Holland Countryside

My family and I are on a three week getaway in Europe and have started our trip in my favorite place; Amsterdam!

Our day began with a delicious breakfast in the city of Amsterdam, then we boarded the ferry to head to the countryside. A short and free ferry ride across the water straight from the center of the city to Amsterdam-Noord, where we then hopped on bikes to ride through some of Holland’s most beautiful landscapes.

We saw original Dutch houses made from wood (to keep from sinking into the wet ground). Some were painted white while others were painted dark blue or black. The dark ones were a sign that the family who built it owned at least one ship, because they would use the leftover paint for their house since it was cheaper. The white houses were generally painted with cheap primer and showed that the family were farmers.

Maddie lives in the Netherlands so she was able to come spend the weekend with us, and Sydney is studying abroad in Rome this summer!

Aren’t my parents the cutest?

We continued riding until we happened upon this adorable street with a small cafe situated right in a kind woman’s living room. She baked delicious desserts herself and served up yummy tea to keep us warm.

After such a nice break, we got back on our bikes and continued on our way. This time we were heading towards one of the town’s popular towers.

We climbed many flights of stairs to the rooftop of this famed tower designed by Rembrandt himself. It didn’t have a top like most clocktowers of the time. The locals claim it’s because a lightning strike destroyed it, but others say it’s just because they ran out of money. Regardless, the view is just breathtaking.

The stairs were tight and extra steep, so I was pretty grateful when we made it back down in one piece. But the view was well worth it! By now, we’d been biking for a few hours, but were now entering our biggest trek to the windmill…

Past some of the cutest livestock first, though.

We made it to the one and only original windmill left standing today built in 1792 by a woman entrepreneur who was a very successful businesswoman at the time, which was pretty much unheard of in those days. Go female power!

From there, we biked back to the ferry and made our return to Amsterdam central. It was such a lovely day with perfect weather and an exciting biking-filled adventure!

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