2021 Travels in Review
2021 Started and ended with a lockdown. Despite this when looking at 2021 in review, we did travel a lot. Most of it daytrips and staying in the Netherlands. So here are all our travels in 2021 month by month.
2021 in Review
We started the new year at friends in Almere, with board games and kittens everywhere. In December the country had gone into lockdown and this continued in the first part of the year.
Despite almost no travel options, we did manage to have a weekend getaway at the end of the month. We stayed 2 nights at Fletcher Carlton Hotel Naaldwijk. Which is close to the beach, so we went for a beachwalk on Saturday. The hotel was almost empty, which was strange. We had dinner and breakfast in our room, which we picked up ourselves at the restaurant.
This month we also found out that Paul’s foot was hurting so much more, because of arthrosis. This meant we had to change our way of traveling again, since not just long hikes, but also somewhat shorter ones were out of the picture.
On the 7th we had a lot of snow, which gave beautiful views on my walks around the neighborhood.
Around the middle of the month the weather changed and it became spring weather. We had a stay at the Van der Valk Hotel Uden-Veghel, while Yuri was at my sister. He played with his nieces and we had some quality time together.
The following weeks I had beautiful walks around the neighborhood with flowers starting to bloom. Paul even managed to go to work on his motorbike one day.
The last weekend of February we went on a short bike ride picking up food at different restaurants. We went to De Moestuinwinkel, Het Oude Tolhuys, Pannenkoekhuis Rhijnauwen, Koetshuis Rhijnauwen and Vroeg. On Sunday we went on a road trip to Wijk aan Zee. We avoided the highway, went for a short stroll on the beach and had some kibbeling.
Yuri’s birthday month. We went to NH Hotel Schiphol Airport, the weekend before his birthday. In an extra-large room. He loved this hotel back in November 2020.
On the 18th we celebrated Yuri’s birthday with cake and a few friends at home.
At the end of the month we again had beautiful weather and blossoms in the neighborhood. Paul went on his motorbike to work again.
The month started with Easter, which we celebrated at home with lots of yummy food.
We went to the beach, although we had absolutely crappy weather. We stayed one night at Carlton Beach Hotel Scheveningen. I went for a long walk on the boulevard and came back absolutely soaked. We had dinner at our spacious family room. We ended our stay the next day with kibbeling. Before returning home we drove the ANWB Bollenstreekroute, which is popularly known as The Flower Route. A new hobby was born for Paul and me, one day road trips. Yuri however found it boring.
The next weekend Paul and I drove a Tulip Route at Flevoland, it was still a bit too cold so not a lot of blooming tulips yet. There are 3 different routes, and we drove the Lelystad one. On Sunday we drove the ANWB Noord-Veluwe route. Lots of beautiful forest and the Veluwe. A beautiful nature area in the Netherlands.
During the week spring weather came back with lots of beautiful blossoms and flowers. Perfect for my neighborhood walks.
The last weekend of April was filled with auto routes as well. We really got the hang of it. On Saturday another Tulip Route in Flevoland, this time driving in the Zeewolde area. More tulips, since most fields were now in bloom. On Sunday we drove all the way up North for the ANWB Eems-Oldambt route.
We ended the month by driving the ANWB Lek en Linge route on Kingsday. We had perfect weather and lots of blossoms and flowers on the route.
Yuri did not go with us on these auto road trips, he stayed home alone. Partly because one weekend he was in quarantaine. Partly since he found it boring and rather stayed at home. Little kids grow up and become tweens, so things change.
We kicked the month of May off with a road trip. Yuri had May break, so we went on the Fletcher Road Trip Haute Cuisine. Staying at 3 different Fletcher hotels for 2 nights each, with a 3-course dinner at our room on the first night at each hotel.
First stop was Fletcher Kloosterhotel Willibrordhaeghe at Deurne. Paul and I drove the ANWB Kempenroute on Sunday. On Monday morning I hiked the two small walking paths around the hotel. Via an ‘avoid highways’ route we drove to the next hotel at Heelsum. Sitting on terraces along the way, which was allowed again since May 1st.
The second stop was Fletcher hotel Klein Zwitserland. On Tuesday Paul and I drove the ANWB Zuid-Veluwe route with lots of rain. Beautiful views on the Veluwe and I walked to the Loenense waterfall.
Then on to the third hotel at Loosdrecht. Again we avoided the highway. We stayed at Fletcher Hotel Loosdrechtse Plassen-Amsterdam, with a perfect view on the lake from our hotelroom.
On Friday we were not yet ready to go home, luckily we had another hotel at Hilversum. We again avoided the highway and sat on two terraces, while making our way to the Amrâth hotel Lapershoek Hilversum. On Saturday Paul and I drove the last one of the Tulip Routes in Flevoland, this time the Dronten one.
