Schokland and Giethoorn
The first day of a short holiday in our own country brought us Schokland and Giethoorn. After much deliberation, we decided to visit one of the more beautiful nature provinces of our country Drenthe. We didn’t think we’d be so pleasantly surprised on the first day. Where we are very much looking forward to the Weerribben and Wieden. But also The Drents Friese Wold, Dwingelerveld, Baloerveld etc. Today we thought we’d bite the bullet and go touristy.
On the way to Giethoorn and our hotel in Drenthe we noticed signs saying Schokland Unesco Heritage. I’ve never heard of it. Wow, what an interesting development have happened on and around Schokland. Our first Unesco heritage and never heard of it before, a fine example of our eternal struggle against the water. Schokland is a good example of what different ice ages and temperature fluctuations do with a country that is surrounded by water and often even below sea level.
If ever there was a time for us to visit Giethoorn, I think it has been now. Honestly, we enjoyed it. And learned a lot about this Venice from the low countries. Created by peat extraction that ran differently than planned. Dry islands that were made too small and too low, so that the Zuiderzee occasionally swirled inwards and flooded the place. Almost nowhere deeper than 1 meter, the sight of all that water is still very impressive.
That Giethoorn has become so terribly touristy is all thanks to a film, de fanfare, by Bert Haanstra. People came to the village because of this film. The farmers in the village saw an oportunity to make more and easier money and the rest is history. Today, however, there was very little sign of tourism. I imagine that this could have disastrous consequences for local entrepreneurs. For us, however, it was a relief.