The holidays in Europe was absolutely amazing as always!!! We hadn’t been there in a long time, and it was really nice being back and to be reminded of all the things we love about our original home: Europe!
Our first stop was the Netherlands, where we visited Nicky and Frank in Zuthen (in the East of the Netherlands). We enjoyed this small provincial town - we bought top quality Dutch cheese and good local herbal teas that we can’t buy in Singapore and we eat 'haring' in the street. Oh it just melted in our mouths, too good!!!!!! We especially enjoyed the nice walks that we had in the nearby forests. Of course we knew these places, but it was just nice to be back. And of course we returned to our favorite place here, the 'Pannekoeken Huis' (which literarily means a pancake house) of Erve Brooks. They make wonderful pancakes and apple pies!!!! And the best thing about it is its location in the middle of a field with grazing cows, everything is just incredibly green and peaceful. This is a place is well worth it to come back to all the way from Singapore :-)
Our next stop was Oradea in Romania, where we spent two days. Here we have met a new friend: Oscar - the new cat of Diana's mum and the friendliest small cat that we ever met. As long as you treat it gently, you can do whatever you want with him and he will happily sit next to you
I realized again what a beautiful place Oradea is, lots of old buildings everywhere in the center and slowly they are all getting renovated, which is really nice to see. And of course my mum cooked the most amazing and delicious food for us and the best cakes ever!!!! Just thinking about it makes us hungry again!
After two days in Oradea we left for Sovata, one of my favorite places in the world. Its location just simply can’t be better. Sovata is located in Transylvania, close to the Carpathian Mountains, surrounded by hills and forests. There are several salty lakes here (the water is saltier than the sea, so you just float), the water in the lakes is a bit cold, but still very nice for swimming and bathing. The water has healing properties for many health problems and this attracts many tourists. There is certain calmness about the place that makes us return time and time again.
One of our favorite lakes is a small lake hidden away in the forest that only the locals know about. The water is so salty that when you dry up in the sun, you're all covered in a layer of white salt.
We rented a villa with stunning views over the hills. In the beginning we thought that it was too far from the lakes, but that wasn’t the case at all. The lakes were at 5 minute walk and yet it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere far from the crowd. It’s hard to imagine a better location. In the evening you would watch the sun go down and listen to the sound of the crickets and frogs. Oh it was like dream. The only way to leave this place, is to say we will be back Sovata!
After Sovata we stopped for a day in Oradea and then in Budapest. Budapest has a stunning location and is divided by the Danube. We were very lucky again as it happened to be the national day of Hungary on the day we were there. We went up to the castle to see the fire works. In the castle district there was plenty of food and many wine stalls. Everybody seemed so happy and proud on the national day. There were also people dancing in the court of the castle. There was a concert with young performers, the music was folk music, but the rock version of it and the crowd went wild. We joined the crowd and danced and jumped until the concert was over. We had another wine with the stunning views over Pest from the castle side and back home again. The next morning we took a flight back to the Netherlands.
Simply put: Amsterdam is a magical place. It’s hard to put it in words. All the buildings in the center are stunning. Many of them date from the 1600s…it feels like history everywhere, you can just imagine Rembrandt painting from the window of one of the houses…The canals are everywhere in the city and people are sitting in the bars outside. It is one of the few cities in the world that offers everything a big city can offer in terms of culture, diversity, beauty, yet it still feels like a village. In some way it feels so calm that you wouldn’t believe this is a world capital. We just realized again that we could live here anytime and it would be one of those places where we would happily return to live. We have never stopped loving this city, many of its inhabitants think they live in the most beautiful city in the world and we must agree with that!
We love Asia, but we miss Europe a lot. I believe the longer you are away from a place the more you miss it, especially if you have the nicest memories from these places. We’ll just have to go back more often now :-)
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