Saturday, October 20, 2012

Muiderslot Castle and Naarden

Today Andrew and I decided to make a trek out to Muiderslot Castle....this time we decided to drive.

Before leaving town we stopped at Intratuin in Cruquius, which is about a 10 minute drive away. We bought a plant, some autumn decorations for a centerpiece on the table, some Christmas decorations (yes.....a little early....but we couldn't resist!), and pet supplies. We also found a windmill that we can add to our village when we get back to the States!

Afterwards, we headed to the town of Muiden, which is where the Muiderslot Castle is. First, we stopped for lunch in town.  We ate right on the canal, where there are locks for the boats to go in and out of the canal. We watched them come and go, which was quite fun!

Boats going through the locks:

Paying the toll to go through the locks:

After lunch, we headed over to the castle, which was a short walk away along the canal where the Marina is.

Muiderslot Castle was built around 1285 by Count Floris V, an ally of the French Court and later of the British King Edward. If you'd like to read more about the history of the castle, go to:

We walked around inside the castle...on a self guided tour. The only guided tours they had were in Dutch.

While going up and down the stairs I got very dizzy. I decided against going up a couple of sets of stairs because it was just too much for me. camera......I was so dizzy at one point I couldn't hold onto anything-specifically my camera. I dropped it......and it's a goner!  I'm not able to turn it on or off, so I can't download my pictures. Luckily (I guess!) it happened early enough in the day that I was able to start taking pictures with my phone. I will have to add the better pictures later, when I either purchase a new camera or find a way to download directly from the disk.

Afterwards we walked around the castle from the outside....the grounds are beautiful! :

When we were leaving Muiden, we decided to go over to the town of Naarden. It's a cute little town that we have been wanting to visit since we got here.

A little history:

Naarden is a municipality and a town in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands, shaped in the form of a star. This small town is a textbook example of a popular style of fortification that evolved in Europe during the 16th century. Naarden’s star fortification is complete with fortified walls and a moat which are in as good as state as five centuries ago. In fact, Naarden is one of the best preserved fortified towns in Europe today.

View from above (taken from Google images):

We went to the Museum, where you can walk around parts of the "star" fortress:

We walked around the "old town" area of Naarden and came to the old church:

We stopped and got a little something to drink (from Belgium!):

As we were walking back to our car we noticed "her", isn't she cute?!?! :

After we got back to Haarlem, we stopped at home to take care of the pets and then decided to head downtown for a bite to eat.  We went by a couple of places we know of, they were crowded. So, we went over to the Cafe de la Paix at the Carlton Square Hotel and ate at the restaurant there. It's very nice, quiet, and the food is good!