My mother has been inspired to write a post about her journey in Europe. A first time writer, she decided to use my blog as a platform so she can share her story with her friends. This post is in Chinese, translated to English by me (sorry it’s not perfect, translation is not my forte!).
From Australia we flew to Taipei for a month to celebrate Chinese New Year. Then, we flew to the Netherlands for our river cruise. In the Netherlands, we took river boats on the canals, visited the home of the windmills and saw how they worked, there were also clogs and beautiful townships. In Belgium, there were grand churches everywhere, small towns had streets lined with cobble stones and traditional, old European houses on both sides of the road.
A lot of land in the Netherlands have been reclaimed from the sea and are lower than sea level. Many of its cities by the coast are named after ‘Dams’, such as AmsterDAM, RotterDAM as dams are important in the Netherlands to avoid floods for hundreds of years. The windmills are also used to pump water back into the sea.
Windmills are not really used any more, mostly for tourism. Some of the windmills are inhabited and their interiors like mini castles, and are equipped with facilities required to live.
Towns in the Netherlands are filled with small houses and cafe lined streets, which then places their tables and chairs along the walls which is perfect for me to sit and while away the day with a cup of coffee.
The annual Tulip festival was on when we were in the Netherlands, it was extremely crowded but there were still plenty of space to move around and admire the flowers leisurely. The tulips here have colours I’ve never seen and at first I thought they were painted! It was so beautiful I never wanted to leave the park. I think, if I really wanted to explore every part of the park I’ll need about two days. If there is an opportunity, I’ll return again.
Another specialty of the Netherlands is the traditional wooden clog. On our last day on the river cruise a dancing troop danced their traditional dance wearing these clogs. The performance was fantastic.
I feel the Netherlands is clean and beautiful, especially so in towns where houses are decorated with a variety of flower pots and ornaments. Appearance of the houses and surrounds are like those in cartoons and at an ancient palace even a peacock came and stood beside me as if in a fairytale.
The cruise also took us to Belgium. The waffles in Belgium were crispy and their famous fries were also quite special. The fries are fried twice for crispiness and served with mayonnaise, both these snacks are specialties of Belgium. Of course, there’s chocolate, which is the pride of Belgium, you are pretty much find chocolate shops everywhere.
Cycling is popular in both the Netherlands and Belgium, where bicycles are used everywhere on the road, many by parents towing cute wagons for their children along the way.
Many of the streets in the Netherlands and Belgium are lined with cobble stones and pebbles, and their uneven surface made it difficult to walk on, especially for someone disabled like me. Fortunately my husband have been beside me, helping and caring for me, I am very much grateful for him.