Geithoorn: Countryside Venice

Surely you’ve heard of Venice in Italy: a city built on small islands that has canals instead of roads and gondolas instead of cars. The gondolas are especially stereotypical in romantic movies, driven by a gondolier singing a – presumably – love song. But have you ever wondered what Venice would be like if it were a small village in the countryside, rather than a city with over a quarter million inhabitants? You probably haven’t. However it does exist – believe me or not – right here in the Netherlands, and it’s called Giethoorn.

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Day at the Zoo

Visiting the zoo, or animal parks, is something me and my family really enjoy. We go usually once a month to one of the many small animal parks in the Netherlands, where entry for a family is usually around €20-€30.

But once a year, during the summer holidays, we plan in a visit to one of the larger animal parks or zoos. With high entry prices, parking fees, a day out with the family can quickly peak the €100 mark and more. So we make a big day of it, get there early, bring a picnic with us and stay for most of the day, with rest breaks planned in so our daughter won’t have a meltdown.

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Schiermonnikoog is an island that’s a 45min car drive and only a one-hour bus drive away from Groningen.

“Monnik” means “monk”, “schier” is an archaic word meaning “grey”, referring to the colour of the monks’ habits, and “oog” translates as “island”. The name Schiermonnikoog can therefore be translated as Grey Monk Island.- (Wikipedia)

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Orchideeën Hoeve

Last year I visited the Orchideeën Hoeve. It is a lovely place to visit when the weather isn’t great and we spent the whole day walking around the place and it is a nice day out for adults as well as children.

Part of the center is made up of tropical gardens. The first two areas you walk through are filled with an amazing adornment of tropical plants and flowers. Off from the main route are little side paths that children can have fun exploring along amongst the greenery. And there is seating dotted around for parents to enjoy the scenery while the kids explore.

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Oktoberfest, Groningen-style

The 182nd Oktoberfest, the world’s largest beer festival and fun fair, takes place in Munich from 19 September to 4 October this year. The festival originally began as a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen on October 12, 1810. Nowadays, the over 6 million visitors can enjoy a mixture of attractions, such as amusement rides, side-stalls and games, parades, and horse-racing, as well as a wide variety of traditional food and, of course, beer.

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