May 2, 2014
Last weekend, we had the privilege of staying in one of Europe’s most infamous cities. But this blog is about a bit more than that. The Netherlands in general, at least to many Americans, is synonymous with Amsterdam. Which, in turn, makes you think of a crazy “Eurotrip”-esque adventure. But beyond that is a stunning and enchanting city, full of some of the happiest and genuine people you’ll ever meet.
Our first stop in the Netherlands was in Groningen. Pulling up, it looked like any other small town. The tallest building in town was the hotel we stayed in, and surrounding it was a hospital and a community of houses. Shortly after settling in, we went to find some food and came across a group of 10-15 college students in the middle of an alley singing around a piano they had wheeled out from one of their houses. I felt like I had just stepped into a “Mumford and Sons” music video.
A few days later we ventured to Amsterdam, where I quickly boarded a boat and took a tour through its many canals. Groningen did it’s job of introducing me to the Dutch people. Amsterdam introduced me to true bohemian nirvana. There were people every where riding bikes along the canals, ‘Weeping’ Willow trees hung casually over the water, culture oozed out of every inch of the town, and no where did I see life on the verge of mayhem. Everyone just enjoys their piece of paradise. And not once did I feel like I was intruding as a tourist. Even as I melted into the swarm of sightseers in the plaza of the Rjiks(which holds some of Remberants greatest works) and Van Gogh museums.
A few hundred words can’t explain the wonder or graciousness of this small country, but I don’t think I will remember any place with such reverence… At least until next week.
All photos © Micheal Wood
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