SPIJKENISSE: A glimpse of the Dutch way of life

The Netherlands is one of my favorite countries! The name literally means “Low Country”, that is, it has been prone to flooding since the beginning of time. But with that problem came the Dutch admirable innovation — they built dams and canals and other flood control systems. The Dutch are not only remarkable for that. They are also known for many other things, from innovative and modern structures, transportation systems and windmills to cheese, wooden shoes and beautiful flower gardens (esp tulips) in summer.

Amsterdam, the capital city
Amsterdam, the capital city

I also had many wonderful Dutch penpals and postcards pals. The Dutch, the majority at least, are very friendly and trustworthy. One of them even hosted my stay in Belgium way back in 2014. And of course, my Dutch uncle and his family made me feel very welcome during my first visit in the country. It was cold and rainy December, and I had to accompany my grandmother from Sweden to Rotterdam, a city in Southern Holland. Courtesy of my aunt and uncle, I managed to get to know more about the Dutch way culture and a little bit of their traditions.

My trip, which lasted for a few days, began flying with KLM, or the Royal Dutch Airlines, from Copenhagen to Amsterdam. The Netherlands is a very small country! It only takes about an hour to travel from the north to the south. My aunt and uncle picked us up from the airport, and off we went to the beautiful little town of Spijkenisse.

Charlie, my aunt and uncle's cat
Charlie, my aunt and uncle’s cat

I guess it is safe to say that the Dutch like cats. My aunt and uncle has two, and a friend who moved to Belgium has one. 😛 Anyway, Spijkenisse is located in the province of South Holland. According to archaeological research, the town has been inhabited for thousands of years, with fishing and hunting on the swamps as the main source of livelihood.

My grandma and I in Spijkenisse
My grandma and I in Spijkenisse

Expect to see lots of water when in the Netherlands! My aunt and uncle took us for a little walk to familiarize us with the town. The roads, woods and parks are very suited for physical activities like running, walking for fitness, biking, and so on. Did you know that the Netherlands is the Bike Capital of the World? I bet it is also very popular in autumn when the leaves start to fall, and in summer!

Spijkenisse
Spijkenisse
Three generations of beauty -- my aunt. my grandma, and me at the back
Three generations of beauty — my aunt. my grandma, and me at the back
Spijkenisse
Spijkenisse
Spijkenisse
Spijkenisse

A little glimpse of the Dutch way of life: The Dutch like it simple and private. Most households have a deep-fryer, and houses have very narrow stairsteps! SO watch your steps! 😀 On new year’s eve, it is tradition to eat the Dutch version of doughnuts — the oliebollen. Deep fried in regular cooking oil, it is a perfect match for your coffee or tea! They also have the concept of gourmet, or the Gourmetten, an individual grilling set where people around the table pick the stuff they like — meat, fish, vegetables — and grill them on the go! (see photo below)

Oliebollen
Oliebollen
A regular and very much needed deep fryer!
A regular and very much needed deep fryer!
Gourmet, the Dutch way
Gourmet, or Gourmetten, the Dutch way

This is just a glimpse of the Dutch way of life and of a regular Dutch town in the south. More about my trip in the entries to come! Meanwhile, here are a few more photos of the beautiful little town! The Netherlands is all rain and wind in December. Cheers! ❤

Spijkenisse
Spijkenisse
Ducks!
Ducks!
Ducks-feeding
Ducks-feeding
Beautiful Spijkenisse
Beautiful Spijkenisse

 

 

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17 thoughts on “SPIJKENISSE: A glimpse of the Dutch way of life

  1. You are so lucky to be able to visit such lovely country. For me, all I can do is to just see it through photos or here it through news. I love how Netherlands keep their environment as clean as possible by encouraging people to use bicycles as their transpo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same thoughts. Hope PH could solve the flooding problems using Dutch innovation and the like. It might be pretty challenging for PH though, considering that the country is also located on a constantly moving continental plate, ie, we get earthquakes, etc.

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  2. Okay, cheese and big windows come first in my mind when we talk about the Netherlands. I was there last spring and the weather was always rainy and dull. Nevertheless, it gives me a unique vibe that keeping me want to come back there again. A small yet indeed an interesting country.

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  3. I’ve always wanted to have a deep fryer. It gives convenience! Amsterdam is such a wonderful place, who wouldn’t love it anyway? 🙂 I only see these places in movies. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to go to this place before I die. lol!

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  4. I think Netherlands is such an underrated place. Lucky you you got to go there! I hope one day I can also travel and visit Netherlands. The sceneries are so calm, and clean. I think I might just actually consider working and residing there!

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  5. The one thing that fascinated me is the cleanliness of Netherlands. I have seen posts here and there featuring Netherlands and yours is the same, I love the sceneries and the architecture. Lucky you that you could go there. Even luckier is Charlie who doesn’t have to work to be there! LOL.

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  6. Netherlands is on my bucket list but I don’t know when I will cross it out because going to Europe is not cheap. I have no idea that Netherlands is a very small country and you only need one hour to travel from North to South. I enjoyed reading you post and seeing all the photos. At least now, I have a glimpse of this country. 🙂

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    1. You’ll find it quite easy to travel within mainland Europe. It’s not as big as it seems. So, if you plan to visit as a tourist. you can cross out a few European countries on your list at once. Once you get here, you can arrange cheap flight with easyjet, ryanair, and so on, or avail a Eurotrail train ticket. 😉

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  7. Thanks for shafing this on your blog. I always envy people who are able to visit places outside the country..haha! I am now day dreaming about tulip fields, windmills and landscape of canals tourists can explore while cycling. Thanks for letting us experience and see Amsterdam in pictures that are more personal than the ones we see in google. 😊

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  8. What a beautiful country. When Filipinos think of U.K., the first places that come to mind are London, Paris and Rome. Netherland is a bit underrated if you ask me but I think it is a must-see and worth adding to anyone’s itinerary. Nice post. 🙂

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