Day 2 of spring break–we left the lovely city of Trier and drove to The Netherlands. Our plan was to visit Madurodam, a miniature city in The Hague, then go to our hotel in Amsterdam.

Note:  The name “Holland” is sometimes used to refer to the whole country of The Netherlands.  However, this is not technically correct.  There are two provinces in The Netherlands, North and South Holland, that together are, well, Holland.  Amsterdam is in Holland (so are The Hague and Haarlem), so technically we did go “to Holland” for spring break.



When thinking of Holland, what comes to mind?  Wooden shoes, windmills, tulips, Dutch cheese.  Oh, and the boy who stuck his finger in the dike.  Sure enough, the minute we crossed the border from Germany into The Netherlands, we saw some windmills.

Okay, so those weren’t exactly the windmills I had in mind.  We did see some others a bit later.

We found Madurodam without too much trouble, barring horrendous traffic in The Hague.  Madurodam is sort of an amusement park–it’s a tiny city built on a 1:25 scale.  It includes scale models of a number of famous sights and buildings in The Netherlands, as well as some typical Dutch scenes not specifically modeled after a real place.  It’s a cute little place; they give you a booklet explaining each exhibit so you have an idea what you’re looking at.  It was a warm day, a little hazy but the sun came out while we were there.

Here’s where we got to see some wooden shoes…

Also some daffodils (apparently April is better for daffodils and May is better for tulips)…

And some more windmills…

Oh, and the boy with his finger in the dike!


Actually, I found out that whole "finger in the dike" story is NOT a Holland legend. The most famous version was from an American story (Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates). It isn't even a Dutch story, although it's set in Holland. I guess it's like Edelweiss in Austria. This kid isn't even doing a very good job; the water is still coming out!

We spent a couple hours or so there, then drove to Amsterdam to check into our hotel.


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