Travelrific® Travel Journal

A blog for travel enthusiasts. Listen to our podcasts on the blogroll at Travelrific® Radio. Visit our Wanderful Places® Travel Shop for travel-inspired merchandise!

Archive for netherlands

Europe’s Offshore Ferris Wheel

By Linda Tancs

Scheveningen is Holland’s most famous seaside resort. Just 15 minutes away from The Hague city center, it boasts fabulous beaches, dining experiences and yearlong cultural events. Add to that Europe’s first Ferris wheel built over the sea: Skyview de Pier. Over 131 feet high, the wheel has 36 closed gondolas with air conditioning, including one VIP gondola with a glass bottom. Seating up to six people per gondola, the ride lasts 20 minutes and is open daily.

Advertisements

Dutch Blue and Orange

By Linda Tancs

Blue and orange embody the Dutch city of Delft. For instance, its blue earthenware has been a popular export for over 400 years. Royal Delft, established in 1653, is the last remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century, and its prized pottery is still entirely hand-painted according to centuries-old tradition. The canal-ringed city in the western Netherlands is also the former seat of the royal House of Orange (named for a medieval province in southern France). One of the oldest royal families in the world, almost every deceased member of the family since William of Orange has been interred in the royal crypts at the New Church.

More Than Cheese

By Linda Tancs

Edam is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands and put its namesake city on the map. But there’s more to this city than its cheese. In fact, shipbuilding is a prosperous part of its history, giving birth to Halve Maen (Half Moon). That was the ship assigned to Henry Hudson by the Dutch East India Company to chart a new route to Asia. Instead, bad weather found him charting the river in New York that now bears his name. Prized today for quaint shops and canals, it also boasts a fort with spectacular views of the wetlands. And, oh, about the cheese: the cheese market was the hub of the city in the Middle Ages where farmers brought their cheeses to be weighed, sold and exported all over the world. Re-enactments of the market’s hustle and bustle are held on Wednesdays during the summer from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Look for signage to Kaasmarkt.

The Pilgrims’ Pride

By Linda Tancs

South of Amsterdam and a short distance from The Hague, Leiden is home to the Netherlands’ oldest university and the birthplace of Rembrandt. An often overlooked part of its history, however, is its role as host to the Pilgrims (of Mayflower fame). Indeed, it is in Leiden where a group of English Calvinists settled after fleeing persecution in their homeland, thereafter setting sail for Plymouth, Massachusetts. Their story is told at the American Pilgrim Museum in the city center.

The Marlstone City

By Linda Tancs

Valkenburg is the central town in the municipality of Valkenburg aan de Geul in the southeastern Dutch province of Limburg. It’s equally as charming as nearby Maastricht (Limburg’s capital city) although probably not as well known despite having been fought after for centuries.  In fact, the city and its environs were conquered in medieval times by Duke Philip the Bold for Burgundy. No doubt he was attracted to the warm yellow glow of marlstone girding its cliffs. Marlstone was mined to build the old castle (now in ruins), cultivated from the caves that now serve as a major tourist attraction. At a unique cave gallery, professional marlstone sculptors will help you unleash your inner Claus Sluter.

Holland in a Day

By Linda Tancs

You can experience over 200 years of Dutch culture at the Netherlands’ Open Air Museum, the biggest folk museum in the Netherlands. Located in a beautiful park on the outskirts of Arnhem, the property brings the past to life. Exhibits include old farmhouses, windmills, Dutch houses and plenty of craft demonstrations. Better hurry, the season ends on 28 October—unless, of course, you’d prefer to experience a winter celebration from days gone by. From 1 December 2012 to 13 January 2013 you can experience stew and green beans amidst an atmosphere of music and song. Try skating on the festively lit skating rink or whiz down the toboggan run at the Delft windmill.

Netherlands’ Theatre of Nature

By Linda Tancs

Today marks the start of Floriade, a world horticultural exposition that is held in the Netherlands once roughly every 10 years.  So you know that something that long in the making has to be really special.  Consider the last Floriade in 2002, featuring a floating roof made out of 19,000 solar panels and Spotter’s Hill, a 30-metre-high pyramid.  This year’s event, running through 7 October, features 163 acres of park and 98 acres of showgrounds covering five distinct theme worlds: Relax & Heal, Green Engine, Education & Innovation, Environment, and World Show Stage.  As you might suspect, the exhibitions are aimed at explaining how flowers, plants, trees, vegetables and fruit impact your daily life.  For the first time ever, the event will take place outside the Randstad, in Venlo.  On the border between the Netherlands and Germany, the region is one of the largest horticultural areas in Europe.

%d bloggers like this: