One of my aims after the beach walk with my friends was to go out more and such. And last Friday was the perfect day for it. Well, it was supposed to, but it started of dreary and drab and I had my worries. However, once I approached the Venice of the North, the clouds parted, the sun came out and the day became glorious.
|The old way of getting around: by punter. |
Yes, the same as in Cambridge!
Of course I didn't go to Venice itself, I went to a small village not too far from here that is called Giethoorn. Last year's work was mainly bringing countless Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Korean and other nationalities to that village so they could gaze at the lovely houses, rent a boat, put their rubbish in people's mailboxes and return an hour or so later.
I had been there myself once as well, but that was so long ago, I didn't remember much of it. So, another visit was in order and due this Corona stuff happening right now, there were barely any tourists about, which was nice. You weren't jostled on the narrow paths, you were able to take nice photos and what with the weather being fantastic...
I only wanted to do a tour on foot. Taking photos, exploring the village, but I got roped in to go on a boat trip as well. Not just of the village, but of the surrounding nature area as well. And it was well worth it. Tomorrow I will show you some photos of that nature, but today it's all about the village.
The village is named after the goats' horns that were found there a long time ago and over time that became Giethoorn (pronounce the t and the h separately). A small village which in its old center has 185 buildings. No more, no less. Once a building collapses or burns down or something, the owners are allowed to build a replica of it on the same spot. Nothing new fangled here you know!
The village is built in turf country. In the olden days so much turf was harvested, that canals were formed. Then people built their houses on small islands along those canals and in time they were joined by bridges. Every household in the village will own a car and a boat. Because most of the houses cannot be reached by car and any heavy lifting will be done by boat (or cart, or bike).
Until 1935 farmers still lived in the village, barely scraping a living together. But six cows don't make a good living and they finally gave up. Now the village lives of tourism and 1,4 million of them in one year is not to be sniffed at. Although not everybody is always that happy: it is a normal living village, yet some of the tourists think it's a museum.