* A trip through The Netherlands
Guides to The Netherlands - so you know where to go on your trip to Holland
In case you want to read up before you come over here.
12 Dutch Provinces - 12 Views on Holland
In "a trip through The Netherlands" I want to take you on a sightseeing trip and show you some other aspects of my country, which tourists normally wouldn't see when they travel through The Netherlands. Holland through my camera is the Title, because I do a lot of travelling in my country due to being a sheep inspector of the very rare and old Dutch sheep breed Drenthen Heath Sheep
So....this is quite a challenge, because The Netherlands may not be that big, it has so many interesting things to share apart from the 'normal' tourist attractions like Amsterdam and the famous museums, like the Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh museum. The Netherlands is devided in 12 Provinces: North-Holland, South-Holland, Zeeland, North-Brabant, Limburg, Utrecht, Gelderland, Overrijssel, Flevoland, Drenthe, Groningen and Friesland. Each one has its own landscape. I'll show you one attraction which is typical for that particular Province.
I live in the South part of the Province Zeeland, called Zeeuws-Vlaanderen
I'm sorry, it has become a rather long journey, but I hope you'll enjoy it anyway.
Copyright text and photos, if not mentioned otherwise: Titia Geertman
The province map images are courtesy of each province site in the Dutch Wikipedia
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1. North-Holland - A cheese market tradition
Alkmaarder Cheese market, a must see in The Netherlands
North-Holland: country capital is Amsterdam and provincial capital is Haarlem. Up North you'll find Alkmaar and this city is famous for its Cheese Market. There are only four official cheese markets left in The Netherlands and the Alkmaarder cheesemarket is famous for the way they move the cheese around, a tradition of 400 years. As a tourist you can't buy the cheese on the market itself, but there are lots of cheese stores around where you can buy the local made cheese. The market is only open on Fridays, from the first Friday in April until the first Friday in September, between 10.00am and 12.30pm.
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia.nl
Museums in Alkmaar - The Beatles, Cheese, Beer and Stoves
Downtown Alkmaar is a beautiful old city and it has some nice museums, worth to take a look
- Beatles Museum
Museum dedicated to the Beatles, because John Lennon's first guitar was made in Alkmaar.
- Dutch Cheese Museum
Where you can get all the information about the local Dutch cheese and the 400 year old cheese market.
- National Beer Museum 'de Boom'
The museum is housed in the former Beer Brewery
- Dutch Stove and Heater museum
Small museum where they show stoves, heaters and cookers from the early 1900 till today.
Titia's Photos Province North-Holland - Holland is famous for its Windmills, Water and VegetablesClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Isle of Texel - belongs to the Province North-Holland
- The Isle of Texel
Beautiful island in the Wadden Sea.
Dutch Singers - Jan Smit, Jeroen v.d. Boom, Nick and Simon, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Guus Meewis
We have a lot of Dutch singers and some of them come from Volendam. Must be a musical city.
2. South-Holland - Big Cities and Nature Reserves
The Biesbosch - water and willow trees
South-Holland: besides the government/provincial capital The Hague and the largest port in Europe Rotterdam, a real nature treasure can be found in the South part of this Province: The Biesbosch.
The Biesbosch is one of the most beautiful parks I've seen (well I haven't seen many outside my country) and it is one of the last freshwater tide areas in Europe. A real must if you love nature, wildlife and birds.
Titia's Photos Province South-Holland - Windmills, Cows, Clouds and big RiversClick thumbnail to view full-size
3. Zeeland (Zealand) - land surrounded by sea and sea arms
Zierikzee: back to ancient times
Zeeland or Zealand in English: is my 'hometown' province and I live in the lowest part, the only part that isn't surrounded by water on three sides, but only on two sides, because the third side is connected to Belgium.
Recently I wrote a lens about 'my' part of the Province which you can find below as a featured lens. So I decided to show you a beautiful old city: Zierikzee.
Zierikzee has a bit of a special meaning for me, because my father's father has been the head of the postoffice there for a long time, when my dad was young. My dad made a few beautiful drawings of the old tower of Zierikzee.