On Sunday it was Mother’s Day and I choose to drive home stopping at each terrace we came across. Even with rain at one of them.
More Road Trips in May
After being at home for 3 days we left home again on Ascension day. Through an ‘avoid the highway’ route we drove to Fletcher hotel Heidehof at Heerenveen. Along seeing beautiful blooming tulip fields. On Friday we drove the ANWB Friese Merenroute and on Saturday the ANWB Friese Havenstedenroute. Both routes showing us the beauty of Friesland. On Sunday we drove back home.
On May 23rd we drove the ANWB Heuvelrugroute ending our month with one last road trip near our home.
We had some beautiful, hot weather in June and things opened up again some more in the Netherlands. We went to Down Under twice, a small lake suitable for swimming. On a Sunday at the beginning of the month we went with Yuri and a friend. On a Tuesday a week later Yuri went with half of his class and I and another parent tagged along.
Since riding a motorbike was too painful for Paul, we tried out riding with a convertible on Father’s Day. It was perfect, we were hooked. We drove the ANWB Koggenroute.
On July 8th I went on a shopping day with a friend for the first time in a year and a half. Normally we do this 3 to 4 times a year, but sadly it hadn’t been possible. We still didn’t go on a Saturday, but during the week. We chose Den Bosch.
On the next weekend Paul and I drove the first part of the Vestingstedenroute. Along fortified cities in Noord-Brabant.
Yuri’s Summer break started a couple of days earlier, since his whole class had to go into quarantaine (again). Luckily he tested negative, so was out of quarantaine the first Monday of Summer break.
The first weekend of Summer break Paul and I brought Yuri’s fish Vex to his grandparents and drove the second part of the Vestingstedenroute. On Sunday Paul drove for the last time on his motorbike before selling it. After riding for more than thirty minutes, he couldn’t sleep at night.
The first week of Summer break Yuri went to the Zomerfestijn, Monday till Thursday. On Saturday we drove to the Corendon Village Hotel at Badhoevedorp. We stayed here for a week, while Paul was still working. It was close to the office for him. We took a route without highway, driving a route Paul and I love to drive and sitting on a terrace somewhere. Through ’t Gooi and the Vinkeveense Plassen.
On Saturday 31st we embarked on our 3-week road trip through France, Portugal and Spain. We rented a convertible (cabrio) and drove to Disneyland Paris, our first stop.
We stayed at Disney for two nights and had a great time. From here on we drove to Orléans and then to Bordeaux. We choose to drive on B-roads, avoiding the highway. Driving between beautiful sunflower fields and silent small French villages. At Bordeaux we stayed for several days. One rest day and one day on which we explored Bordeaux city center.
After a week we left France, crossing through Spain, ending at Quintanilha in Portugal. From the quiet of Quintanilha we went to the lively Guimaeres, where we celebrated Paul’s birthday. Then on to the beautiful city of Porto. We did a self-guided Pastel de Nata tour here. Through rolling hills and mountains with vineyards we drove to Peso da Regua. I took a boat tour here on the Douro River. This was our last stop in Portugal. On our first visit to Portugal, we fell in love.
In Spain we stopped at Oviedo and Donostia-San Sebastián. At Oviedo I wandered around the city center and we sampled the sidra. At Donostia we visited the beach shortly and I went up the mountain to Monte Iqueldo with perfect views. In Portugal and here we had hot, warm weather. With one stop at Orléans we drove back home.
After one day at home we went to the Corendon Village Hotel at Badhoevedorp again, for 4 days. There’s an actual 747 in the garden of the hotel.
On the last Saturday of Summer break I had a bachelorette party of a friend. Which was partly at our house.
On August 30th Yuri had his first schoolday at Groep 8 (6th grade) and his final year of elementary school.
Since Paul would start a new job at October 1st, he had the whole month of September off. So we went on a lot of road trips. Every Wednesday (once on Thursday) we drove our regular route from Maartensdijk, Hollandsche Rading, Nieuw Loosdrecht, Loosdrechtse Plassen, Vinkeveense Plassen and Vinkeveen and back. Sometimes extending with Mijdrecht, Uithoorn and Aalsmeer. Sitting on a terrace, having lunch, having a drink and reading.
On September 2nd I had my second shopping day with a friend, this time at Utrecht. On September 3rd and September 5th we drove the 3rd and 4th part of the Vestingstedenroute. We have some beautiful fortified cities in Noord-Brabant.
From 10 till 12 September we had our annual weekend at Losser. We stay at B&B De Hooimoat each year. Sadly Tuckerville 2021 was cancelled. To Losser we took a route avoiding the highway. On Saturday Paul and I drove the ANWB Sagenlandroute, Twente is such a beautiful area in the Netherlands. On Sunday the 3 of us visited the museum Natura Docet Wonderrijck Twente. A natural history museum.
