It’s hard to believe we’ve been back from our trip to Europe for almost 4 weeks! I’ve finally got some photos for you- we took over 1000 photos! I promise you that I am posting fewer than that…
Our daughter studied at Oxford (which is about 1-2 hours from London) for a semester. When she finished up in April, my husband and I went over to pick her up and do a little driving around. Daughter is an Art History major, so lots of museums were on the itinerary, and we just love beautiful country side so we made to sure to fit in some extra time to just drive around and see the sights. And, of course, there was the FOOD…
We took the train from London to Paris and spent a couple of days there. Our first night, we went up to the top of the Eiffel Tower and saw the city lights:
From Paris, we drove through Belgium into the Netherlands. We visited Kinderdijk to see the windmills- we were actually there a couple of years ago, and liked it so much that we went back to show our daughter. It is soooo beautiful!
From there, we took a short drive to Amsterdam, where we spent a couple of nights. We visited the Van Gogh museum and enjoyed a long leisurely boat ride along the canals:
Since we were visiting Holland in April, we HAD to arrange a visit to the huge tulip gardens at Keukenhof (the gardens are only open 2 months out of the year, in April and May). We spent a day strolling through one beautiful garden after another, it was truly breathtaking:
After Keukenhof, we drove to Delft. This was probably our favorite spot of the entire trip. The architecture is charming and the people quite friendly. In fact, we found that almost everyone in the Netherlands speaks excellent English and are very welcoming of visitors. I highly recommend a visit to the Netherlands if you are considering a trip to Europe… The number of bikes is amazing- everyone bikes everywhere! You have to be very careful that you don’t step out into the bike lane, during the morning rush hour, it seemed hundreds of bikes just whizzed right by us!!
In Delft, we visited the Vermeer museum. Have you read the book or seen the movie Girl with a Pearl Earring? It takes place in Delft, the home of famous 17th century painter Johannes Vermeer. There is a charming Market Square- my husband and daughter climbed to the top of the church tower and got an incredible view of the city!
We also visited the world famous Delft Pottery factory. All of the pottery is painted by hand! The glaze is black until it is fired, where it turns blue. In the factory, there were rows and rows and stacks and stacks of intricately painted pottery waiting to be fired.
Daughter and I even signed up to paint our own pottery! They stenciled on a design for us, and then we painted it with the glaze. It’s all the same color- you just use less glaze and more water for light blue, and paint with more glaze for a darker blue. We painted our plates and left them at the factory. About a week after we got home, the fired and completed plates arrived at our door!
After a couple of days in Delft, it was time to take a scenic drive back down into Belgium. We stopped in Bruges- so charming! It looks like a fairy tale book!
All throughout our trip we had wonderful food:
And then we drove back to Paris, took a train back to London, flew home and collapsed!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour of Europe with me!