Me: Hey girls, it predicts a rainy day in Giethoorn on 10th August (2019).
Lakshmi: Damn! Its such a pretty place with nature, canals, fields, ponds, scenery and mostly its car-free, it can’t rain and spoil our day.
Nancy: Really, I was looking forward to a fashionable and fun day in Netherlands. How can the rain Gods spoil our girls trip? Bhai koi katori chupao…. Baarish nahi aati hai. (Someone please hide a bowl secretly and pray that it doesn’t rain heavily)
Me: Ha ha… we Indians have a superstitious gharelu nushka for everything. I laughed at it and dismissed it right away.
So this is how our excitement, anxiety and planning for Giethoorn began!
I first heard and learned about Giethoorn in Netherlands, from my friend Lakshmi and immediately fell in love with the first pictures of its canals, houses and wooden bridges. We were in Brussels in Belgium, in between our elaborate 7 weeks Euro trip and I told her we have to go to this place. Our host, our friend and our third partner in the gang, Nancy immediately looked for ways to reach there and we booked a trip via See-EU (A group that aims to show Europe to Indians in a very interesting, economical and friendly way.) I really liked the way they took care of the elderly couples and stuck to the itinerary, strictly.
When fairy tales come alive, you land up in Giethoorn
Okay, so we were booked for our Giethoorn Trip for 10 August. We made this booking a week before our Berlin and Hamburg trip (3rd to 9th August). I was already excited about my street art workshop in Germany and then I was travelling to Netherlands for the first time. While mostly people prefer to begin with Amsterdam, I was really happy about going the offbeat way. Giethoorn is one place where I actually felt fairy-tales were for real.
So Giethoorn is often called as the ‘the Venice of the Netherlands’ but trust me its much more prettier, greener and quieter. So how about knowing some facts about this village.
- Geitenhoorn means goat horns! The story goes that when the village came into being, the people found lots of horns of goats.
- Giethoorn counts for about 90 km of waterways and 180 plus bridges.
- There are charming and gorgeous farm houses and I was told most of them are from 18th and 19th century.
- I did not see any car during the whole day. Actually, there are no roads for cars. Giethoorn only has canals, boats, bridges and adorable houses.
- Apart from the boat cruise, there is the Weerribben-Wieden National Park to explore. Giethoorn lies right in there.
- Some of the farm houses serve as airbnb and it is great place to stay and just soak in the vibes.
- You may rent a personal boat and manoeuvre it yourself. Exploring the village through its waters is the best that one must do.
- Walk along the pathways along the water and fall in love with the houses there.
- Giethoorn has a couple of small museums too. You may like to visit Museum de Oude Aarde and ‘t Olde Maas Uus Museum.
- Don’t forget to enjoy some local Dutch snacks. You may even find some aged ladies making them and you can grab fresh bites.
Rains, Canal Cruise, Coffee, Jewelry shopping and Photoshoot in Giethoorn!
I know no one is really interested in reading long stories these days. And when you have so many lovely pictures to scroll through, why would you? So I will quickly take you through five highlights of our trip.
It was a girls trip. After a long time, we three were together. We are all fashionable young ladies. Of course, photo shoot very much in the plan. And the canals, flowers, small trails, picturesque backgrounds are in plenty to make you feel better.
Yes, it did rain that day. It began to drizzle just before our canal cruise but thankfully we had a covered boat and we enjoyed the pitter patter. There are hardly any roads in Giethoorn, so boat-ride is not just a touristy attraction, its a way of life here. Canal cruise is a must-do to get that first feel about the place.
We had some amazing coffee and cookies by the lake side restaurant. Later, we indulged in some gelato and fries too. Mistakenly, I barged in someones personal bridge too. I remember that look from Uncle Scrooge.
Girls will be girls, so shopping was mandatory. Apart from souvenirs, my gal pals bought some amazing stone jewelry as well.
We just strolled the whole village on foot, visited every shop, marveled at the houses, climbed all bridges and spent the day like happy carefree girls.
Did it rain all day?
P.S. The weather prediction was that it would rain for the whole day in Giethoorn but it rained for only an hour. The weather God smiled on us and suddenly the weather turned extremely pleasant. No plans were spoiled. We did have a fabulous trip, more than what we had expected.
So who hid the bowl? My friend asked… I smiled and said, “I did”.
Ha ha, so yes I did hide a bowl in the house and did my small prayer, early morning in Brussels before leaving for our bus stop point. I really dint want a rainy day. I am glad God heard me. I am not sure what worked but something worked. I love our non-harmful Indian beliefs and nushkas.