A trip to the Netherlands: 8 cities in less than a week

Last week N.’s cousin, Stratos -who is also our friend and our best man- came to visit us. We had the chance to show him some of our favorite cities in the Netherlands and discover some places that we haven’t visited before. This is mainly a photo post with short descriptions and all photos are taken by Stratos. If you want to know more about him and speak Greek, then visit the “No Head For Math” link at the sidebar of this blog.

Schiedam: That’s where we live. Unfortunately, we didn’t think of charging the camera on day one, when Stratos arrived, but we will take some decent photos and upload them soon enough.

Rotterdam: I was the one who visited Rotterdam with Stratos, as N. was working. That’s how we organized it. Every day one of us would explore a new city with our guest, while the other one would work. The weather helped as well, with the exception of this terrible storm. Rotterdam is the city that most tourists do not like, as it is not as picturesque as the rest of the Netherlands. Personally I like it, because it has an urban character and in a strange way reminds me of my home city, Athens.

(CLICK on the pics, to view them larger)

Rotterdam I

Rotterdam I

Fancy Rotterdam architecture

Fancy Rotterdam architecture

The new Rotterdam station

The new Rotterdam station

Utrech: this is my favorite city in the Netherlands so far. The canals are below street level, a fact which creates very beautiful spaces. The Utrecht train station is really huge and we managed to get lost in there, looking for a specific shop, for quite a while.

The canals of Utrecht

The canals of Utrecht

Utrecht church. You know I don't remember the name. Let's not make a big deal out of it.

Utrecht church. You know I don’t remember the name. Let’s not make a big deal out of it.

That is a great, relatively hidden, little garden.

That is a great, relatively hidden, little garden.

Church?

Church?

Garden within the church/monastery/whatever that awesome building is.

Garden within the church/monastery/whatever that awesome building is.

Hague: We had to go with N. to the Greek Embassy, in order to do some paperwork, for our marriage to be recognized also in Greece. Poor Stratos joined us. After about an hour of waiting for us, he got to see Hague and the nearby beach area, called Scheveningen.

An oh-so-pretty tree in Hague.

An oh-so-pretty tree in Hague.

Chinatown in Hague.

Chinatown in Hague.

Chinatown gate

Chinatown gate

Scheveningen pier far far away

Scheveningen pier far far away

Scheveningen pier close up

Scheveningen pier close up

I love this pic because it reminds me of The Grand Budapest Hotel poster.

I love this pic because it reminds me of The Grand Budapest Hotel poster.

Bright green grass

Bright green grass

Hague center. A picture taken from the tram, I think.

Hague center. A picture taken from the tram, I think.

Delft: We went to the Museum Night, but I have to say that we were waaaaay too tired to do the thing properly. I also had this amazing idea of taking a boat tour (it was included in the museum night pass), where a Dutch writer would read parts of his work. Well, let’s just say that 1 hour of Dutch literature for three people who don’t speak a word Dutch was a bit too much (even though I did understand a little bit). We also visited Prinsenhof, but then we just went home, dead-tired. No after-party for us.

The central square of Delft

The central square of Delft

Central square II

Central square II

All the cute little Delft houses in a row

All the cute little Delft houses in a row

Me! Stratos is very strict when it comes to the presence of people in photos (he hates them, I think) so this one is one of a kind.

Me! Stratos is very strict when it comes to the presence of people in photos (he hates them, I think) so this one is one of a kind.

Leiden: N. went with Stratos to Leiden and I stayed at home, as I had to work. All I know is that they ate A LOT, as there was some kind of fair with various food benches, and that they talked about art.

Leiden canal (or is it a river? Looks quite big to me)

Leiden canal (or is it a river? Looks quite big to me)

Leiden bridge

Leiden bridge

More Leiden stuff. As I said, I was not there so I have no clue what all those pics are about. But they look nice, so...

More Leiden stuff. As I said, I was not there so I have no clue what all those pics are about. But they look nice, so…

Read the previous caption.

Read the previous caption.

Since that is my fourth year living in the Netherlands, ducks and swans are the same as pigeons to me. All our guests get very excited about them though.

Since that is my fourth year living in the Netherlands, ducks and swans are the same as pigeons to me. All our guests get very excited about them though.

Delft again: N. had a meeting in Delft, so he used the opportunity to show Stratos around the TU Delft campus.

These are the notorious "Spaceboxes". They are containers used for student housing. I lived in one of those for two years and loved it, despite many people hating theirs.

These are the notorious “Spaceboxes”. They are containers used for student housing. I lived in one of those for two years and loved it, despite many people hating theirs.

That's where the new students get to live.

That’s where the new students get to live.

One of the campus buildings

One of the campus buildings

The Delft train station at night. I love how the sky looks in this one.

The Delft train station at night. I love how the sky looks in this one.

Amsterdam: Stratos wanted to visit the Van Gogh museum, because he missed it last time he was here. He went to Amsterdam with N., while I was at home, preparing for a housewarming dinner with friends.

Again, much like in the case of Leiden, I am not sure where these pics where taken, as I was not there.

Again, much like in the case of Leiden, I am not sure where these pics where taken, as I was not there.

I love the contrast in this one.

I love the contrast in this one.

I don't know. But it looks like a spaceship.

I don’t know. But it looks like a spaceship.

Gouda: I haven’t been to Gouda before, but I have to say that it was waaaaay too peaceful when we visited it. Maybe it was because of the weather. Maybe it was a holiday that we were not aware of. I don’t know. Still, it was quite charming.

I am not sure why, but this really reminds me of a playmobil castle me and my brother used to have. And I love it.

I am not sure why, but this really reminds me of a playmobil castle me and my brother used to have. And I love it.

See how cool it looks?!

See how cool it looks?!

A typical Gouda street

A typical Gouda street

This church was hidden in-between buildings

This church was hidden in-between buildings

This must be the most decadent and neglected outdoor mini art exhibition I have ever seen, but it looks dreamy as well in a strange way.

This must be the most decadent and neglected outdoor mini art exhibition I have ever seen, but it looks dreamy as well in a strange way.

That's my favorite pic of Gouda, with all the narrow facades defining the curve of the street.

That’s my favorite pic of Gouda, with all the narrow facades defining the curve of the street.

Volendam: This is an old fishing village. To go there you have to go to Amsterdam and then take the bus and ride it for about 20 minutes. If you have a week to spend in the Netherlands, it is worth a visit.

That's where you take the bus from, in Amsterdam. It is the back side of the train station.

That’s where you take the bus from, in Amsterdam. It is the back side of the train station.

I love it when green grass meets the sea, because in Greece all the grass dries out during the summer, so this is not a common sight.

I love it when green grass meets the sea, because in Greece all the grass dries out during the summer, so this is not a common sight.

A Volendam gate/bridge

A Volendam gate/bridge

Take a walk in the sea

Take a walk in the sea

Can you see where all the Dutch and Flemish painters found their light inspiration?

Can you see where all the Dutch and Flemish painters found their light inspiration?

On the way home. The end of a trip always has some melancholy attached to it.

On the way home. The end of a trip always has some melancholy attached to it.

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