Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dutch Reisgids

The whole Dutch family was today at our place. We celebrated the 40e birthday of the Dutchman (hey, life begins at 40 they say), and to my delight, Dutchman’s eldest sister brought something for me. She temporarily loaned me a book: Het toppunt van Nederland, which means something like --- the top point of the Netherlands.

“Het toppunt van Nederland”, a book by Aad Struijs, published in 2001, is a bestseller in the Netherlands. This book for sure can be found in any bookstore in the country.

The book is an extraordinary travel guide of the flatlands, highlighting the special and interesting sites of the country; some I believe are charismatic unheard of places. Places that your customary touristy travel books and bureaus will not acquaint you with and places that are YET to be truly, truly discovered by regular visitors, tourists, travelers, backpackers, and even the natives here!

There is also a little bit of historical summary for every featured travel discovery. The funny thing is, the travel tips somehow sounds like its Holland’s Guinness little travel sort of book. It shows you places and things with subject captions like - THE biggest, THE only, THE smallest, THE oldest, and all THE whatever you can think of.

Here are a few of the author’s tips:

First foto shows the biggest sailing wooden shoes which can only be found in Hattem; the largest castle in the Netherlands - Kasteel Huis Bergh in ‘s Heerenberg where Hollands’s only graphic coin master lives. In the second foto is “Het grootste middeleeuwse straatfestival in Nederland” (The biggest medieval street festival in the Netherlands) is in Deventer during Hemelvaartsdag [Ascension Day], every 25 May.

See, I didn’t even know about this biggest medieval street festival in the Netherlands? For sure I will be there this coming May!

Anyway, I’m flipping through the book and it’s giving me this sudden adrenalin rush of excitement. Blame my itching feet! I’ve been to many parts of the Netherlands already but just like anyone who’s caught with the travel bug, it’s never enough; there are still many, many pretty and fascinating spots in the country that I haven’t been to.

It seems that this book is indeed worthwhile; maybe I buy a copy for myself.

Dutch Reisgids means - Dutch travel guide.

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