Usually when people think of travelling around the world, they think of travelling to major cities: London, Paris, Tokyo, New York. And I’m not going to lie, that’s where I usually go too. But while those cities have amazing qualities of their own, many times the pure culture of an area is found off the beaten path. When I took a trip to Amsterdam, I took a day trip to a small town called Leeuwarden to visit some friends that lived there. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it turned out to be amazing.
We started by eating HUGE pancakes (mine even came with cinnamon ice cream!) on a boat that just stayed docked on the side of a canal. Then, we stumbled across a leaning tower called Oldehove, and we ended up climbing up to the top, which was a struggle, but worth the amazing view of the city.
After wandering through a beautiful local park, we went to a restaurant for a couple hours and just relaxed – definitely my favorite part of the day. We sat on a little picnic table on a bridge over a canal, ordered some drinks, tried some local foods, watched a procession of local Orthodox deacons through the streets, and just talked. We caught up on what was happening in each other’s lives while eating some bitterballen (a rice-and-meat ball) and kibbeling (bite-size pieces of fried fish), and drinking some blueberry soda.
The city wasn’t hustling and bustling with thousands of people. We were probably the only tourists in the city that day. There was no set agenda of MUST SEEs and MUST DOs. Instead, we could just wander and see what adventures awaited us.