Rijsttafel Dinner in the Netherlands

Rijstaffel-DinnerWhen I first found out that I was going to eat at an Indonesian style buffet for the first time in the Netherlands, I was confused.  Won’t I be eating herring, fries with mayonnaise, gouda, or something like that?  Thank goodness our planner knew what she was talking about.

If you are visiting the Netherlands with a group, this is a great option to feast on and enjoy each others’ company.  The variety of options will please even the pickIndonesian-Restaurantiest eaters.  It is a rich experience to taste multiple dishes and realize they are all good.  I would tell you what I ate if I could remember the names of all the dishes.  I was too swept up in the flavor to think too much about what it was called.  Just know that you will find rice dishes, meats, shrimp, veggies, and flavorful sauces.

You may be wondering how Indonesian cuisine meshes with the Dutch culture.  In the past, the Dutch colonized in Indonesia, and their food influenced those that came back home.

Have you ever been surprised by the variety of cuisine in a countGroup-1ry?

Haarlem, Netherlands

HaarlemWhen I first arrived in Haarlem last summer I wondered if I was the only one that had survived the apocalypse.  I came in through the train station and there was no one around.  I reached some civilization in the main square where the remains of a book market were closing up.  Where was everyone?

The weather was nasty, so I retreated to my hotel.  I know you aren’t supposed to take a nap your first day abroad, but I had to.  Of course I paid for it later that night.  After awaking later in the afternoon, the sun had come out and so did the people.  They stayed out and partied into the night.

Haarlem is a great place to stay in the Netherlands, especially if you want to visit Amsterdam, but don’t want to stay there.  Just a short and scenic train ride away, Haarlem is a beautiful town worth investigating.  I fell in love with the town an early morning before departing.  The light accented every color, and the still water reflected that beauty.

I’ll be adding more about Haarlem soon.  Check out the photos to see if it looks like a place you’d like to see.  I’d love to hear your experiences if you’ve visited Haarlem.