The second day I was in Holland it was a little more cloudy, but that didn’t stop us. We hopped on a train going Northeast to Muiden, home of Muiderslot. This Dutch Castle is relatively small compared to other castles, but the grounds are beautiful and the town of Muiden is a very charming Dutch town. It’s one of those places where you really feel like you’re in Europe.
We arrived at Muiderslot just before the castle opened so we made sure to wonder along the canal and look at all the boats and cool bridges nearby. When the gates opened we were first inside, giving us a really nice perspective of the castle with no people around it. Most other people were waiting for a guided tour and we thought it would be more fun to explore for ourselves. So after a taking a few snapshots around the outside we entered the castle to explore it from the inside.
The castle is not the oldest or the biggest that I have seen, but it was nicely built and featured a cool little bridge, some spiraling stone steps, a creepy dungeon, and several primitive toilets. There were some interactive games and exhibits including a jousting battle! Jay and I jousted three times and I knocked him off in all three. 🙂
Afterwards we decided to take a stroll around the castle grounds. We stumbled across this strange piece of architecture built into the side of a hill. The structure had steps leading down under a large stone overhang. At the bottom you can watch a short film detailing the dangers and advantages of water, especially during war. But make sure you stay until the end for a splashy surprise!
We ended our time in Muiden with a nice lunch at a local pub restaurant. They didn’t have any English menus which was fine with me since I like trying to read the Dutch ones anyway. Jay translated for me and ordered for us so I didn’t have to struggle through the Dutch words (It’s better for me and the waiter). I did thank the waiter in Dutch though which made him laugh! At first I thought I said it wrong, but Jay told me he was probably surprised at how well I said it haha.
Lunch for me was a platter (and this is not an exaggeration) or fried Dutch foods, most notable bitterballen and kaassoufflés. I like to think of a kaassoufflé as a mini pillow of cheese…it’s something I’ve been craving since my arrival back in the states. Bitterballen has continued to be one of those foods that confuses me every time I eat it. I take a sniff, then a bite, and eventually eat 4 of them only to leave saying “I still don’t know if I like them.” For those of you who don’t know, bitterballen are small friend balls of this “meat mousse.” It’s one of the strangest things I’ve ever eaten simply because it confuses the senses. It doesn’t look like meat or even particularly taste like a specific meat, but there is meat in there. It’s creamy, it’s flavorful, but what the heck is it?! Regardless, it’s worth a try if you’re ever in the Netherlands!
After our lunch we headed back to the train station. We wanted to make sure we were back early enough to pack for our Paris excursion the next day! I was a little bummed we were already leaving Holland again since I had only been there for a few days, but I knew we’d have plenty of time for more adventures there when we came back from France. 🙂