More Road Trips and Other
On Thursday 16th we went to the cinema, the first time in a year or so. We loved the Dune movie. On Friday we drove the ANWB Noordwest Overijsselroute, which passes through Meppel, Staphorst and Giethoorn. On Saturday we attended the Whisky Tasting Festival with friends. Our first festival in two years. We had so much fun and tasted so much delicious whisky’s.
No rest day because, on Sunday we went to The Gaming factory in Tilburg and had lunch near the tracks and a last ice cream at Vinkeveen (the ice cream parlor was closing down for the season). Then on Monday we drove half of the ANWB Zeebodemroute. Then on Tuesday Yuri had a schooltrip to theme park De Efteling and I went with them as guidance.
Friday the 24th friends of us got married in Amsterdam. Yuri stayed at a friend and we stayed the night at Ibis Styles Amsterdam. On Sunday we visited Nieuw Slagmaat. A fruit farm close to our home. We picked apples, pears, pumpkin and kiwiberry’s. They also have kiwi’s, but they were not yet ripe enough.
On Tuesday we drove the other half of the ANWB Zeebodemroute and on Thursday we had lunch at Vroeg, as the end of Paul’s month off work.
On October 2nd we had a neighborhood party, the weather was however not so grand. On Tuesday Yuri’s class had an excursion on bike to the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. I volunteered helping out.
That weekend would possibly be the last weekend with perfect terrace weather. So we made use of this on both days. Having lunch, a drink and reading on terraces both days.
From October 16th on Yuri had Fall break. On Saturday we went to Paul’s parents, since his sister with her family was over from Germany. We hadn’t seen them in a year. Good start of Yuri’s vacation. On Sunday we went to The Gaming Factory at Tilburg. Then towards Fletcher Wellness-Hotel Trivium at Etten-Leur. This hotel is across from Paul’s office, and Paul still had to work at the beginning of Fall break. On Wednesday, Yuri and I visited the Dutch Printing Museum.
On Wednesday in the afternoon we drove to Berg en Dal, in the East of the Netherlands. From Wednesday till Sunday we stayed at Fletcher Parkhotel Val Monte. On Thursday Paul drove to the North of Denmark with a friend. Another friend was getting married on the 22nd. On Saturday they drove back. That friend lives near Berg en Dal, so a stay at this hotel was convenient.
The last weekend of October Paul and I went to the Museum van Oudheden at Leiden. They had temporary expositions on Doggerland and temples of Malta. On Sunday we celebrated Halloween at TGI Fridays.
We did less outings this month, but went to the city center for shopping and lunch on the 13th. On the 14th we drove our usual route to Aalsmeer and had lunch there. We celebrated Sinterklaas at my parents on November 21st.
On November 26th is our Wedding Day. This year we celebrated 17 years of marriage. We went to Valkenburg for the weekend. We stayed ta Fletcher Hotel De Burghoeve, just like when we celebrated 2 years of marriage. On my own I visited the Christmas market Valkenburg at Gemeentegrot and Fluweelengrot and the Christmas show at Mergelrijk. With Paul and Yuri I went to Winter Wonderland. Visiting all four of them would have been too much for Paul. On Sunday we did a Route d’Amuse, with some delicious bites. The perfect end for our weekend.
On December 2nd we celebrated Sinterklaas with a friend at our home. Then on December 4th I went shopping together with Yuri. The 5th Paul and I picked out a huge Christmas tree.
The next weekend and the weekend after that Paul and I went shopping on Saturday, Christmas things and I needed new shoes and a rain coat. On the 12th we had a Christmas tree decoration happening in our street.
Yuri’s Christmas break started a week earlier than planned on the 18th and on the 19th the Netherlands went in lockdown. On December 20th we celebrated my birthday with cake and Greek food.
Christmas’Eve was spent at my parents and Christmas Day at Paul’s parents. We baked oliebollen at Paul’s parents on the 30th. On a whim we booked a hotel to celebrate New Year’s Eve. So we celebrated New Year’s Eve at Fletcher Badhotel Callantsoog, near the beach.
2021 in Review
So we undertook a lot of road trips in 2021, which we loved. We saw so many new areas of the Netherlands. Such a beautiful country we call home. See here which travels we did in 2022.
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Despite lockdown and covid it seems you had many journeys near and some far.
What a lovely year of wonder and wander. Awesome that you could explore and discover so many beautiful places in The Netherlands. Great travel inspiration!
What a lovely view at Quintanilha. I would love to have breakfast there
Looks like you were able to do quite a bit of traveling last year! We have yet to make it to the Netherlands, but it has been on our list for some time. Seeing the Tulips in bloom has always been a bucket list item for me.
Amazing that you still got to see some awesome places despite restrictions! Glad you were able to catch the tulips in bloom after all