My Grandmother Bertel, in truth, needs no introduction. For those of you that know or have met her, you know.  But as an introduction to the connection with Holland you have to go back to the early 20th Century and the 2 World Wards. Her aunt, my Great Aunt was married to a Dutchman and lived in Northern Holland. Having survived Westerbork, an internment camp outside Amsterdam, they made their way to join the rest of the family in the USA. They made it out with luck and special skills that carried them through the war and lived to tell many stories to our family in the US.

“Hi Alex – Just returned from a road trip to the University town of Groningan. Take the back roads to experience the Poplar lined avenues or travel by bike like a local. Love Bertel”

View more #postcardsfrommygirlfriends here @postcardsfrommygirlfriends


Walk around the old town of Groningen and find the main University building. Founded 1614, it is one of the oldest and largest Universities in the Netherlands. The stunning façade of the student union is beautifully serene behind a sea of chained up bikes belonging to the students.


Amsterdam has that cool vibe of a European City, fashion conscious but also with it’s own style and flair. Try wearing the Sofia shirt tunic over trousers like we show it on the website. It buttons up the back so you can undo a few for ease when riding a bike!


So simple and yet so necessary, you must eat some good old Dutch Gouda while in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam Cheese Company is the best and easiest place near the canals to pick up a snack or a treat to take home. They have various aged cheeses as well as a vaireity of options on flavours.


If you want to walk and talk like a local the only way to do that is speeding through the town on a classic bike! You can rent them from many shops around the city and even most hotels have bikes available. We suggest  the Good Bicyle Company as they have several options for adults and kids alike. Just make sure to look both ways if you stay on foot as the cyclists zoom by!