Holland Day 2: Giethoorn (Venice of the North), Overijssel
Posted June 7, 2011on:
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Giethoorn, meaning “goat horn”, also known as “Venice of the North” or “Green Venice” . The old village of Giethoorn was founded by a group of fugitives from the Mediterranean region in 1230, where the fugitives noticed loads of goat horns that had been left over after an immense flood destroyed the area a few years earlier upon their arrival (source).
As we stayed in Rotterdam, hence we departured from Rotterdam Centraal to Steenwijik, cost us €43.50/adult for return ticket (paid extra 50 cents because we bought at counter). The total time of a single journey took us approximately 4 hours to get there. Besides actual 2.5 hours on the train and roughly 20 minutes bus ride, we did spend additional time on waiting train transfer at Amersfoort and bus waiting time. At Amersfoort train transit point, we got a little bit confused of Platform 2a and 2b when we only seen Platform 2 (the train itinerary also only stated Platform/Track 2), and there was only one train arrived which we known was heading to Steenwijik. Fortunately, we asked and told by a nice woman just to hop in the train. In the train, we asked again and only knew the train will split into two parts (now we knew what a and b mean) after the next stop and each going to different direction, unfortunately, we obviously in the wrong train segment (we were in front segment). We walked to the rear train segment as last as possible so we could make a fastest access to the right segments at the next stop. The train captain would announce the split (in dutch by the way) before the train stopped, just hopped out and hopped in quickly because the train only stop for several minutes.
This picture just an example to depict my above mentioned scenario at Amersfoort transit point, the direction of 2a and 2b were not like ‘Y’ in reality. One train arrived but will be splitting and going to two stations at different direction after nth stop .
We appreciated people there were always being friendly and helpful whenever we asked for direction and info. If you departure from Amsterdam Centraal, it will take approximate 2 hours train ride, spending less time than departing from Rotterdam. There was also direct train that can prevent transit fuss. On the return trip, we both were fatigued and rather waited longer time for a direct train back to Rotterdam.
Passing through many farms and fields along the journey
Getting there : Take an intercity train to Steenwijik station , then take Connexxion Bus 70 at the Steenwijik bus station. We bought the bus ticket upon boarding the bus, €6.50/adult for return ticket. The bus stopped at Hylkemawag centre, which you would see most passengers got down the bus. The greenery Giethoorn just accross the road.
Saw some souvenirs shops, restaurants and tourists when “officially” entered the popular tourist spot. I didn’t expect it was commercialized to be frankly.
I slept from 6pm to 6am the day before so I was quite energetic but my SO who only slept at 10pm had not fully recovered from the previous physical or mental exertion, thus we preferred to take tourist boat for sightseeing. The shielded tourist boat charged €5 per person plus a complementary drink and gave a Giethoorn postcard. The guide will give some highlights along the 1 hour (or 1.5 hour, couldn’t remember well now) boat tour.
People can strolling and bicycling on the pedestrian paths, wheel chair can also move smoothly. There are no roads within the village, inhabitants of this village have their boats and transportation was done through the canals, or through the 700 brigdes in Giethoorn that connecting the houses.
The special thatched roof, canal, brigde made Giethoorn an interesting place. In the past, boats were used to transport peat although now they no longer dug. They also carry cattle to and from the meadows and bring in hay for winter.
What people were doing here…
But no swimming because …
In winter, Giethoorn is beautiful skating area for ice skater too.
Felt hungry after the boat tour, couldn’t resist the delicious fish & chips.
I wish I can master this… seemed to be fun.
Wait the bus back to train station on the opposite side of where you get down. While waiting the bus, we saw this. People were enjoyed the warm sunny day on boat.
Generally Giethoorn is a peaceful charming place that worth visit but we probably won’t pay a second visit in near future because it is too far from city and the journey costs quite a lot. As a tourist, we just can’t benefit the discounted fare of OV-chipkaart, however those staying near by would probably love to spend their weekend here.
– Wish you have a nice day –