Exploring the Frisian countryside by bike
Living in the city of Amsterdam is great, but sometimes you just need a little break. We needed some rest and fresh air. So my husband and I decided to go to Friesland for our first wedding anniversary. Bliss doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands. A sparsely populated area with plenty of grasslands, water and farms, it seemed ideal for our get-away. From Amsterdam, we take a train to Leeuwarden. From the moment we set foot on Frisian soil, we are relaxed! We rent a bike and cycle to our accommodation in Weidum. We booked ourselves into a ‘cube’ hotel room in a meadow. The view is breathtaking; with green pastures as far as the eye can see.
There’s a restaurant on the grounds as well, in the main building; a cosy farm. We feel even more relaxed that we don’t have to cycle anywhere for a meal. The food is sumptuous and the host recommends some excellent wine. By now we are feeling rosy from the fresh air and the great food and wine. The night is not over until we taste some Frisian liquor though!
After a good night’s sleep we wake up to the dewy grass and stunning hazy views onto the pastures surrounding our room. Today we are going for a cycling trip in De Greidhoeke: an area with a few dozen villages and only a few thousand inhabitants. Some villages only consist of two houses and a church. Birdwatchers like to come to this region to spot the godwit (grutto) and other birds. Neither of us is that much into birds, but we do like cycling and splendid views over the grasslands.
The trip does not go entirely according plan when we find ourselves stuck in a meadow and Titus has to lift our bikes over a fence to get out of there. We end up on a farmer’s property. A farmer with dogs. Luckily the dogs only bark, not bite. We escape unscathed.
We take a break at Café Baard in Baard (beard) before cycling further along the Bolswardertrekvaart (Frisian: Boalserter Feart) to the larger village of Wommels for lunch.
The weather is kind on us and we can enjoy a bit of Indian summer during our stay. Back in Weidum we rest some more and enjoy another fine dinner.
Before heading back home the day after we visit the city center of Leeuwarden (Frisian: Ljouwert). We pass the Fries Museum, which just opened an exhibit on famous socialite avant la lettre Mata Hari. One of the must-sees in the city is the Boomsma distillery and museum. It shows the history of the distillery and offers a tasting of the Beerenburg spirit and other gins and liquors they make. We happen to be out of gin at home, so we buy a bottle as a souvenir to Friesland.
When the time comes to go back to Amsterdam, we are sad to leave, but happy for the experience. It is so important to take time out of our busy schedules to be together as a couple, and a change of scenery lends itself well to refresh your mind and soul.