More photos of Zierikzee
Titia's Photos Province Zeeland - Farmland, Polders, old Creeks and Small VillagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Blof - Singer group from Zeeland
Many books have been written about The Netherlands
A lot of writers have written books about Holland in one way or other.
It certainly is well known:
Dutchies have a mind of their own.
Each Province has its specialties,
in landscape and originallities.
Most land is bordered by the sea.
We're multicultural as the world should be.
4. North-Brabant - exuberant hospitality
On Safari in The Netherlands -Safari Park Beekse Bergen
North-Brabant:Friendly people with an exuberant hospitality. Near Tilburg you'll find the largest wildlife zoo in Europe Safari Park Beekse Bergen. Visitors can explore the park either in their own car, by bus or on foot.
You'll find a variety of about 1200+ animals there like lions, cheetahs, giraffes, apes and its famous for its bird shows.
Safari Park Beekse Bergen
Photo courtesy: Beekse Bergen
Titia's Photos Province North-Brabant - Creeks and DitchesClick thumbnail to view full-size
5. Utrecht - where History meets Modern Times
The City of the famous Canal Pubs
What makes the city of Utrecht in the Province Utrecht so special is not only the famous Cathedral with the Long John tower, but the canal structure in the inner city. You will see here the unique wharf-basement structures, which create a two-level street along the canals. Used as storage rooms in the old days, they've been turned into pubs today.
Titia's Photos Province Utrecht - Nature Reserves and a Drenthen Heathsheep herdClick thumbnail to view full-size
6. Limburg - Famous for its fruit pies
and the only 'mounain' we have in The Netherlands
Limburg is the most South situated province of our country. It's bordered to Germany on the East side and Belgium on the South and West side. It has our one and only 'mountain' where the three countries come together on Mount Vaals. It is famous for its gravel caves.
The big river Meuse is floating through the whole province, from South to North.
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Limburg has its own official regional language.
Band from Limburg
Netherland - Vintage Contemporaries
Interesting book about the friendship of two 'immigrants' in New York, one from the Netherlands and the other from Trinidad.
7. Gelderland - historic river landscape
Zutphen on the river IJssel
Gelderland is a beautiful province where most of the big rivers find there way to the sea. I've chosen the old city of Zuphen, situated at the border of the river IJssel.
It's a beautiful old city and the river IJssel is a beautiful river too, lots of 'food' for cameras.
Museums in Zutphen
- Stedelijk Museum Zutphen and Museum Henriëtte Polak
Culture historic museum showing the history of the city Zutphen and its surroundings.
- Museum 'Boer Kip'
"Boer Kip' was an old farmer who never let anybody in his house during his life. When he died he left his farm to the city and it appeared he was a painter and had painted on everything. His farm is now his museum. He is what they call a primitive pa
Titia's photos Province Gelderland - In between the big riversClick thumbnail to view full-size
8. Flevoland - New Land and New Cities
The Land we reclaimed from the Sea
Flevoland is literally risen from the sea, as it is a 'hand made' piece of land. When they decided in 1916 to close the open Zuidersea in the North, they named this sea the IJsselmeer = IJssel Lake. There were too little ilands in this lake, Urk and Schokland and they build a dam around them and filled it up with sand and soil and so the Noord-Oost Polder was born. Later they did it again with a bigger piece as they needed more land for people who worked in Amsterdam. The combination of the two pieces of reclaimed land is called Flevoland. The Dutch are famous as it comes to waterworks. If you want to know more, you can search on the keywords and they will bring you to Wikepedia.
I'm not going to choose the old village Urk, though it deserves a visit, but I choose Lelystad, the province capital. Lelystad is 'famous' for two things: replica of the Batavia ship and Aviodrome
Mutiny on the Batavia Ship
Dutch East India Company - Back to history
The Batavia ship was one of the ships of the Dutch East India company the V.O.C. The reason why this particular ship is famous, is because it has a history of mutiny and it shipwrecked on its first trip.
On a wharf in Lelystad they've build a replica of this ship and turned it into a museum. Photo is mine.
The Aviodrome is an Aerospace Museum located on the Airport Lelystad. It was established by the Dutch airline KLM and the Dutch airplane manufactorer Fokker.
