In celebration of my 50th birthday we spent 12 days traveling through the countries of The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Our trip started with 4 days in the amazing city of Amsterdam.
We have seen and heard so much about this city that we felt like we knew exactly what to expect. It was so much more!
Quaintness around every corner, friendly, open-minded people with an amazing history, resilience and willing to make sacrifices for the greater good of their country and fellow citizens...very refreshing! Loved, loved, loved it!
We moved along by train on Europe's efficient train system...a day trip here, a day trip there...no worries, no hassle, always on time.
Day tripped to Haarlem from Amsterdam via quick 20 minute train ride.
Then, en route to Brussels as our next base for 3 nights, we hopped off the train for a few hours in Antwerp, Belgium.
The next day, we took a comfortable 3 hour train ride to my 54th country with an easy day trip to Luxembourg!
Then we explored the big, bustling city of Brussels. It is a very typical, large European city, but one of the most special parts was the Grand Place (the Main Square).
Not only does it have spectacularly gorgeous and ornate buildings ringing the entire square, but there was not ONE piece of scaffolding in sight (extremely rare in these big cities...there's always some sort of construction going on!)
Then, one of the highlights of the trip and where I spent a most memorable 50th birthday...in Bruges!
It was nearly quaintness overload here! Just like you see in movies and postcards but right before your eyes! It really is a magical, sweet little town.
During our 3 nights in Bruges we took another day trip to the town of Ghent, 25 miles south of Bruges.
This was a favorite of ours! Beautiful canals, quiet, quaint, picturesque lanes but a bit of hustle and bustle, too. Just our kind of place!
We headed back into the Netherlands to the small town of Delft for our last 2 nights.
Just 10 minutes outside Delft is the city of Rotterdam.
After a week and a half of quintessential historic and charming old cities, Rotterdam offered us something completely different.
The Nazis destroyed nearly the entire city and when the time came to rebuild, Rotterdammers decided to start from scratch and build a boldly modern city.
It has a totally different vibe from Amsterdam and the rest of the places we visited…cool change of pace.
We ended our time in a lovely “mini-Amsterdam” town called Delft, Netherlands.
Awesome, awesome trip! Friendly people, so easy to get around by the incredibly efficient European train system, everybody spoke English (well, the French speakers wanted that effort put in first where you greet them in French THEN they’ll speak English to you - haha!)
Thanks to all of you who take the time to look at my photos! It is my passion and it’s nice to know others might actually be interested.
The Anne Frank House - This is one of those experiences that stays with you. It is almost impossible to comprehend what happened to the people who lived in the space you are standing in. An audio guide leads you through the many rooms of the house. Especially moving for us was being in the room Anne slept in, seeing photos she had glued to her walls that brought her a bit of joy. I felt humbled to be able to be in that space to reflect on the lives of the people that endured such horrors. If you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, this is a unique experience and one that should not be missed.