We were really looking forward to seeing the country outside of Amsterdam, imagining it would be pretty picturesque. We sailed through the night aboard our Viking River Cruise ship and arrived at Hoorn early the next morning. This little harbor city is so charming!

We started out with a walking tour and were able to take in many of its charming sights, its lovely architecture, and an open air market that was going on that day.

We were also excited to learn that Viking had arranged for us to visit with a local family in their home and enjoy some traditional Netherlands style apple pie and tea. It was fun to visit with this mom, her daughter, and son and learn about life in Hoorn.

Afterwards, Colin and I did some exploring on our own, a bit of shopping, and visited a local cafe for a snack and some fresh peppermint tea. I just couldn't get enough of the incredible cobblestone and brick-lined streets everywhere. Everything looks so storybookesque. (Is that a word?)

The next day we enjoyed a drive through the countryside and visiting Arnhem, a lovely little town that was nearly destroyed in World War II and took a tour provided by Vikingto learn about a wartime operation known as Operation Market Garden. We learned so much and gained perspective on the Allied Forces and what they were facing at the time. It's so impactful to be physically present in such an historically significant location.

Soon I'll be sharing more about our visit to the Netherlands, including the windmills in the hamlet of Kinderdijk and our visit to a Dutch Cheese farm. *Sigh*, yes, it was as dreamy as it sounds...

Notes:

  • Our cruise was sponsored by Viking. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and everything I've written was done so by me with no input from Viking whatsoever.
  • Today is the third post on our Tulips and Windmills Viking River Cruiseon my blog. You can find the first two posts on my blog as well:  First post here. Second post here.
  • I've also written extensively about the Viking River Cruise ships and cruises after my first river cruisewhich was on the Danube River. You can find the posts here.
  • My sweater seen at the top of this post is by Woolovers. You can find it here.

 

MEET SERENA!

Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.

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