A very Dutch journey through time

Typical Dutch village along the route from Medemblik to Hoorn.  Tulip fields in full bloom is a typical springtime scenery.

Typical Dutch village along the route from Medemblik to Hoorn. Tulip fields in full bloom is a typical springtime scenery.

It’s springtime again and I can’t believe how fast the year went by. It’s been almost a year since we made this amazing journey through time by boat and steam train through the Medieval towns of Enkhuizen, Medemblik and Hoorn in the province of North Holland (West Friesland to many). This is one exciting journey to take if you happen to be in Holland in springtime because the whole trip takes just a day and these towns are within easy reach from Amsterdam. From Amsterdam to Hoorn, a direct train ride takes about 33 minutes and costs € 7.60. From Hoorn, you can then take the steam train to Medemblik and from Medemblik there is the museum boat that will take you to Enkhuizen. From Enkhuizen, you can take a direct train to Amsterdam that will take about 58 minutes and costs € 10.30. Here’s the link to the Dutch railway: www.ns.nl

I got the idea to do this trip from a colleague of mine who lives in Hoorn which in spring, is lovely to visit passing through tulip fields that seem to go on forever. For more information, here’s the link to the site of the museum: http://www.museumstoomtram.nl/en

Because our originating place was Dronten where my parents-in-law live, we approached the trip from the other way around. Our journey started in Enkhuizen where we boarded the museum boat “Friesland” headed to Medemblik. The trip was a very sentimental journey for my parents-in-law who used to travel in this very same boat over 40 years ago when they lived for a while in the island of Terschelling and this boat was still plying the Harlingen-Terschelling route. My husband, then the same age as Francesca also travelled in this boat so you can just imagine how sentimental that is. My parents-in-law checked out the boat and were amazed that many of the original features were still very much intact. The whole boat trip took a good hour so when we arrived in Medemblik, we looked for a restaurant to have a quick lunch to be in time for the steam train trip that will take us to Hoorn. We opted for a typical Dutch lunch favorite, the “Uitsmijter” which consisted of bread slices topped with ham, fried eggs, grated cheese with tomatoes and cucumber on the side. Francesca found another use for the cucumber though. ;-)

The steam train journey was interesting as we were joined by museum volunteers who were dressed in period costumes. They were very enthusiastic at explaining the culture, norms and traditions of the people in West Friesland back then. Another interesting aspect of this train journey was the amazing landscape we passed through — from tulip fields in full bloom to orchards and quaint villages. Too bad that the weather was not on our side though.

The harbor of Enkhuizen where our journey started one cloudy Sunday in end-April last year.

The harbor of Enkhuizen where our journey started one cloudy Sunday in end-April last year.

The museum boat "Friesland" plies the Enkhuizen to Medemblik route.  My parents-in-law traveled in this very same boat forty years ago when it used to ply the Harlingen-Terschelling route.

The museum boat “Friesland” plies the Enkhuizen to Medemblik route. My parents-in-law traveled in this very same boat forty years ago when it used to ply the Harlingen-Terschelling route.

Francesca enjoying her warm chocolate drink with whipped cream.

Francesca enjoying her warm chocolate drink with whipped cream.

Our family inside the "Friesland".

Our family inside the “Friesland”.

Francesca with opa.

Francesca with opa.

The Mr. with his mom.  Almost forty hears ago, he was roaming around this boat with his mom and dad, just like Francesca now.

The Mr. with his mom. Almost forty hears ago, he was roaming around this boat with his mom and dad, just like Francesca now.

Me

Me

Francesca with opa and oma checking out the map of our journey.

Francesca with opa and oma checking out the map of our journey.

The harbor of Medemblik.

The harbor of Medemblik.

Hubby and his dad.

Hubby and his dad.

The steam train in Medemblik that will take us later to Hoorn.

The steam train in Medemblik that will take us later to Hoorn.

Other travelers with us on the boat rushed to this well-known chocolate shop in Medemblik.  We opted to look for a restaurant to have a quick lunch before taking the steam train to Hoorn.

Other travelers with us on the boat rushed to this well-known chocolate shop in Medemblik. We opted to look for a restaurant to have a quick lunch before taking the steam train to Hoorn.

Francesca checking out the menu card.

Francesca checking out the menu card.

Our choice was this Dutch favorite - the Uitsmijter.

Our choice was this Dutch favorite – the Uitsmijter.

Francesca has other ideas for the cucumber.   ;-)

Francesca has other ideas for the cucumber. ;-)

Medemblik one cloudy Sunday.

Medemblik one cloudy Sunday.

Francesca with opa and oma.

Francesca with opa and oma.

Medemblik one cloudy Sunday.

Medemblik one cloudy Sunday.

A lady in period costume.

A lady in period costume.

Our train at a crossing with a windmill in the background.

Our train at a crossing with a windmill in the background.

An old lady in period costume.  She explained the many aspect of Dutch way of life from earlier times, down to the many things in her costume which reflect the very Calvinistic way of life in the old days.

An old lady in period costume. She explained the many aspect of Dutch way of life from earlier times, down to the many things in her costume which reflect the very Calvinistic way of life in the old days.

Women were not supposed to be idle so while traveling, they were expected to do some sewing or knitting.

Women were not supposed to be idle so while traveling, they were expected to do some sewing or knitting.

The train station of the village of Opperdoes, well-known for the very yummy potatoes that we all love.

The train station of the village of Opperdoes, well-known for the very yummy potatoes that we all love.

Typical North Holland farm house.

Typical North Holland farm house.

Dutch countryside scenery -- Dutch cows grazing in the meadow.

Dutch countryside scenery — Dutch cows grazing in the meadow.

Tulip fields in full bloom dotted the route from Medemblik to Hoorn.

