Apr23

2016 Netherlands

Red Light District, marijuana brownies, wooden clogs, Gouda cheese – just one of the many things that come to mind when one mentions the Netherlands… As any American is aware – most Europeans in general are fairly liberal when it comes to things like sex and other subjects that may be fairly taboo here in the states. But what i noticed between my last visit and this one is that the Red Light District is shrinking and while i did smell as much Marijuana as i had on my previous trip around the streets – there also appeared to be less pot shops compared to last time. So i wonder if these industries are starting to wear themselves out. That could make for an interesting social study… Now with the controversial and popular subjects out of the way… I’d like to speak about the real Netherlands, not just Amsterdam. On this trip with our friends Heather and Paul, we visited Enkhuizen, Alkmaar, Medemblick, Hoorn, Haarlem, Hague, Delft, Rotterdam, Leiden, Lisse, Gouda, Schiedam, , Utrecht, Maastricht, Valkenburg and yes, Amsterdam. Our goal was to see wide swaths of the country, beyond the tourist traps and get into the little towns and witness everyday life.   Enkhuizen Enkhuizen is a nice little seaside town in the Northern Netherlands. It has a nice shopping area, good little cafes and excellent restaurants. This town is pretty cool in that you can really disappear from the hustle and bustle here. It seemed like there was a small contingent of German Tourists here, but otherwise – appeared to be mostly locals. We stayed at a really nice hotel, Hotel De Koepoort. Which translates to “The Cow Port”. Amazing little hotel in Enkhuizen, it could hold its own against any 5...