Saturday, August 2, 2008

Belgium & The Netherlands - Part 2

We set out from Brugge and headed toward a little coastal city in the Netherlands someone had recommended to Steve - Noordwijk - try saying that five times fast. As we pulled into town, we instantly caught the "California beach town" vibe and quickly changed into flip flops and short sleeves and shorts.

We took a nice long stroll on the beach and enjoyed being near the water (it's been TOO long!) It wasn't quite what I would call "California beach warm" but it was a welcome change of scenery nonetheless. It was quite windy so there were lots of kites flying and sunbathers had these orange contraptions up to block the wind.

Steve was ambitious enough to put his swim suit on though it never got wet. I stuck the very tip of my pinky toe in the water so that I could report back to you that yes, the North Sea is in fact, cold. We did a little window shopping, ate an early dinner at a little Greek joint - very friendly and tasty - and headed on to Haarlem where we would stay for the night. We intended to go out and enjoy the nightlife in Haarlem which is supposed to be quite colorful. Unfortunately, due to spending half the night in Brugge awake - killing a few dozen mosquitoes - we were something less than enthusiastic about getting back out once checked into our hotel. We called it an early evening and enjoyed a good night's sleep in our air-conditioned hotel room.

The next morning we took the train into Amsterdam. We had a fairly long walk from the train station to our hotel so we got to see a good portion of the city right away. Lots and lots of canals and bicycles and fashionable people. Very European.

We toured the Anne Frank house - the only museum we allowed ourselves the whole weekend. Truly fascinating and sobering to see the house first hand. We liked Amsterdam a lot, somewhat surprisingly. I was expecting it to be a little licentious and the vast majority of it is not at all. It's a really beautiful, fun, laid back city.

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