I’m no newbie to the Netherlands. I have been visiting for the past four years and even lived in Amsterdam for a short while. However, 3 months back home in Los Angeles made me think of all the things I miss about Dutchland! Here is a short list containing 3 things I love about the Netherlands (because 20 was too long to write about).
All of the Castles
When considering visiting the Netherlands most visitors think of windmills, tulips, or the Red Light District. But did you know that this country is home to 300 or so medieval castles? These impressive-looking structures were built in the Golden Age during the 17th and 18th centuries. They are open to the public and definitely worth a visit.
I had the chance of visiting the beautiful Kasteel de Haar since it is located in Utrecht. It truly looks like a castle from a fairytale and is one of the largest and most visited castles in the Netherlands. The gardens are itself are so picturesque and great for a sunny stroll. Also, Muiderslot is very compelling to see in person. I am looking forward to the weather getting warmer so I can visit these castles soon! Next on my list is the lovely Kasteel Ammersoyen!
Biking is a way of life
Being from Los Angeles where distances are far, the freeway system is congested and the primary mode of transport is by car. I am over the moon to be back in a country where cycling is an important part of the culture. In fact, there are more bicycles than residents here! It’s just way more efficient this way. When living in Amsterdam it was only a six-minute cycle from home to the workplace. In LA it can take up to 30-45 minutes to travel a distance of two miles. It is also nice to bike in protected lanes whereas in Los Angeles I have a higher chance of getting run over.
I’m thankful to be living in a city where biking is a way of life, promoting healthier well-being and a better environment. Not to mention, cycling beats the traffic and is totally free!
Snacks & more Snacks!
Dutch cuisine has a variety of delicious sweet and savory snacks that you must try! They say that one of the best ways to get to know a culture is through its food. Every day I crave biterballen! These deep-fried balls filled with meat and served with mustard are so comforting (and addicting). Find any Dutch bar and you’ll be certain to see them on the menu. How about some Kibbeling? This is a popular Dutch snack containing pieces of fish that are deep fried in oil. You can eat them alongside fries and they are super yummy.
Other snacks I love are Poffertjes, warm stroopwafels, Appeltaart, rookworst. Honestly, this list can go on forever so watch out for a separate post containing the entirety of my favorite Dutch snacks.