These days the sky seems to be on our side: we woke up in the sun bath and prepared our bags for one night stay in Zwolle. It was a long trip from Haarlem, we needed to change the train 4 times, but we were excited about our plan to visit Urk and Giethoorn.
First we took the train to Kampen from where the bus 141 can be taken to Urk. I’ve read about Urk some time ago, on a dutch traveling site. It was one of the best locations and I was just waiting for the opportunity to visit it. The bus ride was nice; you go through the bloomed potatoes lines. Wherever you turn your eyes you see the white little flowers. Oh, and also a lot of onion. And finally you arrive in Urk, a small town, which has as main activity fishing. The houses are small and most of them have wood on the upper facade. In the harbor a lot of fishing ships are put to rest: they are old, with rusted lines and all of them have their name like “UK” and a number. Some of the men have golden earrings, remembering the time when the fishermen were dying on the sea and they were identified based on them. It is an old tradition, but you still see little boys with them. Being an important fishing town we ate a good and cheap fish; the food was amazing and one of the best we had since we are in Netherlands. After this good meal we just walked through the town and, by mistake, we ended up in the interior garden of some houses. But the people were nice to us and guided us to the exit on the other side. We climbed the lighthouse and the experience was new to us. Staying there and just observe the sea, the ships moving fast and the windmills from Enkhuizen. The view is great and it was perfect, due to the wind which was refreshing. Near Urk is a pathway near the windmills. We never seen a windmill so close – they are huge! On the way back we’ve entered the forest. It was chill and just what we needed after walking in the hot sun in the middle of the day.
In Zwolle we’ve visited the centrum, which is, as many others, separated by water. The houses are distinct in this area and you get by a lot of terraces, which are calling you to sit down and enjoy a beer. I didn’t know until now that Grolsch beer in made in Netherlands, but after seeing so many terraces offering beer I search it and it seems it is made nearby Zwolle.
The next day we took the train to Steenwijk. This is the main point if you want to visit Giethoorn by public transport. From there you can take bus 70. Even if it was in the morning the train was full with tourists and in less than 5 minutes it was entirely occupied. We searched online on how to visit Giethoorn and we thought that it would be nice to rent a boat. But almost all the boats were already rented and it was a bless that we didn’t rented online: the village was so busy with tourists that you would have stayed a lot in the canals intersections. Since we aren’t patient by nature, we decided just to go with a tour boat. It was cheaper and the tour was for about an hour. Going through the village I was not able to stop my thoughts about the intimacy of the people living there: in less than 1 minute 10 tourists would see whatever you are doing in your garden. The culture is really different: I don’t get bothered with the fact that we don’t have curtains and we can see our neighbors and they can see us (in this morning I’ve seen my neighbor completely naked). But I can’t stop of asking myself if the people living in Giethoorn aren’t bothered by the mass of tourists. For me is still hard not to look at my neighbors windows and even at the gym I can’t stop looking at the naked girls. I feel embarrassed, because I know I am intruding, but I do my best to get used and act normal in these situations. Going back to Giethoorn: the village is beautiful, all the houses are full of flowers and the canals are paved with hydrangea flowers of all the colors.
All in all I fall in love with Urk, I would move there, but without a job. It’s like a perfect town to have a beautiful and peaceful life. Who knows, maybe one day…