by Tanya Vanpraseuth
Holland, a region within The Netherlands, had been one of the most beautiful places I had visited. However, the country’s beauty was unlike the beauty I had seen in Paris and London. Paris and London are known for their exquisite architecture, whereas Holland had a more simplistic beauty, the type of beauty that didn’t need large buildings and golden architecture.
The unique buildings that encompassed the cities, the windmills that glided peacefully through the air, the boats that sailed silently through the water, and the green fields that stretched on and on was unreal.
My first stop during our tour of Holland was the Wooden Shoe Museum where I learned that centuries ago, when the country had been surrounded by water, the citizens took it upon themselves to create wooden shoes that were water resistant. Until this day, the shoes are still popular and have become an iconic symbol of the country.
After the Wooden Shoe Museum, we visited Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. Amsterdam had been a city I had always been set on seeing and it did not disappoint. Amsterdam, similar to the rest of the Netherlands, was beautiful in a simplistic, peaceful way. We took a boat ride through the water and were able to see all the unique and colourful buildings, each different than the rest. While in this city, I had learned that Amsterdam is known for its canals, coffee shops, diverse culture, and as the home of Anne Frank, a victim of the Holocaust during World War II.
Amsterdam had a calming and peaceful atmosphere and the citizens there were lovely. I remember a gentleman walking his dog who stopped to talk to our tour group about how he had resided in Amsterdam for the last sixty years. He described Amsterdam with such beauty and even having been there for just a day I understood why he had lived there for sixty years. It was one of those cities that once you arrived, you didn’t want to leave. I could have explored every tulip-filled street corner and rode through the canal for days on end. And the countryside was just as beautiful.
Another town that was just as beautiful was Volendam, which is situated in North Holland. This little town had been beautiful to explore with the little shops that surrounded the shore, along with the many boats that floated upon the blue water. I enjoyed walking along the shore and sitting upon the grass near the peaceful water. It definitely reminded me of Vancouver’s Coal Harbour and made me feel connected to home.
Overall, my trip to the Netherlands was a lovely experience and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to visit. It was absolutely beautiful and I hope to return one day.