Holland & Belgium 2003

April 26
April 27
April 28
April 29
April 30
May 1
May 2
May 3
May 4

Welcome to the online archive of our vacation to Holland & Belgium which took place from April 26 to May 4, 2003. On this site, you will find our itinerary for each day, as well as important links and a selection of our photos. On this page, you will find some general thoughts on our vacation.

First, every savvy traveler should be equipped with a good guidebook. We prefer the series of guidebooks written by Rick Steves, although with the wide variety of guidebooks on the market, you should be able to find one that suits your needs. Rick Steves "Europe through the Back Door" contains a wealth of travel tips and skills for the first-time traveler to Europe. Before leaving home, we covered our guidebook with brown paper, so as to appear less conspicuous and to blend in better with the locals.

Traveling in Europe is only fun if you pack light. We both have carry-on size backpacks that contains everything we need for one week or three. We have traveled with the same gear on trips in Europe and in the U.S., and the philosophy of "carry-on only" is a lifesaver when you run into unforeseen troubles with transportation. Plus, we've never lost our own bags on a plane. After this trip, we decided to add a few items to our standard gear. While we have yet to stay in a hostel, a hostel sheet, which is a sheet sewn up like a sleeping bag, would have been much appreciated on this trip, as several hotels only supplied a bottom sheet and a rather warm comforter. We also plan on taking a small container of bug repellent for sleeping with the windows open at night. Finally, a quick-dry towel would have been helpful as well, as a couple of hotels provided rather meager towels.

Footwear is important in europe, as you will do a lot of walking. We only bring one pair of shoes (pack light!), and our choice is Land's End's All-Weather Mocs. They have good thick soles, slip off easily when on the plane, come in a wide variety of colors, and are reasonably priced. They are also excellent for running around the hospital and standing in the O.R.

Many people have asked us how we chose Holland & Belgium to visit. While we could come up with many answers, the simple truth is that we found a cheap flight. If you can plan your vacation at least several weeks in advance, someone always has a sale somewhere--it's just a matter of finding the bargain. We originally had planned on going to Ireland, but tickets were well beyond reasonable. So we starting searching from our home airport (and several within a few hours drive) to any destination in western europe. After a week, we found the clear winner. We ended up paying less to fly from Memphis to Amsterdam for both of us, than we would have to buy one ticket anywhere else.

The Dutch and the Belgians are very friendly people. We would recommend both places for someone who is going to europe for the first time. Both places are well-organized, on-time, and English-speaking. We were impressed with the Dutch-speakers who would shift from Dutch to English to German to French, often in the same breath, without missing a beat.

Click on any of the dates above to see our itinerary for that day, along with helpful links and an assortment of photographs. All photos were taken with a Canon Powershot G3.


All material on this website is copyright ©2003 by Dennis and Jew-Lee Goldsberry.
Reproduction or archival of material is strictly prohibited by law.