Tulip fields in full bloom dotted the route from Medemblik to Hoorn.

Tulip fields in the distance.

Tulip fields in the distance.

Tulip fields

Tulip fields

Orchards in full bloom.

Orchards in full bloom.

Francesca with opa and a guy in period costume.

Francesca with opa and a guy in period costume.

Finally arriving in Hoorn with this couple in period costume.

Finally arriving in Hoorn with this couple in period costume.

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

60 Responses to A very Dutch journey through time

  1. justmusing says:

    A wonderful post – lovely daughter ; ) Thank you.

  2. Michelle says:

    I love how cute and lovely your daughter is – thank you for this post.

  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Lovely memory making journey!

  4. John says:

    Your posts are so wonderful, Malou! Your little girl is adorable, how great it is she will have these photos and memories to carry with her. Lovely family, God bless!

    • Malou says:

      Thank you, John. Time flies and before I know it, she’ll be going her own way and making her own mark. We try to make every moment in her childhood counts in terms of wonderful memories. ;-)

  5. bebs1 says:

    The smiles on everyone’s faces certainly made up for the gloomy weather and gray skies that you couldn’t tell.

    • Malou says:

      So true, Lou. I would have loved to have done this journey under blue skies but spring weather here is just so unpredictable. ;-)

  6. Beautiful shots!!!

  7. restlessjo says:

    My kind of day out, even if it was a little grey. Francesca’s smile brightens your photos.

  8. Such stunning images, Malou, making for a wonderful memory! Thanks so for taking the time to share this, as I began to feel I was there with you all, just tagging/lagging behind!

  9. Mike Sinnott says:

    Great to see some places I did not visit in NL. I miss this on my little island in the Indian Ocean.

  10. Would Francesca like to share her hot chocolate with me?

  11. Anissa Mathias says:

    Wonderful post. I would love to travel in old boats and steam engines. The period costumes really add to the feel. Lovely pictures.

  12. likeitiz says:

    What a great account of your trip. When I saw the first photo, I wondered right away what that strip of bright fuchsia was. True enough, it was a sea of flowers. How beautiful it must have been to view it out there.

    • Malou says:

      Holland is a beautiful patch of colors in spring. I went to London by plane one spring day and it was amazing to see the sights below. We’ll be hitting the flower fields again tomorrow, an annual ritual that we do with Francesca. ;-)

  13. meryscarsa says:

    What a lovely tulips fields, David and I must go to Holland!! The typical food look like so delicious!!Francesca had a good idea for the cucumbers, :) I have to say that I don’t like the cucumbers at all!!

    Warmest regards Malou from Capturaviaje.com

    • Malou says:

      You must really come and see what this country can offer in spring, Maria. Francesca is one funny and naughty little girl. ;-)

  14. Kitty says:

    What a lovely and tender journey that must have been for your husband and his parents…a reminder how very precious our time together is, Malou! You look so pretty, and Francesca’s spirit always seems so lively and joyful…thank you for such a beautiful tour. :)

    • Malou says:

      Thank you, Kitty. We try to do this family trips with the grandparents whenever we can as they are part of Francesca’s happy childhood memories which I am sure that she will treasure especially when she’s older and opa and oma are not that strong and mobile anymore. ;-)

  15. I absolutely love trains! What great pictures! I love that first one of your daughter haha! What a cutie :D

  16. DatsMaStyle says:

    Hi,
    We have a new weekly feature on our blog showcasing the blogs we are currently reading and love. This week we are highlighting your blog and three others. We are asking if you could please read the article, like it and share it with your followers. We would appreciate it. You can check it out here: http://datsmastyle.me/2013/04/18/4-blogs-we-are-loving-this-week-from-mens-fashion-to-travel/

    Thank you and great blog.

  17. KaZ says:

    Nice pictures! Thank you for sharing:)

  18. Great pictures! What kind of camera do you use?

  19. Your blog & photos always bring a smile to my face. I love how Francesca knows exactly what to do with the cucumbers – very soothing to the eyes.

  20. Everyting looks so clean and lovely, and I’m with Francesca on the cucumbers! Great pictures.

  21. The Rider says:

    Why oh why did our ancestors ever leave Holland?

  22. agbl says:

    Nice photos! The tulip-fields are so colorful. I´ve been to Holland once, it´s a very nice country. Hi from Sweden

  23. Love the “alternative” use of the cucumbers :)

  24. laurasmess says:

    Wow, such beautiful photographs! Your family is gorgeous… I love the idea of this blog. I’ve spent the last ten minutes exploring the rich cultural focus of your posts and I feel like my world has widened already! Glad that you’re loving your new(ish) homeland. You’ve got a wonderful way of telling stories. Thanks for sharing snapshots of your life with us :)

  25. Nice pictures, Dutch is one of favorite countries that I want to visit someday. Thank you for the information. for all of bloggers here, I also have several pictures in my blog. visit on : anggaranggana.wordpress.com .. see you!

    • Malou says:

      You must visit Holland when you have the chance. Interestingly, there is so much facet of Indonesian culture in the Dutch way of life. ;-)

  26. Have nice trip to lovely places

  27. My how your little girl has grown. I think Francesca’s gotten taller juicing by your blog pics. I love an old steam train, they one of the nicest joys and you’ve inspired me to get out and about and find one of the scenic tours in New South Wales. As for the endless fields of tulips I was right, they’re still plentiful, still beautiful and still stunning.

    • Malou says:

      Yes, she’s growing up so fast. It must be nice to do a scenic tour with the old steam train in your part of the world especially as you must have mountains along the route. Holland is so plain and so they make up for what they do not have in terms of altitude with the endless fields of tulips. ;-)

  28. A trip like this is made so interesting with an informed commentary.

  29. Thanks for the reminder of how nice holland is… I do miss living there…

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