Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Holland was Lekker!

Showing off my tourist credentials...a photo in front of Centraal Station, Amsterdam!

In my previous post 'The Home Advantage', I raved on about how amazing it is to visit friends you met on your travels in their own country.  My trip to the Netherlands was great and fulfilled all the positive things, that come about from this type of travel, I talked about in 'The Home Advantage'.  Just catching up with Mitch and his girlfriend is worth the flight alone, but on top of that they planned a superb weekend of activities to show off their favourite places and some uniquely Dutch aspects of life.  Enjoying drinks at The Boathouse in Almere under the afternoon sun, a (rather wet) drive to the coastal resorts of Zandvoort and Bloemendaal, eating steak at another branch of my favourite chain of steak restaurants Loetjes and sampling the fun and festivities of the annual Amsterdam Gay Pride Boat Parade just added to my visit and further proof that you must play the home advantage, wherever possible.

It came to the point where I felt so familiar with so much about the Netherlands, following my numerous visits and contact with Dutch people, that when we were joined by an American relation of Mitch's family on his first trip to the country, I found myself extolling the virtues of Dutch trains, the Dutch honesty and how much I cannot stand Smartlap music, but love watching Dutch people melt into the cheesiness of this traditional music.

I must add, this is not a one way process.  Mitch has visited the UK on a number of occasions to be met with English food (well, a fantastic Leeds curry) and Yorkshire women calling him 'love' in shops.  So, to Mitch, thank you!  Long may this Anglo-Dutch friendship and cultural exchange continue!

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