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Checking Off the List: Naarden

February 14, 2012

A frozen Keizesgracht right outside my front door = too cold for me to go outside

I don’t know if you could tell in my last post, but it’s cold here.  Like, I can’t feel my face or my legs or my fingers or my brain cold.

Every once in a while I look through that list I posted (you know, the one over there on the right) and think about all the fun adventures and experiences I should embark upon.  I have about ten months left in Amsterdam, so I should really get started.  I should put on another sweater, an extra pair of socks, and get out there- like all those motivational pins on Pinterest tell me to do.  But then I poke a finger out of the nest of blankets and warmth I’ve made around myself and I decide another episode of Downton Abbey might be a better idea.  Suffice it to say, I’m working on this “lack of motivation brought on by seriously cold weather” issue.

Babysteps.

I managed to cross one thing off, however.  A few weeks ago, I boarded a train to Naarden, about 20 minutes outside of Amsterdam.  Narden is on my list for two reasons: my very good friend Claire recently moved there to start work with a new family, and it’s a freaking star fort.

What is a star fort, you ask?  A star fort is a freaking FORT in the shape of a STAR.  Google maps that buisness because it’s pretty cool.  Here, I’ll even link to it for you:  STAR FORT!!!  There now, I hope you are as sufficiently impressed as I was.

Goats! Goats! Do you see the goats?

Needless to say, Naarden has a history deeply rooted in all things war-related.  Enter the Naarden Vestingmuseum, where one can wander along the moat and hillsides punctuated with the occasional cannon, take pictures of goats, and leave sufficiently freaked out by animated mannequins and destination-less, creepy, dark tunnels.  It may be one of my favorite places in Holland.  I am not joking.

All in all it was a beautiful place to photograph and fun to just wander around with a friend I hadn’t seen in far too long.  After the Vestingmuseum we stumbled upon an equally “creepy yet really cool” spot: De Oude Markt.  It’s this really tiny shop literally packed from floor to ceiling with old, found things.  Old ceramic Dutch houses on the book shelves, tea pots hung from the ceiling, Hindu statues, and just about anything else you could possibly imagine- each with a unique and mysterious story.

Naarden certainly captured my imagination and I’d love to go back to do some more exploring when it’s a bit warmer.  I hear there’s  castles in the area, I’d like to go indulge my princess complex a little bit.

PS- I also tried rijsttafel!  It’s basically when you fill every square inch of your table with Indonesian side dishes and turn into a glutton and throw away all of your pants that don’t have an elastic waist band.  It was delightful and delicious and something I wouldn’t mind making a habit out of.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pictures, but I had to provide proof!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2012 2:38 pm

    Great post! I loved the pictures!

    • March 30, 2012 3:21 pm

      Thanks Michelle! I’ve enjoyed perusing all of your travel adventures. I’m going to have to plan another holiday!

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