This weekend the weather finally made a turn toward Spring and Hans and I wanted to get out of Lisse for a while. We decided we would spend a day in Alkmaar, which is a mid-size city north of Amsterdam. We headed out on Saturday morning, but as we were on our way, Hans asked me: “Do you want to go to Alkmaar or do you want to go someplace cute?” Well, um ok. That was unexpected, but I guess I know now how Hans feels about Alkmaar! 🙂 “Someplace cute???” I replied, with a bit of a question in my voice. Hans seemed to like that answer a lot, and so off we veered off toward De Rijp, leaving Alkmaar for another day.
De Rijp is really and truly a very cute little Dutch village. It’s peaceful and sleepy, the sort of place that puts you immediately at ease. It’s popular with the Dutch, who like to go there to bike through the narrow streets, take boats out on the canals for fishing, and to ice skate in the winter. The center of the village has few shops. It’s mostly just houses, many made of wood, rather than brick or stone, and many sitting on small canals. We spent several hours strolling through the charming streets. We stopped in a restaurant called “Oude Jans” (Old Jans) for coffee and then popped into another restaurant where I finally tried my first Dutch pancake (the Dutch say they invented pancakes, but American ones are much better). All in all, it was a really nice day. I’m ready for more days strolling through the streets of De Rijp.
But, for now, it’s back to America. I’m heading to the U.S. for two weeks to visit friends and family, and to finally do something with my car. I won’t be posting while I’m away. When I return, the Keukenhof will be open. That means the fields should be bursting with tulips in just a few short weeks!