Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Netherlands!! Day One: Getting there!

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O ur rental-car journey to the Netherlands with Sarah and Cliff was pretty uneventful. One stop somewhere for absurdly expensive drinks and soon we were beyond the Ruhrgebiet and crossing the Dutch border!

Everything was smoothly GPS-guided until we hit Eindhoven. A truly massive road construction project there totally messed us up. We failed to notice a road sign in Dutch telling us to turn off the GPS as we approached Eindhoven! All the roads are completely different now. We ended up stopping at a gas station for a map. The maps cost more than we wanted to pay, but a super-friendly guy working there just told us what roads we needed to take to get back on track for our destination, The Hague. The bathroom attendant there was also really nice so I was starting to get excited that maybe the Netherlands were going to be totally full of really pleasant helpful people!! (Silly because it's based on a tiny sample size - but the power of first impressions is pretty amazing.)

We reached The Hague around dinnertime and checked into our apartment rental. It was a little on the expensive side but we booked late so went with it, and it turned out to be awesome. It was conveniently located near restaurants and grocery stores on a cute little brick-paved street and had two bathrooms, a big kitchen, free wireless, and a washer/dryer! There was also a free bottle of wine, but it turned out to taste like bell peppers/salad/grass or something. So I'm not sure that part was a plus. (We DID manage to polish it off.) To the right is our view from the cute little apartment balcony.

For dinner, we just walked around the corner to an Indonesian restaurant we found on Google Maps. The idea was that the Netherlands must have great Indonesian food due to having colonized there, much like the great Indian food in the UK. In our case, this turned out to be pretty much true. The food at Dulang was great, and we also noticed later that some Indonesian foods, like sate (sp? satay in English?), have become standard and are on the menus even at non-Indonesian restaurants.

Back at the apartment, we opened a bottle of wine (we brought some from our stash) and planned for the next day. Coming soon: Delft and Gouda!!

5 comments:

  1. Hope you had time to explore The Hague. I've been there twice (friend from US lives there with a Dutchie and he showed us around).

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  2. I love the idea of staying in a rental apartment -- we did that in Warsaw and it made us feel less like tourists. Mmm, Indonesian food. I had no idea of that connection until our last trip to Amsterdam -- yum!

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  3. We went to the Netherlands last May and there was horrid construction traffic in Eindhoven then as well. I think it delayed us at least 45 minutes. (The whole trip from Heidelberg to Katwijk [near The Hague]) took something like 8 hours.

    We loved our trip there despite the traffic and long drive. We've been trying to figure out when we can make it that way again. The people were very nice and we had great food experiences. Glad you guys had fun as well!

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  4. Great I love the idea of staying in a rental apartment -- we did that in Warsaw and it made us feel less like tourists.......

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