Hi everyone! This is a lengthy post so I will split it into a Part 1 and Part 2.
I have been MIA for a while. After my exam, I escaped to the Netherlands to join my husband on his PhD conference as he was one of the presenters. We spent about 5 days in the Netherlands. While traveling back to Pittsburgh at the end of our visit, we had a 12+ hour stopover in Iceland.
Cities visited: Eindhoven, The Hague, Giethoorn, Zaandam
Hotels: The Student Hotel, Hampton by Hilton
We spent most of our days in The Student Hotel. I give this place 4/5 stars! It was cute, quirky, free laundry. We played table tennis while we did our laundry. Our last night there they had a pool party for the students. It was wild….we didn’t attend it though as we were our with our cousins having a wonderful time! I deducted a star because the bathroom was open-concept….take a shower and the water was everywhere!
- The Student Hotel, Eindhoven had a budget-friendly restaurant below hotel, it was a hit and miss though. Depended on the chef working in the kitchen. The first day the service was quick, I had a wonderful cheeseless mushroom garlic pizza and huge salad with peanut sauce. The second day I waited for over 45 minutes, ended up getting squid soup (yikes), and then after they apologized for the mistake, they gave me pizza with cheese. By this point I was hangry and walked out of there. At least they got my husband’s order right 😉
- Falafel Masters, Eindhoven really awesome food and many vegan-friendly options on the menu,
- Happy Italy, Eindhoven once again loved their option of pasta and pizzas (just order without the cheese, large pizzas and loved the flavour!
- FOAM, Den Haag, their dessert was so yummy!
- I packed some instant rice packets, Larabars and Cliffbars to keep me from getting hangry
- A Subway had newly opened up and was right across from our hotel, so that was helpful as well
- Schipol airport/train station has a grocery store with vegan/veggie wraps and other items
I was tired from finishing up the exam and flew directly to Toronto. Hubby (from Pittsburgh) would meet me at my parents house in Toronto and then we flew together to Amsterdam airport. We landed and met up with my cousin and her husband that night for dinner. They got married just a few months ago so it was wonderful catching up on our lives over food and drinks!
The next day while Hubby was at his conference, I slept. It was glorious! I don’t sleep at all during flights, so when I got the hotel room all to myself I caught up on my sleep.
The people of Netherlands are BIG on biking. It is very cheap to rent a bike and travel to wherever you want. Also, their train/bus services are great and on time! There was not a problem with language, everyone we met spoke English. If there was something we came across written in Dutch, Google translate was very helpful.
With the remaining time we had, we walked around Eindhoven. I love the canals in just about every place we visited. Next day, took the train and visited The Hague. Walked around the city, the architecture was beautiful! Ate at FOAM. Visited The Peace Palace in the Hague. I left a note on the Peace tree outside the Peace Palace. Walked around the World Peace Flame.
Walked through a beautiful park to reach Madurodam!! The intricate details on the miniature buildings and mini trains running through the park are just adorable! Hubby and I spent the rest of the day there.
By the time we caught the train to our hotel in Amsterdam (Hampton by Hilton near the Amsterdam airport) it was late in the evening. Touring Amsterdam was definitely on the list of to-dos but we had to keep in mind that we had something else planned for the next day early in the morning – Giethoorn, the Venice of the Netherlands! So sadly we had to skip Amsterdam tour for another visit in the future. I had planned to visit the Ann Frank museum in Amsterdam but tickets were sold out!! A word of advice: book early!
More on the next post!!!