Everyone when they hear Netherlands(or Holland) they automatically think about Amsterdam.

That shouldn’t be a problem, but most of the people stop there. Oh, or the other things: weed, hash, brownies and red district. But that’s still Amsterdam…

Forget about Amsterdam!

This is sad! It’s sad because there’s so much more to Netherlands than Amsterdam. There’s so much beauty, history and magic to be discovered in this country that I might even say forget about Amsterdam.

You read that right, forget about Amsterdam and go explore the rest of this interesting country.

As you probably know I am here for more than 2 weeks already and I learned so many things. I am so eager to find out what the next day will bring to me. Honestly!

70 years ago some places of Netherlands didn’t exist

I’m fascinated by the history of this place and how it was created. Because, if you didn’t know, most of Netherlands was created. The land you see today didn’t exist 200, 100, not even 70 years ago!

Can you wrap your mind around this? 70 years ago some places of Netherlands didn’t exist. That’s no bullshit!

Last week when I was hitchhiking to Leeuwarden a lady who picked me up told me how the places we were driving through didn’t exist 75 years ago. She told me how her parents were pioneers who came there to prepare the land for the future generations.

My god! If that’s not fascinating for you, then I don’t know what is.

Besides Amsterdam there are the windmills. Everyone knows about those goddamn windmills, right? They are everywhere and almost all postcards have them. But do you know more about them?

Netherlands exists because of the windmills

Do you know why people go and study in order to become a millman, voluntarily? Did you know that you have to study to become one?

Neither did I!

Dutch people cherish very much their windmills. You know why? Because thanks to them they have their country. If you knew that, congrats! I just found out.

Basically most of Netherlands exists because of the windmills. They were used to pump out the water from the lakes they created after building the dikes.
The mills were built on the dikes and a millman had to live in the mill with his family in order to operate it so they can dry the new land.

A-MAZING!

This place was built, slowly, with lots of patience mostly by monks in the middle ages. They would build parts of the dike when the tide was low, stop when the tide would rise and continue when the tide was low again. When the dike would be almost finished they would hurry up the construction, when the tide was low, and BAM new land. Incredible!

Some windmills were later transformed into mills that grind cereals, or they were even sold to other people in other parts of the country. They would just take it apart and sell it.

Besides Amsterdam there are small villages all over the place which are so beautiful and interesting.

Take Werveshoof, the village where I’m volunteering at the moment. This small place has so many interesting things around that I didn’t even feel the need to travel far away.

Cycling every day around here, visiting the neighboring villages. Going on a flea-market or for a visit to Medemblik to see the churches they have. Or just a walk on the dike on a windy day to see the kitesurfers having fun in the water.

These are only a few of the things you can do here and they are very exciting to do. You just get carried away and feel the nature.

Here I found a small, magical, teahouse that I saw only in the movies, or on pinterest :)
You have to have a really keen eye to notice it, because it’s hidden between the houses. And if you think the house where you’ll buy the incredibly delicious cakes is enough, then you’ll step into the magic place:the garden where you’ll find yourself a place to enjoy the tasty treats you’ve bought. You have lots of spots to pick from. From the table next to the blackberry wall, or the one next to the herbs bed, to the one facing the field, over the canal.

It’s simply magical!

Or if you like places which are a bit crowded, but not too crowded then you should think about Leeuwarden. This is a student-city where lots of things are happening, but there’s not so much rush around.

Also, did you know there’s a leaning tower in Netherlands too?

Not only the ultra-famous Pisa tower leans. The tower from Leewarden is leaning as well and you can climb on it too!

I have never been interested in history, but recently thanks to the way of my traveling I am getting more and more interested about it.

I had no idea about this whatsoever. Thankfully I was there and I had the chance to go to the top of it too.

Also the canals, buildings and streets are amazing in Leewarden. It’s such a relaxing place to visit. You can just wander around, getting lost, and you won’t even feel the hours passing by.

While you’re there you might learn that Leeuwarden was the capital of the Frisian province of Friesland. Did you know about Friesland? I didn’t!

Did you know that Friesland had, and still has, its own language that is still spoken in some communities?

I have never been interested in history, but recently thanks to the way of my traveling I am getting more and more interested in this.

I know this doesn’t seem much, but in just 2 weeks I managed to discover so much more than Amsterdam(which I visited only for a day – I admit) that I can only imagine how many other places I will miss.

So next time when someone you know, or you, goes to Netherlands, please think about other stuff than weed and Amsterdam!

If you’ve been to Netherlands and know other places than Amsterdam, please share it with us in the comments below.

 

For more photos, check my gallery of Wervershopf/Medemblik and Leeuwarden!