May 15, 2012


 Day 7 in the Netherlands we got together with our relatives and my aunt gave us a tour of Utrecht!

Apparently even parrots ride bike in Holland. ;)

We climbed aboard a long glass tour boat and rode around the canals. 
The tour guide would say a sentence in Dutch, then repeat it in English, and then repeat it again in German! And then he'd move on to the next sentence! I have no idea how his poor brain cooperated. I was very impressed.

Light reflecting and dazzling under the bike-lined bridges.

Water level apartments and restaurants. Soft breeze coming through the open windows. Different languages murmuring and bouncing around inside. 

Dom Tower in the background:

And then we wandered around the city and came to the Domkerk! (Dom Church)
It was strange to walk around a city and then turn a corner and just naturally come upon a building like this.

They started building this church in 1254. Not even kidding. It was finished in 1520. Inside the church there are statues that Martin Luther's followers defaced during the reformation.
So you mean to tell me I walked inside a building that was around during the reformation??
And how did they even build a massive church like this back then?!

Mind = blown.

Crazy gargoyles, huh?

And then we got to climb up the 465 steps to the top of the Dom Tower!  

Side note: see that pink van in the top right hand corner? Later I got a pic of it from ground level, too:

And then we had to tackle the steps again. Steep and winding, claustrophobic and dizzy-making. Winding around and around, no railing, toes poking over the edge of each narrow step. Shoulders brushing the tight walls. It was nerve-wracking and scary and awesome.

The tower we had just climbed. *Whew!*

Cousin picture in the garden!

After that we all went out for pannekoeken, and then wound our way back. 
It was one of my {many} favorite days. <3

May 2, 2012

Bike ride in Holland

The day after Aalsmeer we biked around the area and just explored. There is so much gorgeous scenery, it's ridiculous!
I'm mostly gonna let the photos speak for themselves in this post. Mostly. ;)

Houses with individual bridges over the canals.

Signs of spring: lammetjes! (Little lambs) 

This is very typical Dutch.
These trees are called Knotwilg, and they're everywhere!They're basically willow trees that are cut back every few years. Makes me feel all nostalgic seeing them again...


These trees are also pretty common. I think the bark looks like camouflage. :)

 Knotwilg and canals. *Sigh*

Yes. This is a road. And yes, the paths on either side are for just bikers. Cars get to fight over the single car lane. ;)

Special stoplights just for bikes. 
Are you noticing a bit of a bike theme in these posts??
At most intersections there are three separate paths and stoplights. One for cars, one for bikers, and one for pedestrians.  

Dutch minivans. *Wink*

I once saw one of these bucket things with like, 4 little kids in it. :)

And lastly, perfectly trimmed trees. 
Dutch people know how to garden, yo.

More later!