WALIBI Holland

Ready for some Dutch excitement?!?!

GOLIATH

ROBIN HOOD
EXCALIBUR, G-FORCE, THE TOMAHAWK, SPACE SHOT,
CONDOR and SKYDIVER

These are some of the THRILL rides, you will find in WALIBI
PARK, situated in Biddinghuizen.

It will take you about one hour to get from Amsterdam to Biddinghuizen, the distance is about 70 km.

For the ones who are not such  dare devils, there are plenty of other fun things to do.
During the high season, you should take into account that the waiting time for the attractions can be long.
There is a way to avoid tedious waiting in line, but it will cost you quite a bit more (worthwhile though…in our opinion): the popular attractions are so called fast lane rides: you can get a bronze, silver of gold fast lane ticket for resp. 20, 30 or 50 euros, on top of the entry fee.
We took the silver ticket, which was very enjoyable.

Maybe you cannot get enough of the excitement, or you wish to explore the local area and you would like to stay overnight.  There are several types of cottages for rent at the park, but there are plenty of hotels in the vicinity as well.

 

Tour de Volendam-Marken

Every day, people from all over the world visit the villages of Volendam and Marken, which are situated on and in the Markermeer, the southern part of the IJsselmeer. (“meer” = lake) This area is close to Amsterdam, even in biking range, but has its own unique atmosphere. We were there too, last August… and here’s what we did 🙂

We spent a lovely, long weekend at the Marina Park, a nicely designed holiday park with many facilities, within walking distance from Volendam. The park is built in the typical Volendam architectural style and is situated on the shores of the Marker lake, offering nice accommodation in a great location. It has a closed off harbour for private boats, but there is a rental company that rents out power engine rubber boats for the public at large.

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Volendam has its characteristic small, narrow houses, an old harbour overlooking the Markermeer and the well known DIJK (Dike).  During the summer, tourists enjoy  browsing the small shops, the many restaurants and relax with a drink or a meal on one of the pub’s terraces on the waterfront. Volendam is mainly known for its remarkable, regional costume; you can see pictures of the costume everywhere and there are a few shops where you can have your photo taken wearing one…just what you need over your mantel stove!

From the harbour, boats are seen sailing to and fro Marken. You can board a sailing boat, learn a thing or two about sailing from the pro’s and explore the lake. There is also a ferry, “the Marken Express“, which runs back and forth a couple of times a day between Volendam and Marken. We thought it was an enjoyable way of travelling back to Volendam and complete our circular tour.

Entering the harbour of Volendam. Picture taken from the “Marken Express” ferry

Marken was a small island until the year of 1957. That is when it was connected to the main land by means of a 7-kilometre-long dike…great for biking! We rented electric bikes here in Volendam (a good idea for the less – or untrained biker…there can be pretty strong winds on those dikes:-)) for a very reasonable price, and we set out on a wonderful 25 km. long biking trip to Marken via Monnickendam and other pretty villages, onto the 7 km. long dike which connects the island Marken with the main land. We cycled over the dike to Marken, had a look around in the pittoresque harbour village, cycled to the north side of the island towards the light house, “the White Horse“, which faces the waters of the extended IJsselmeer. In the afternoon, after having visited Marken, we took the Marken Express ferry back to Volendam, which took about half an hour. It’s no problem to take your bike onto the ferry, you just pay a little extra.

 

Light house “The White Horse”, Marken

There are plenty of biking routes in the area, which take you along the waterfront and into the beautiful Dutch countryside with many authentic small  cobble stone villages such as Monnickendam. The various landscapes, sea, grassy planes and old villages, are all absolutely breathtaking. Here is a great app for finding and designing your own biking routes in Holland, very handy and user friendly. You can add stops wherever you like on your route and the app will give suggestions for sights and activities in the areas of the stops you desire. Brilliant!

Another fun activity is to rent an electric boat in Edam. Pub/Cafe “de Harmonie” offers boats on the channels of Edam, yes, the village of that famous Dutch cheese. Take a map with you and sail away!

After a long bike ride through Volendam, Monnickendam, Marken, do what the Dutch do after a sportive, or any other effort…time for a cup of coffee or tea, a prosecco or a nice cold beer, even better…
You could  try the local smoked eel…it’s considered a delicacy!

Or maybe just play it safe with a bag of the famous Dutch chips!

Munching away in the harbour of Volendam

Whatever you do, have fun!!!!

Here are some more pictures from our trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Written in the Stars

Holland has many little treasures all over, waiting to be discovered.  Sometimes, such little treasures need to be whispered into your ear, so you’ll know where to look and to discover them.
If you are staying in Amsterdam or surroundings, you can drive over the “Afsluitdijk“, a shortcut over water, bridging the West and the North of Holland. In the North of Holland, in the province of Friesland, you can find many treasures, such as these:

The Antique Planetarium in Franeker

This planetarium, a scaled model of our solar system, is situated in the village of Franeker in Friesland and was built between 1774 and 1781. It has been working ever since. It was built by an enlightened amateur-astronomer by the name of Eise Eisinga, who constructed the mechanical planetarium according to astronomic insights at the time. Saturn was the farthest known planet back then. Besides the very impressive planetarium, there are exhibits of modern astronomy, documentaries, temporary exhibitions and an interactive exposition; “Space”. You can visit the scientist’s historic house and browse through his beautiful manuscripts.
This planetarium is the oldest working planetarium in the world.

If you wish to have a look at some antiquities, Franeker has a very nice antique shop “Allegaartje” (a bit of everything“) which sells antiques online as well. The site is not in English so if you are looking for something in particular or if you have a question, email them.

