Welcome to the small, quaint city of Hilversum, where to my amusement, you’ll find 98% of homes, shops, churches and buildings with the exact same (or appears to be) roofing. As you drive through (or bike, or walk – I often forget about those two options), you can immediately feel the coziness and small town vibe. Hilversum’s literal translation is ‘houses between the hills’ and if you’ve ever been to Holland, you know the entire country is as flat as a pancake, so I would assume its name is in reference to the location. Hilversum is conveniently located just south of Amsterdam and just north of Utrecht (two of Holland’s largest cities). I’m sure the residents agree it’s nice to have the perks of neighboring city life, alongside the small town peace and quiet on any given day – sounds like the best of both worlds to me. Hilversum is also referred to as Media City, since most of the broadcasting for television and radio happens here (speaking of radio stations, can country and hip hop please be introduced?!).
Beware: the roads are smaller than small in this cute, cozy city (see below). The colored, outside lanes are for bicyclists, whereas the middle lane… wait for it… is for two lanes of traffic! Would love to see an Escalade take on a Suburban in this scenario – Dutch monster truck derby, anyone?
Sorry in advance for bursting your bubble, but the photographed building below is not the castle from Beauty and the Beast (please tell me I wasn’t the only one who put the two together), but in fact, the St. Vitus. This beautiful (which has nothing to do with Beauty – or ok, everything) church was built-in 1892 by P.J.H. Cuypers and is the second tallest church in Holland, as the tower reaches a sky-high 93 meters (279 feet). Sadly, the church was closed for touring, but never fear, I will be back (Terminator voice), as I’m sure the inside is nothing less of magnificent.
Across the street from the church, I spied a gelato shop (if you ever need to find ice cream or Starbucks, I’m your girl – anything else, my navigation skills are quite possibly the worst in existence). Of course Joost and I were able to say no to all of these delicious, scrumptious, worth-every-calorie flavors…
Until next time – tot ziens!
XX – Whitney
:: caught red-handed with a scoop of stroopwafel (yes, it exists and is divine) and pistachio gelato ::