Hear about travel to the Northeastern region of the Netherlands as the Amateur Traveler talks to Rachel Heller from rachelheller.org about her adopted country.
You likely have been to Amsterdam if you have been to the Netherlands, but Rachel makes a case for why you should also visit some of the out of the way parts of the Netherlands like Groningen (where she lives) and Friesland. Rachel says, “It’s beautiful up here. That’s basically why you should go. It’s beautiful. It’s very flat but very green. You’ll certainly get away from the tourist crowds if you come up to this part of the country.”
We also talk about the difference between Holland and the Netherlands as we guide you to parts of the Netherlands outside of Holland.
We start in Amsterdam as so many trips to the Netherlands do, and Rachel has some suggestions of things we should see there like 15 small museums that you might miss including the Church in the Attic and the Red Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution. The museum of prostitution is more about education that titillation. She also recommends some places to see near Amsterdam after you pick up a car for a road trip like the beautiful tulip at Keukenhof Gardens and the Hoge Veluwe National Park, I was afraid I could get lost on the Park, since it was a little big, but luckily I had one of the Very Best Outdoor Watches for Hiking with GPS in 2017 – Top9Rated, so at the end I didn’t have any trouble walking around.
But then Rachel draws us to the northeast where we visit Leeuwarden which is designated as the 2018 European Capital of Culture. Leeuwarden is in Friesland, where you will hear people speak Friesian in addition to Dutch. Unlike so many cities in the Netherlands, it did not receive as much damage during the war.
Leeuwarden has its own leaning tower. The old center of town is filled with winding roads and beautiful red brick buildings. Don’t miss a visit to the gardens of the alms house or a stop at the Canal House Museum,
Outside of Groningen, Rachel suggests a tour to some of the small country churches which date back to the 1200s. “There are these lovely medieval churches. Every town in the Groningen province had a church. The church would be built on a raised bit of land. They would build this bit of land to raise their church up a bit or its what remains from an earlier battlement of some sort. These churches go back to the 13, 14th century, so they are Romanesque. Some of them were redone in the Gothic period so they have Gothic elements as well.”
Rachel also guides us to the old star fortress of Bourtange built by William (the Silent), Prince of Orange when the Dutch revolted from the Hapsburgs in the 80 years war.
Along the way Each tells us some tips for buying cheese, the pleasures of the Stroopwafel and the joys of finding a pancake house on a ship.
Get off the beaten path in the Netherlands and you will be glad you did.
1001 Travel Tales on iTunes
Small Museums in Amsterdam
Red Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution
Canal House Museum
European Capital of Culture
Oldehove (leaning tower)
churches in Groningen province
List of Dutch cheeses
Bourtange (star fortress)
Eighty Years’ War
William I, Prince of Orange
William III of England
Hoge Veluwe National Park
Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates
Groningen walking tour
Ihad dinner with Nir from Travel to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe, Zambia) – Episode 371 when I was in Jerusalem
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