After spending 5 days based in Amsterdam, we were ready to drive out of the city. After a fuss-free experience of heading back to Schipol and picking up our car, we headed north east on the motorway to Hindeloopen in Friesland – our first stop on our road trip.
Hindeloopen is a charming town – almost all the houses back onto canals which are criss-crossed by wooden pedestrian bridges. There’s a small road that circles the periphery of the town but it’s best to park on the edge of town and then explore on foot. It was a thoroughly charming place and we were so glad we decided to stop here. It’s an old place, but in some ways it feels so new because it was so pristine and well cared for throughout. Despite being a weekend, we barely saw another soul around the town until we came to the harbour.
In fact, we saw more inquisitive cats and sheep than tourists in Hindeloopen!
After a really pleasant evening with friends further north in Friesland, we headed east to Gronigen the following day. It’s a big student city (80% of residents are students), and is known as “The World’s Cycling City” (it’s where Boris Johnson got his vision for what became known as “Boris bikes” while he was mayor of London). This video is brilliant if you want to know about more Gronigen.
For us though, we had an afternoon to explore on foot and we stumbled across a festival being held in the centre – with what seemed like an ‘Open House’ for boats – anyone could climb on board a whole assortment of boats and yachts. There was also street food and music to enjoy and we enjoyed mooching around the streets.
Gronigen was also our first Airbnb stay of the trip, and our 1 night stay in the surburbs (which admittedly, was still only a 15 minute walk from town) was lovely.