The Seaside Village of Marken + other Holland Highlights

• 22 April 2011























Outside of a quick day trip to Holland in 2009, this was our first real foray to the land of tulips and bicycles. I really felt like we experienced the best of Holland in just a few days and it was wonderful. Seeing the tulip fields was a lifetime highlight and watching what appeared to be the entire population on bicycles made me want to pick up a bike...with a basket...and a little cart attached for my kiddos...and ship it home somehow. But alas a vacation with 4 little ones makes for more chaos than bike-shopping/shipping allows. Perhaps another time...

A few highlights and observations about Holland:

* It's interesting how socially unacceptable wearing helmets is in the Netherlands--luckily the bike paths are separate from the roads in most cases, but certainly not all. I kept praying the little children and babies on bicycles stayed protected somehow, despite the lack of protection.

* Everyone rides a bike. This one nuance must affect their culture considerably. I'd love to hear and learn more about it, should any of you have any light to shed on the subject.

* If I lived in a country that took the time to create a separate bike path from the busy road, I think I'd bike more too. Mr. President, forget the railroads (we will never be like Europe...what's done is done) and let's add more bike paths everywhere!

* The country manages to stay quite clean and you rarely see liter, even in urban settings. It really enhanced the natural beauty of the land.

* Holland is quite a flat country...perhaps the bike-riding is a result of the lay of the land?

* The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam was everything I hoped it would be! Added bonus: a Picasso exhibit showcasing his early paintings. His "Blue Period" was my favorite and it was a real treat to see so man of those paintings in one setting. They are hard to find/view.

Can't wait to go back!

Have a wonderful weekend dear readers and thank you, as always, for stopping by today. xoxo

















































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