It was our last day in Amsterdam, and we had a big long day ahead of us. We bought the ‘Best of Holland’ tour which was essentially two tours. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. The first tour was ‘Volendam, Marken, and Windmills’ and the second was ‘Delft and The Hague’.
We met at my favorite place, right next to these buildings and next door was a store that had every awesome Fanta flavor so of course I had to buy three of them! We were walking in the front of the line to the bus and so we ended up getting the front row seat on the second floor of the bus! We had a 180 view of the drive which was super fun!
Our first stop was a little town next to the lake. All the houses were the same and we walked along the shore to our first stop: the cheese factory!
They had a nice presentation of how the cheese is made and we got to try all kinds of different cheeses. My favorite was the Baby Goat Cheese! They also had different jams and sauces to eat with it, the dill was very good.
They sold us, we bought a combination of 4 different cheeses and a pretty cheese slicer. Ryan’s parents told us about their tours through China and how it was one store after another. We quickly found out that was the same for today. Next was a little stroop waffle shop where they gave a presentation of how to make stroop waffles! The cute old baker asked for a young lady volunteer. I waited a few seconds and then thought, ‘why not?’ and raised my hand. He told me to come up and then walked me through the steps of making a stroop waffle!
You start off with a crumbly dough and press it into the waffle iron. He said you can get them online for 50 euro so I am on the lookout for one to have at home! As soon as you take it out you lay it on the table and cut it in half. You’d think this would be difficult but it was surprisingly easy. You leave the knife at the same spot and you spin your hand around to cut through. He was explaining things and so it started getting cold and made it a bit harder to cut at the end.
Then just pour the caramel (which looked amazing!) and put the top on, but make sure to put it upside down, or 180º. Then you spin and push until it matches — mine wasn’t a perfect circle — and walah! You have a yummy stroop waffle! We took a photo of the recipe and we’re excited to make it again when we find a good waffle iron!
- 500 grams of flour
- 250 grams of melted butter
- 150 grams of white caster sugar
- 50 grams of yeast
- a bit of lukewarm milk
- one eggFilling
- 500 grams of syrup
- 300 grams of dark caster sugar
- 75 grams of butter
- one teaspoon of cinnamon
- In a saucepan, mix all the filling ingredients into a thick caramel.
- Mix the ingredients to make a dough. Make small fist size balls.
- Take one and press into the waffle iron.
- Cut the waffle in half length-wise (keep the knife still and spin your hand to cut through the waffle).
- Take one side and add as much caramel as wanted.
- Take the top and place it the opposite way. Push down slightly as you turn to match the bottom.
- Eat and enjoy!
We had some time to walk around and then met up on a ferry to go to Marken. We pulled in and all the houses were black, so so pretty!!
We walked through the little town to a clog shop where we saw how they make them. It was very very cool, the machines had three revolving knifes: one as the buffer that had a plastic clog showing how deep to cut, one that copied, and one that did the opposite for the left shoe. There were different machines for outside and inside the clog. It was a fun presentation and then they let us walk through the store (of course haha).
Next was the windmills! We had seen windmills here and there throughout The Netherlands but this obviously was the best of all! We got a free tour of one of the windmills. They we making linseed oil from the power of the windmill and we got to walk up to the upper deck to get a nice view!
We went to the bathroom and walked around. We a small bakery shop and then we realized that we were late for the meet up time! This tour was very adamant about being punctual so I ran ahead to the bus and Ryan finished getting the food behind. I got on and everyone was waiting for us (we were only 2 minutes late!) and the bus had started leaving the parking spot by the time Ryan ran around the corner. That was a close one! Luckily it worked out and we made our way back to Amsterdam for the end of the morning tour.
When we got back, we immediately got on the next bus and we on our way to Delft, the city with the blue and white ceramic. We got a tour around the building and saw one of the master paintings doing his work.
They paint with black paint and when fired in the kiln it has a chemical reaction that makes it blue! It was very cool to watch, I love seeing other artists doing their work.
They showed us more of the process and the different steps of making the ceramics. Obviously not all can be hand painted so they use stamps to quicken the process. The stamps can only have about 3-4 different variations of hues while hand painted ones can have dozens of variatoins.
They had done a copy of the Rembrandt ‘Night Watch’ painting in the Delft ceramic. Someone had bought the painting then donated back for the museum. Of course we had time afterwards to walk through the shop, but everything was a little too expensive for us. Plus there wasn’t one that was particularly calling out to me. I did love the little rocking horse and I loved the nativity but we couldn’t spend any more money on souvenirs.
After we left Delft, we had time to walk through a nearby city and get some dinner. The canals there were covered in little leaves which made them very vibrant and fairytale like. We found a spot and got a hamburger to share, plus some Bitterballen. At this point we both were definitely feeling ready to get home, this day had already been very long. But we enjoyed our break and then made our way back to the bus!
We had one last stop, The Hague. It is the main city of the Netherlands where all the government buildings and embassies are. In The Hague there is a miniature museum of all main spots of the Netherlands. We thought it was so random, and definitely for little kids but we had fun walking around. It was actually the perfect way to end our trip, seeing all the different places and spots we had seen through the past week and a half.
We had such an amazing trip. We felt like we fully experienced the Netherlands, especially after this fun long day tour. We are so grateful for another summer trip of traveling. Happy to have this guy with me for all our adventures!