This past weekend we ventured to two cities in The Netherlands for a quick day trip- Haarlem which is north of Amsterdam and Zwolle which is an hour northeast of us.
First up, in Haarlem, we walked around the old city center which was quite extensive with many cute storefronts and restaurants as well as a large church.
Our main purpose in visiting Haarlem was to tour the Corrie ten Boom Museum. The museum is the house that the ten Boom family lived in when they assisted with the resistance during WWII. If you have never read The Hiding Place, which was written by Corrie ten Boom, then I highly recommend it. I read the book last year, so getting to tour the house and walk around the city where the events took place, was very enjoyable. One interesting fact from the tour-124,000 Jews lived in The Netherlands during the war and 104,000 were killed. Unbelievable!
Our second day trip was to Zwolle. Here, again, was a very lovely historic city center.
We wandered around the town, but our main purpose on this trip was to see the ice sculptures at the Ijsbeelden festival. The festival theme this year was “Traveling Through Time.” The sculptures were amazing and the theme was presented very nicely-and yes, everything is made completely of ice. It was pretty cold in the exhibit, though, so we had to get some hot chocolate and sweet treats after the ice hall. All in all, a very nice way to spend a day.
Both of our day trips were a lot of fun, but we weren’t able to see everything that we wanted to see in Haarlem, so watch for another post on that in the future.