Posted by: yachtcrewsing | March 22, 2015

Giethoorn, Netherlands: A Dutch Masterpiece

   It’s a place where majestic storks roost overhead, where old wooden bridges and footpaths weave over top of intersecting canals- a place that seems almost borne of a painter’s imagination. 

   One hundred and twenty five kilometers to the north east of Amsterdam, nestled amongst fields with thatch crops waving in the perpetual breeze and along winding canals, is the town of Giethoorn. 

   It’s moniker “Little Venice” evokes a minimal sense of the place, with waterways and history being the only real points of comparison between the two towns; Giethoorn could never be mistaken for anything other than quintessentially Dutch. The Flemish-gabled houses with box gardens and bicycles leaning against their red brick, the punt-like riverboats and the small yet majestic church at the junction of three waterways all seems to belong strictly to this distinct country. 

   While apparently bustling with tourists in the summertime, in the present spring it is quiet. Ducks serenely paddle around the canals disturbed only by the infrequent passing boat. Strolling families occasionally encounter cyclists on the town’s countless wooden bridges. Otherwise, one is left to wander unhindered and to wonder uninhibited. 

   An abundance of wonderful restaurants and cafes offer traditional Dutch meals, good coffee, delicious appel koek (a ubiquitous and worthwhile treat) and genuine hot chocolate (for this I would recommend Grandcafe Fanfare).

   The sleepy little hamlet has an ineffable charm that draws, enchants and gives the feeling of homeliness. If you have the time and means when visiting Holland, make the trip to this truly “aww”-inspiring location. Rent a small boat, bring a picnic and some wine and spend an unforgettable afternoon in this magical town. You won’t regret it.

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