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Insider's Tips From Three JourneyWomen in Holland...

 

Just when you thought that Holland was only tulips, wooden shoes and windmills along comes Journeywoman to make you think again. There are 12 provinces in this tiny country to whet your appetite, and here’s a tip for each, straight from the authors of Here’s Holland (www.heresholland.com) -- three JourneyWomen who have lived in Holland for eons and know the country inside out:

Sheila Gazaleh-Weevers moved to Holland over 30 years ago, so she knows first-hand what visitors to a new country need in order to make their stay memorable. Shirley Agudo moved to Europe in 1993 and now lives near Amsterdam. Based in Holland since 1981, Connie Moser now lives in the Dutch town of Haarlem. We asked these three women to give us twelve juicy insider's tips about what to see in Holland. Here is what they had to say...



#1 North Holland...

Beyond Amsterdam and the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, and Van Gogh Museum -- all a must -- is Zaanse Schans, an open-air museum with a twist: people actually live there – in real homes dating from the 17th – 19th centuries – all transported from the neighboring area by boat! Step inside and see what it was really like in Dutch homes from different eras. Windmills and many fascinating craft and gift shops – including an antique shop – complete the picture. Do your Holland souvenir shopping all in one place! Website: www.zaanseschans.nl

 

#2 South Holland...

If you’re in the market for blue and white pottery, ladies, get thee to Delft – the Dutch town world-renowned for its porcelain and ceramics. You’ll be astounded by the number of shops selling these wares, but your search must first include a visit to the Royal Delftware Factory (De Porceleyne Fles), complete with tour and demonstrations, a small museum and, of course, a shop full of pottery! We recommend that you visit this world-famous factory before venturing out to buy elsewhere. They’ll fill you in as to what is legitimate and what are cheap copies. Website: www.royaldelft.com

 

#3 Utrecht...

Here in the town of the same name as the province, you’ll find the enchanting Musical Clock to Street Organ Museum (Nationaal Museum van Speelklok tot Pierement), where you’ll be amazed at the variety and sound from the incredible pieces on display (be sure to do the English tour where they play the clocks and street organs – some of which fill an entire room). Website: www.museumspeelklok.nl

And don’t miss Utrecht’s unique, lower canal-side bistros for a different type of meal, waterside, while you watch the passing vessels. (Great shopping here too.)

 

#4 Gelderland...

The Open Air Museum (Openluchtmuseum) here is quite well known as a fascinating collection of authentic buildings from all over Holland, brought together to show what life for the rural population used to be like. Farms, windmills, watermills, a church, etc., are represented. The buildings are all original and furnished in a traditional manner. Check out the laundry from 1900, run by horsepower! Makes you appreciate our modern-day appliances. Fresh bread and biscuits baked daily in the park, plus a typical Dutch pancake restaurant, as well as a charming Museum Restaurant serving warm and cold meals. Definitely make a day of it! Website: www.openluchtmuseum.nl

 

#5 Flevoland...

This is an entire province that was reclaimed from the sea. See Almere, a town created in 1975 and hailed as an architectural experiment. Amazing neighborhood plans with names like ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Reality’. Escape in mind and body, and see how ingenious the Dutch really are. Website: www.vvvnoordoostpolder.nl

 

#6 Brabant...

Kids in tow? Be sure to take them to the award-winning Efteling fairyland amusement park, a fantasy designed by Anton Pieck, Dutch artist, incorporating fairy tales from around the world. Set in beautiful woodland and complete with a very nice hotel (with theme rooms) right in the park, Efteling makes for a great overnight. The enchanted forest, a haunted castle that rivals Disney’s, rollercoasters, spinning rooms of Villa Volta, paddling pool for tots, boating lake, monorail around the whole complex, an original steam carousel, a gondoletta ride and so much more will keep you and your children occupied for a couple of days. Website: www.efteling.nl

 

More Insider Tips From Three JourneyWomen in Holland...

 

 

 

 

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