Bike Trip to Muiderslot Castle

With Josh out of commission the entire fall and most of the winter, we have really not done much as far as exploring our new “home” country.  Ok, we’ve done nothing.  A few trips into Amsterdam and that’s about it.  So now that spring is just about here, we’ve made it our goal to start taking some of that time on the weekend that was dedicated to Liam’s swimming (he’s now in private lessons) and use that to do some exploring.  Today’s subject:  Muiderslot Castle.

Muiderslot Castle gave us the opportunity to not just do some exploring but also some biking.  Now that Josh is back up and on his bike again, it’s nice to get out as a family to do some riding.  Muiderslot was about 7km from our house (about 4 1/2 miles) so within a reasonable distance to ask the kids to travel as it’s not really in their nature to bike long distances…yet.  But then, they didn’t love walking when we first moved to Barcelona and we saw how much that changed!

One of the best parts of the Netherlands is all the amazing bike paths!

One of the best parts of the Netherlands is all the amazing bike paths!

As I mentioned, the kids aren’t avid bikers, but we are determined to change that.  So our expected 25 minute ride turned into well over an hour after all the stops to play and explore.  Oh and the tantrums.  Funny enough though, it wasn’t the small child that was throwing them, but the big one!!

Playground #1

            Playground #1

We live in horse country

 We live in horse country

Waiting "patiently" for the rest of us.

Waiting “patiently” for the rest of us.

And actually the tantrum throw by Aidan was an epic one.  He was done.  He refused to ride any further even though we were 3/4 of the way there.  He threw down his bike and laid down next to it, in defeat.  Liam and I were just behind him when he did this and as I looked towards him, I also saw a car slowing down.  I knew what was going to happen next and I urged Liam on, trying to control the hysterical laughter that I knew was forthcoming.  And as predicted, the car came to a stop and someone exited the vehicle, approaching Aidan.  I turned back for just a moment to see Josh wave them off and say “he’s ok, don’t worry!”.  Hahahaha!!!!!  Aidan and his drama!  I guess he got the attention that he was looking for!  And perhaps a little embarrassment for his actions!

Drama!!  Aidan refusing to go any further (til a car stopped next to him).

Drama!! Aidan refusing to go any further (til a car stopped next to him).

We finally made it to the castle.  Muiderslot is nothing big and technically I probably wouldn’t write home about it, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s really the first thing we’ve explored since we moved here.  But it was cute and the grounds were beautiful. Set upon it’s own small island, surrounded by a moat, Muiderslot was built in the late 1200s by Count Floris V.  This castle doesn’t have the torrid history of many other castles in Europe.  Floris V was overthrown and after that, the castle was taken over by Willem van Mechelen, the Archbishop of Utrecht.  Fast forward a few hundred years and it was purchased by PC Hooft who was a famous author and poet.  He threw many parties each summer and invited those in the art world to attend. Eventually in the 18th century, it became a prison, though even that was not very successful and it was once again up for sale.  Today, it’s a national museum.

Aidan, Julie and Liam in the castle garden.

Aidan, Julie and Liam in the castle garden.

Josh at the entrance to the garden.

Josh at the entrance to the garden.

Muiderslot as we enter.

   Muiderslot as we enter.

Ok, so now you have a little bit of Muiderslot’s history.  We had only originally planned to walk around the grounds of the castle and maybe have a little picnic or something.  But since we had to pay to get on to the grounds, we figured why not just go inside as well.  Narrow, windy staircases, dark rooms and some great displays sums up this castle.  We especially liked the room with the armor, including the armor that the kids could try on in order to get an idea of just how heavy it was!

The well

The well

Looking out to the town of Muiden.

Looking out to the town of Muiden.

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Trying on some chain mail.

Trying on some chain mail.

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Trying on a knight's helmet

Trying on a knight’s helmet

Can you life the suit of armor?

Can you life the suit of armor?

A little jousting

         A little jousting

If only they could really do a joust!

If only they could really do a joust!

Trying to lift a very heavy sword!

Trying to lift a very heavy sword!

He found the "bathroom" (and found it hysterical)

He found the “bathroom” (and found it hysterical)

A little mock fighting

        A little mock fighting

Waging a battle

          Waging a battle

After finishing our tour of the castle (which took maybe an hour), we did a little exploring outside, letting the kids battle and run around before hopping on our bikes to head back to Naarden.  The bike ride back was much faster and much less tantrum-y than the ride out there.  All in all, it was a fun spring day out with the family and something we hope to do more often as the weather starts to become more favorable.

How they still have any energy is beyond me!

How they still have any energy is beyond me!

IMG_4115 IMG_4116

Yet another battle!

       Yet another battle!

We’re looking forward to sharing more of our new home now that we’ve finally started to do some exploring!

Julie

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