For a beautiful high tea or a nice meal, visit this beautiful pub-restaurant “De Stadstuin“, which is very near to the planetarium. The site is only in Dutch but if you take our “Dutch food test“, you will recognise many typical Dutch dishes on the menu such as kroket, bitterballen and pannekoek.
Tip: try a cup of “planetarium tea” or an ice-cold “planet-beer“.

 

And since you are already in Friesland, the North of Holland, you could combine the Franeker Planetarium with a visit to a museum village in Allingawier (Aldfaers Erf)This is an entire village preserved as it was a 100 years ago, today a cultural-historic museum. You walk around and you can enter every house and find out what a bakery looked like back then, what a black smith and a painter company looked like, and a renovation company. You can get guided tours or walk around by yourself. There is a nice playground for children too. The distance between the planetarium and the museum village is easily do-able, even if you are up North only for the day. This entirely antique village takes you back in time, to the slow rhythm of way back when.

We are sure you will enjoy this relaxing day of “time gone by” up in the North of Holland!

 

 

LOOKOUT! SWING IS THE THING!

Listen to “Deep River Quartet” in the background- a wonderful close harmony group from the East of Holland! Ragtime!

Who likes to swing? And who likes to swing over the edge of a tall building?
We suppose the answer to the second question will be met by far less “YES ME!” outcries than the first one.
So, have a look at the highest swing on top of the Amsterdam Tower, and decide if you want to do this FOR REAL…
THIS SWING is for the genuine daredevils among you!!!
Note: we chickened out….ahead of time:-)

TIP:
Combine the Lookout Swing with a visit to  “This is Holland” which we mentioned in a previous post; the buildings are right next to each other.
Check out everything about this crazy swing here! Scroll down for combi-tickets.

Are you feeling a bit hungry after all this swinging excitement?
Try the Pasta Factory! No need to explain what is served…
There are 2 locations in Amsterdam:
One is here: Muntplein 7 and the other one is here: Reguliersdwarsstraat 32h.

Jennifer’s daughter and her friends were at the Pasta Factory 2 weeks ago and had a great time there enjoying delicious Italian food.

Have you already swung on the Amsterdam rooftop? Have you already enjoyed a nice dish at the Pasta Factory? Share your experiences with us!

 

The Boy, the Finger and the Dyke

The power of nature; pictures of one of Holland’s disastrous floods

This Delta Park is situated about 100 km. south of Rotterdam in the province of Zeeland.

More of half of the Netherlands lies below sea level.  In order to keep the Dutch people save the Delta Plan was created.  At Neeltje Jans you can see the movies, but also see the real thing. You can have a look at the 45 meter wide steel doors, they let the tides rush through.

But…there is more…. seal shows, an aquarium. You might like to to get blown away in the hurricane simulator (windforce 12) There is a water playground, Aquasplash.

Find out more on: neeltjejans.nl

Petra and the Oysters in Zeeland

 

Petra and the Oyster face to face :-O

At the extra cost of 4 euros you can go on a one hour boat trip

Very close to the Delta Park you will find a fish restaurant, it is very basic with wooden tables outside, but it offers excellent sea food straight from the sea.

proefzeeland.nl (not in English, but the pictures explain everything:-))

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

What a great song by: the Clash! 

So, yeah, this post is about stay (or go:-)) as you might have guessed from listening to the Clash:-) Holland has plenty of options when it comes to accommodation, and some of them are amazingly special! For those who are in search of something completely different than a “regular” hotel room,  any of the following examples of “out-of-the-box accommodation” may just be the thing…

1. Cabin-boats

Accommodation that floats on water…you and your family, sailing wherever you choose…An exciting, yet very relaxing experience in beautiful Dutch nature reserves! You can rent a “blokhut-boot” (a “cabin-boat”) at three different locations in Holland:  Heerewaarden, Waspik (very close to one of Holland’s best attraction parks; “De Efteling“) and along the river “de Linge” in the same area. These boats run on diesel. They are very economical and meet the most stringent environmental requirements (which allows sailing in nature reserves).

To rent a cabin-boat, check:

Blokhutboot.nl 

You can rent a boat for a midweek, a weekend of a week. We advise you to plan this well ahead of time, because these boats are very popular and the rental schedule fills up quickly. Prices are published on the website.

2. Beach bungalows

Do you prefer sand between your toes and the sound of seagulls over the braking waves?  Then beach bungalows are the thing for you! Holland has a coastal line of in total 523 km.  Most of the coastal line faces the North Sea and has beautiful dunes. Some of it faces the Western Schelde in the South, and some faces the the Wadden Sea up North (The Wadden Sea  is a shallow part of the North Sea situated between the main land and the bow of little islands, north of the main land. Note: this sea becomes completely dry during low-tide – a unique phenomenon which we will write about more in a future post!) Whichever beach tickles your fancy, South, West, North… all Dutch beaches are beautiful, clean and in many places very wide. Differences between high – and low tide can be substantial contrary to the small differences in tides of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

For beach bungalows, check: להשכרת צימרים על הים הקליקו על הלינק
haagsestrandhuisjes.nl

and

aanzeeslapen.com

3. Tree huts

Or…do you  prefer to spend your holiday in a forest, above the ground, in a tree hut? Holland has many forests and an extensive variety of tree types. Some of these forests are very old.

Check these two tree huts:

treehut “the owl”

treehut “the crow’s nest”

These two tree huts are in the North of Holland. (the name of the province is Friesland, see map “north” from one of our previous posts.

These are just a few ideas, but……there is much more to choose from! What about sleeping in a windmill? Or a lighthouse? Check out many more exciting places on:

Unique places to stay holland

Have fun!!