During our time housesitting in the Netherlands, we’ve seriously buckled down to accomplish some much needed work on our blog and social media. We’ve spent way too many hours staring into computer screens. Thankfully, we have a dog to walk twice a day and that is forcing us out of the house. Not only have we discovered the nature that surrounds our village, Beek-Ubbergen, but we have ventured beyond the borders to nearby towns. In doing so, we have been able to capture the beauty of Beek-Ubbergen, Netherlands in pictures.
The Dutch word ‘lekker’ doesn’t have a direct English translation, but is closest to ‘yummy.’ After sampling a variety of Dutch cuisine, we can attest to it being quite lekker, actually.
Before arriving in the Netherlands, the only thing we knew about local Dutch cuisine was cheese and Dutch apple pie. While the idea of gorging on nothing but cheese and pie sounded appealing, we’ve (thankfully) been introduced to a variety of Netherlands fare. Our wintertime visit has been accompanied by hearty dishes, sweet treats, holiday specialties…and lots of cheese.
Nijmegen, Netherlands in pictures is a compilation of our 13 best photos of Netherlands’ oldest city. During our two-month stay in the nearby village of Beek-Ubbergen, we made several trips into the city – and were able to capture the beauty of Nijmegen, Netherlands in pictures.
We want to know: Which photo do you like best of “Nijmegen, Netherlands in Pictures”? Tell us in the comments!
When we agreed to housesit in the village of Beek-Ubbergen in the Netherlands, we expected small town charm – and we got it. Beek is a one grocer, one post office, one church, one pub, two baker kind of town.
The Village of Beek-Ubbergen
The village is home to 3,400 residents who all know each other and live on quiet streets in red brick homes with smoke puffing out the chimneys. What we didn’t expect – but were pleased to find – is the abundant nature that surrounds the village.
Beek-Ubbergen is less than 10km east of Nijmegen, a city with a population of 160,000; yet it has a distinctly different vibe and doesn’t necessarily feel like a suburb. The village is tucked between Duivelsberg (Devil’s Mountain) and the Meertje River- and is practically on the German-Dutch border.
What is it about vendors selling local wares from huts clustered together in a central square that is so appealing? Is it the twinkling lights that are draped on the trees? The sound of music that fills the air? The chill that is warmed by wood-burning fires? Maybe it’s the mulled wine that amplifies the festive atmosphere. I think, however, it is the quaintness of the markets that I find most enjoyable. Friends and families come together in an age-old tradition under the soft glow of lights to stroll the lanes, peruse the merchandise – and sip warm gluhwein.
Housesitting for the holidays is a new concept for us. From the moment we agreed to housesit near Nijmegen, Netherlands from mid-November to the end of January, we began pondering how we would celebrate (American) Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. What are the local traditions? Will we get a tree and decorations? Will there be Christmas markets? Do the Dutch celebrate with a feast? What is on the menu?
Nijmegen, Netherlands. We wouldn’t be surprised if you had never heard of this city; we certainly hadn’t before agreeing to housesit in the nearby village of Beek for two months. Since then, however, our knowledge of the city has increased exponentially. Most importantly, we can now locate it on a map – which was a necessary first step! We’ve also learned a bit of the city’s history and have gotten a feel for the youthful and vibrant atmosphere.
Nijmegen, Netherlands: Location
Nijmegen, Netherlands is located less than 10 km from the German border on the bank of the River Waal (which is fed by the Rhine River). The city is a pleasantly stunning sight on the approach by train from Amsterdam. Slender brick homes with long windows capped with slanted, black-tile rooftops face the river. The majestic St. Stephens Church, built in the 13th century, appears to hover above all the other buildings in town, its ornate bell tower dominating the skyline.
As slow travelers, we often spend weeks in cities that many travelers only give a day or two. Only on rare occasions do we limit ourselves to a single day in a city and that only happens when our scheduled commitments and flight arrangements put a squeeze on our itinerary. That’s what happened with our visit to Amsterdam. Eager to see as much of it as we could, we set out on a One Day in Amsterdam Self-Guided Walking Tour to 15 of the city’s best sights. (Map below!)
Amsterdam is a compact city, but the sights are spread throughout, making it somewhat difficult to organize an easy-flowing self-guided walking tour. To see what we wanted to see, we had to cover some ground, which included a little zigging and zagging. With only one day in Amsterdam, we eliminated stops at museums and didn’t even consider attempting a bike rental. That being said, we left just enough time in our One Day in Amsterdam Self-Guided Walking Tour to sip on coffee, enjoy the views and wind our day down with a few beers.
Before we visited Amsterdam, we had an idea of what the city would be like. The name invoked images of canals, bicycles and two popular beers: Amstel and Heineken. A vague knowledge of the liberal laws regarding pot and prostitution also sifted to the forefront. But, besides the Anne Frank Museum, neither of us were familiar with any of the sights the city had to offer.In a style so uncharacteristic of us, we scheduled only one day in the city, leaving a limited amount of time to find out how our prior perceptions stacked up to the reality of our Amsterdam first impressions.
New places, new people, new food; I crave trying new and different things. Thus, a lifestyle of travel – constantly being in new places, meeting new people and tasting new food – suits me well. But, when it comes to holidays, I have a deep desire for traditional celebrations. Regardless of where I happen to be in the world, I go to great lengths to ensure certain holidays are ‘properly’ observed.
While it is easy to feel Christmassy in Europe, recreating American holidays abroad, like 4th of July in New Zealand, can be a bit more difficult. Fireworks on The Fourth or football on Thanksgiving are unlikely to happen in a foreign country, but preparing a traditional meal is certainly achievable. Last year for Thanksgiving we ‘made do’ in Cape Town, South Africa with a two-burner stove and a microwave to prepare a small deli turkey and simple sides.