A Day in Giethoorn, Netherlands

I’m seriously behind on blog posts, so to try and catch up, these next few blog posts will be predominantly photos – editing is easy, but narrating the trip can take a day or two, as I try to recall details and link to everything from restaurants to train stops. I LOVE getting back from a trip and then re-living all of the details here on Amsterdam and Beyond, but as I am so far behind, I am less excited to chat about these travel tales as they feel like SO LONG ago, and the details are more fuzzy. So let’s breeze through the slightly older content over the next few weeks, so I can tell you all about my road trip with Kai through the Southwest of the US, and more recently, my trip to Japan with Amie!However, before we get there, I want to tell you all about the adventures that Kai and I had in Giethoorn. Giethoorn is a car-free village in the north of Holland. Like many Dutcn towns, here you will find canals, bridges, and bikes. But the lack of cars and predominant footpaths make this old Dutch down even more charming. Throw in a plethora of thatched-roof houses and you have yourself something akin to a fairy village!Our plans to visit Giethoorn panned out very last minute – which is very unlike me! Kai and I penciled in an adventure day, and that morning when we woke up, we took a look at a map, and decided to rent a car and head north. I didn’t look on Trip Advisor for things to do, and we didn’t book our car three months in advance. It was nice to have an experience outside of Amsterdam that required little planning on my behalf – and that is part of the charm of Giethoorn – it’s so small you don’t have to plan a lot and you wont miss a thing! We arrived around 10am and paid €6 in a lot to park for the day. We then walked about five minutes to the nearest foot path, which lead us right into the village. We stopped at a tea house for a coffee and lunch (Kai got a traditional stuffed pancake and I got a fish dish which wound up consisting of the head, tail fin, and everything in between!) It was a very typical Dutch lunch in the sun – nothing to write home about, but again, the ease of going with the flow outweighed our desire to spend time hunting for gems, and what we did discover was perfectly OK :)We spent the rest of the day casually walking around. Feeding swans, poking our heads into shops, and stopping on the water for a drink in the sun.In places, Giethoorn was crowded and stressful, and in other spots, it was serene and relaxing.
I’m a fan of wandering off the beaten path, if only to see what else you might stumble upon :)The best part was at the very end, when we were walking back to our car. I spotted my colleague, Marie, in a boat with her boyfriend, and they motioned for us to hop aboard!So we ended the day cruising the canals (an activity I was hesitant to partake in previously do to the crowding on the small canals!)but with an experienced driver, Kai and I were at ease in the boat and we had a blast wrapping up the day with some company  :)We also got to experience the Belterwijde (the big lake that feeds the canals) from the water, which offered a much more dreamy vantage point than the shore.

Overall it was a fantastic day out of Amsterdam, and Kai and I have made a pact to have more days out and about in the Netherlands! Who knows where we will end up next :)

xo Ali

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