Sunday, August 19, 2007

Idyllic Giethoorn in the Netherlands

Finally uploaded my Giethoorn pictures! Giethoorn is an old canal village known also as the “Venice of the North” here in the Netherlands.

Giethoorn: Venice of the North

giethoorn netherlands

We didn’t really stayed long in Giethoorn because this was just a quick stop over. Our original agenda for the day was to go to Friesland in Wolvega to visit friends. It was the birthday of our friend’s youngest little son, Dutchman’s godson actually. Because this boy is free spirited, mischievious and exhibits a streak of notoriety, we gave him a nickname, “De jonge Holleeder”, lol (tip: google Holleeder).

Giethoorn is part of the province Overijssel just near the border of Friesland (in the north of the Netherlands) and the old canal village is situated in the northern part of the region. There are cycling, hiking and walking paths in the area but the best way to experience and appreciate this beautiful place is to rent a boat or canoe. Because we didn’t have much time on our hands and we still have to go to Wolvega later that afternoon, we forego the boat idea and decided to hit the walking paths instead.

giethoorn netherlands

Giethoorn: Goat’s horns

A little bit of Dutch vocabulary exercise, Giethoorn means: Goat horns. The locals in the past claimed to have found horns of wild goats in the area. This place was also once a moorland -- peaty soil that developed into little patches of islands surrounded with ditches that never got drained. Later on people started building their homes on these hardened land masses.

Many of the pretty and cute houses in the village are isolated in picturesque islets with lovely gardens teeming with beautiful flowers. Most of the times, the only way to get to the house is by boat or via a small wooden bridge. We chuckled on the idea of actually living in this place and thought about doing the weekly boodschappen (grocery/food shopping). The only way to carry your goods is by bike or boat. Now that sounds idyllic indeed! Not.

giethoorn netherlands
giethoorn netherlands

You can also imagine how complicated it is to move in here – carry all your furniture by boat, and do take note a small boat because the waterways are tight. They are not wide enough to even fit a 2-way canal traffic. Moreover, the distinctive cute bridges are low. But other than that, the place is absolutely marvelous!

Giethoorn official tourism page: VVV Giethoorn

I would love to come back here again, and when that time comes, hopefully I will be able to explore this idyllic village not on foot, but by boat.

Visit Period: August 2007
Destination: Giethoorn (Overijssel), The Netherlands

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