Titia's Photos Province Flevoland - Taken on the coastal road from Lelystad to AlmereClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Netherlands in a Nutshell
Visiting The Netherlands and not see the famous Rembrandt? Some things you just must have seen before leaving a country.
9. Overijssel - Rivers, Nature and Woods
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Mastenbroek polder around 1750
Titia's Photos Province Overijssel - Washlands of the big RiversClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Dutch Kitchen - Cook Book
The Dutch Kitchen
I'm sure we have some strange food going around in the eyes of foreigners, but the Dutch kitchen is a kitchen where honest food is prepared.
Different from for instance the USA, we Dutchies like to have all our food on one plate: potatoes, veggies/salade and meat or fish.
10. Drenthe - the land of Peat, Dolmen and Myths
History, Heath fields and Drenthen Heath sheep
If I ever want to move, it will be to the Province Drenthe. This is one of the most beautiful provinces in The Netherlands and it has such a great history that I don't know where to start. I think I'll just make a link list to give you some websites to look at. Almost everything in Drenthe is worth looking at. This province is the cradle of my very old and rare Dutch native sheep breed Drenthen Heathsheep. You could visit the open-air museum Orvelte, the whole village is turned into a museum. It's a great place if you like biking, there are lots of different accommodations to stay overnight, though in Summer it's rather crowded. The provincial capital Assen is famous for it's big motor race circuit and the yearly motor races TT Assen
Drenthe-Poem - Photo: The museum village Orvelte
Things to do in Drenthe
- Museum Village Orvelte
Orvelte is a 'must' see in Drenthe. It's open all year, but the shops and other attraction are open from Good Friday till the end of September. Dutch website.
- Open Air Museum Ellert and Brammert
A fun museum, where you can 'taste' history.
- Drents Museum
Beautiful museum about the history of this province in all its aspects
- Museum Camp Westerbork
Also a 'must' see. This is the partially open air museum of the Camp Westerbork, from where thoudands and thousand of Jewish and other people have been deported mainly to Auschwitz.
- TT Assen Race Circuit
TT Assen Motor race circuit (= last weekend of June)
Titia's photos in Province Drenthe - Going back in HistoryClick thumbnail to view full-size
11. Friesland - the land of Friesian Horses, Cows and Seals
Friesland has its own official language
In the Province Friesland you'll find a lot of nice things to do. Friesland has, like Limburg, its own official regional language. Among other things, Friesland is famous for the Seal Rehabilitation and Research Centre (SRRC) of Lenie 't Hart in Pieterburen, way up North in Friesland at the border of the Wadden Sea.
It started out as a simple 'crèche' for young seals in 1971 and grew into an internationally well known and well respected scientific research-based seal hospital, where many sick seals have been cared for and have been set back to freedom when healed.
Friesian Islands in the Wadden Sea - Rough nature and long beaches
These islands belong to the Province Friesland
Friesian Singer Group "De Kast"
Little Quilts from The Netherlands
Quilts were made in the old days, when the winters were cold and there was no central heating. Quilts keep you warm and we Dutchies have made some darn pretty ones.
12. Groningen - University City
Agriculture and the Wadden Sea
The Province Groningen with its province capital Groningen, is the most northern province in The Netherlands. There is a big University in the city Groningen (a beautiful old city) and the landcape is a treat for every photographer's eye. As I don't know what to choose, I'll give you a link to the Province Groningen where you can click around. On top you can choose the English version.
City of Appingendam- hanging kitchens
Photo courtesy: The Netherland Connection/Experience
Here ends my tour
I hope you've enjoyed yourself
Here ends my tour of showing you my land from a different view. Alas I haven't made photos of the landscape in the Province Groningen yet. It's diagonally at the other side from where I live and I think it's about a 5/6 hour drive to get there. I haven't been there on sheep inspections either.
There is so much more to see besides the obvious things like Amsterdam, the Rijkswacht, Van Gogh, Mills and so on. Not that I don't recommend you should see those things, not at all, they're beautiful and part of our culture, but if you step aside the 'Highway', you'll see a different landscape, that's all.
I hope you've enjoyed your trip, I've enjoyed making it.
When you ever decide to come to The Netherlands, just let me know, I might be able to meet you somewhere.