Remembering the Netherlands.
the coffee shops
the red light district
the sex museum...
the bike rides
being able to drive to another country in a few hours
daggy looking exterior apartments with gorgeous fit outs inside
and the pop up male toilets in the city square at night time.
Compare the Netherlands to my home suburb and it's like comparing a pancake with a piece of home made rockyroad.
A holiday to visit friends in the Netherlands about 10 years ago saw us getting to know the way the locals live, have fun and see their own country. We did the touristy must-do's also, but some of the most fun came from getting out of town.
One day we hopped on a ferry, hired a few bikes, and rode around Texel island. Over 50km's on a hire bike doesn't make your bum very happy. But the scenery and local tourist feel did make me very happy. Picnicing on a deserted beach, riding through fields of yellow tulips, popping in to the locals shops. Not seeing another international tourist the whole day. I felt like we had insiders knowledge, and an experience that was truly special.
Doing this sort of thing, visiting where the locals holiday, is becoming a done thing on our holidays. Spain too, saw us down the bottom of the country, at Matalascanas in off season. To the point where, after a few nights, we got kicked out of our hotel due to it's closing to be cleaned and de-bugged. And more recently, even with kids, we travel the backstreets of our destination. More fun, more knowledge, more locals, more experience.