Every spring, Groningen becomes the host of an enormous flower market for a day. The flower vendors take over a large part of the city centre and thousands of tourists from other towns and neighbouring Germany make their way. Be it for buying some flowers or just for a walk, it is fun to see the market.
One thing I surely did not understand was why on my way home I became a witness of Groningen being invaded by farm animals. Not really something you see every day! Read More
We all know that Netherlands is the most bike friendly country in the world.
So, how many of you know the real “power” of bikes in Netherlands?
I just discovered some important tips and tricks regarding biking in this beautiful country. I thought it would be a pity not to share this with all of you, so here we go.
Netherlands has an amazing infrastructure. And I am not talking only about highways and airports.
Since the spring in here a bike trip sounds like a good idea for escaping the rush of the city.
On this website: http://www.nederlandfietsland.nl/fietsrouteplanner you can plan your bike trip using the magic tool provided. You can actually travel across Netherlands using just bike paths.
http://www.bikemap.net is another website that provides bike routes that you can enjoy with your friends.
Here is a short movie about the bike paths and their use in Netherlands. Read More
The weather is finally getting warmer and warmer and all signs point out that spring on its way. In other words, the perfect time for a little trip and some adventures is here.
For all of you that like history, dramatic battlefields and have a soft spot for travelling, visiting the Star-Shaped Fort of Bourtange will be memorable experience. Situated one hour from Groningen by car on the border between Holland and Germany, the fort attracts hundreds of tourists every year.
As the name suggests the for is shaped as a star, but there’s a wily logic behind building a fort in such a unusual shape. Simply said, a circular fortification of the medieval era was vulnerable to cannon fire. All the crazy angles and moats surrounding the star-shaped fort made it easier to defend. Built, of hard-to-shatter brick, Bourtange could withstand attacks from cannonballs.
Nowadays, there are no more the glorious battles but the village sheltered by the fort for centuries still has people living their everyday life in this fascinating sight which makes you wonder how many stories and secrets are hidden between its star-shaped walls.
Wikipedia states about the Dutch carnival the follows:
“Carnival in the Netherlands is also called “Vastenavond” or “Vastelaovend(j)”, and is most celebrated in Catholic regions, mainly the southern provinces North Brabant and Limburg. Dutch Carnival is officially celebrated on the Sunday through Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday. Although traditions vary from town to town, some common characteristics of Dutch Carnival include a parade, a “prince” plus cortège (“Council of 11″), a farmer’s wedding (boerenbruiloft), and eating herring (haring happen) on Ash Wednesday.
One variant of Dutch Carnival is known as the Rijnlandsche Carnival, which can be seen in the province of Limburg. The province’s capital of Maastricht holds a street Carnival featuring elaborate costumes that resemble some South American and Venetian influences. Intentionally amateurish marching bands (‘Zaate Hermeniekes’ or ‘Drunken Marching Bands’) traditionally perform on the streets.
The oldest-known Dutch Carnival festivities date from 1385 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. They are depicted in several paintings by 15th-century painter Jheronimus Bosch. During the three days of the Carnival, ‘s-Hertogenbosch changes its name to “Oeteldonk”, which means “Frog Hill.” This name changing tradition is common in and around North Brabant.”
This year the destination for the carnival was Den Bosh (‘s-Hertogenbosch). The weather this year was not very carnival-friendly, but the streets were still filled with funny looking people. It was like Queen’s day in February.
Dress code: madness.
Here are some pictures from the event.
A great advantage of Netherlands is that you can have one day trips to different Dutch cities which are only a few hours away by train or car. Each city has its own flavor and has things to do and discover, and less than one day is enough for you to discover and explore. One famous Dutch city is Delft, know for the even more famous blue Delft color and pottery. Curious about how a day in Delft looks like? Have a sneak peek… Read More
Sinterklaas seems to be one of the most important traditions in The Netherlands and already weeks before it takes place, you can hear students talking about it everywhere, discussing which presents to buy, and how to celebrate it. Read More