expecting either.
A walk on the beach in ScheveningenUlrike Grafberger, Tuesday, 16 April 2013
When there’s a real storm and as a southern German, I’d like to curl up with a good book on the sofa, a Dutchman would prefer to go to the beach for “lekker uitwaaien” (a breath of fresh air). What doesn’t work for me at all is “lekker” (breath of) and “uitwaaien” (fresh air). Because “uitwaaien” (fresh air) means going to the beach in at least a cold force 6 wind with sand flying everywhere. So “Uitwaaien” also means nothing other than having the wind swirling round your head.
How do the Dutch live?Ulrike Grafberger, Thursday, 11 April 2013
To be honest: looking into someone else’s living room and seeing how they live is very interesting. And in Holland, you don’t even have to peer through the keyhole to do this. No, the curtains in the houses are usually wide open so that you don’t even need to do anything other than shamelessly cast a glance into the domestic idyll as you pass by.
Carnival: Party Like You Have the Keys to the CityHeather Tucker, Thursday, 28 March 2013
There are a few occasions when arriving in the Netherlands can be a bit...well...unusual. Take for example noon on the first Monday of each month. This is the time when the air raid sirens, now used for public emergencies, are tested. Or New Year’s Eve when the whole country sounds like it is exploding because of the “home” fireworks which are temporarily legal. And then there is Queen’s Day (soon to be known as King’s Day), where everyone and everything is covered in orange and taking part in a gigantic party.
Easter in HollandUlrike Grafberger, Thursday, 21 March 2013
I've been asking around: Marielle is inviting friends and family over for an Easter brunch. Susan's going to church first, then to the Easter market with the whole family. Jaap's going to listen to the St Matthew Passion and Janneke's looking forward to a trip to the furniture shopping mall. Just a minute – looking forward to what?
5 Tips for Visiting Volendam as a GroupHeather Tucker, Tuesday, 5 March 2013
It was bitterly cold when we arrived in Volendam. Despite the temperatures being already low, it was the wind sweeping in off of the Ijsselmeer that was the real culprit.
We weren’t going to let it deter us though. We were here for historical costumes, cheese, fish and traditional Dutch scenes. Because in this old fishing village, playing the role of the tourist is what it is all about – and as a group is even more fun.
With around 22,000 inhabitants, Volendam is not a town you are likely to get lost in. But to ensure that you get the most out of your time, here are five (group) activities to add to your plans:
Holland’s skating traditionUlrike Grafberger, Tuesday, 5 March 2013
It’s strange: in a country known for its maritime climate and the mild winters associated with it, skating is one of the most popular sports. Although people settle for artificial ice and ice rinks, the Dutch, however, find true happiness on natural ice: on frozen canals, lakes and ponds, streams and channels.
So where does this love of ice and silver blades come from? I go looking for it and discover that there is even a schaatshistoricus in Holland, an historian whose specialism is the history of ice skating. His name is Marnix Koolhaas, and he willingly and kindly provides me with information.
A Romantic Meal for a Romantic DateHeather Tucker, Thursday, 14 February 2013
Love is in the air, even here in Holland. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, flowers are being selected and small gifts are being wrapped.
In general Valentine’s Day is not celebrated with as much gusto as in many other countries but a romantic meal out is becoming more and more popular.
Escape to the CountryHeather Tucker, Sunday, 9 December 2012
I tend to over pack for trips and my visit to a Belvilla holiday home was no exception. As I filled the car with clothes, food and bags of things I wanted to get done – both relaxing things and work related ones – I had visions of my new neighbours laughing as I attempted to drag everything inside. What I didn’t know was that those neighbours would be non-existent.