Ahh, the Netherlands….
Of course, when people think of this country, they’ll probably think most of Amsterdam where it’s full of canals, dams, boats, marijuana smoke-outs, weed brownies, marijuana cafes, red-light district…. a lot of what tourists go there to do: oogle the drugs and stare blindly into the city full of tourists and locals alike.
All the more that there isn’t much to do in Amsterdam unless you’re into that stuff OR you plan on going to 2 museums: the Rembrandt Museum and the Van Gogh Museum. There is also the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House, but once you see the lines sprawling out onto the street corners and you estimate the waiting lines of 4+ hours…. yeah…. pass. If you’re going to go to Amsterdam, then you better buy advance tickets like I did with the Winston Churchill War Rooms. I highly recommend staying in Amsterdam for a day or two before you break the Amsterdam chains and go to the other Dutch cities.
The problem is that all these Dutch cities are the same. They all have a lot of history in them and depending if they got bombed heavily during World War II or not, they will have huge, amazing buildings that are older than dirt. Despite the fact that Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, there are lots of governmental buildings in The Hague. You’ll notice that a lot of the roads are pretty wide which is the result of a lot of bombing runs back in World War II. This allowed for the roads to expand and allow automobiles to drive around the city more easily. That’s why I don’t have any good pictures of Rotterdam – that Dutch city got carpet bombed immensely that nothing of historical significance survived the zombie bombing.
Compared to The Hague and Rotterdam, Ghent which is in Belgium an easy few hours driving from The Hague, did not get bombed much which spared the inner-city which is where most of the tourists go to. Mostly pedestrian or bikers or trams crowd the streets. Not cars. So that shows you the huge differences. Ghent’s two major buildings still stand because it avoided the war bombings.
There is not much to see other than those historical buildings in Ghent. It’s still worth a walk around and get a good bite to eat while in Ghent. Mussels are the big thing in Belgium and in the Netherlands although it’s more pushed upwards by the Belgians for some reason. Get ’em when they are in season! Because when I went to Belgium, mussels were not in season.