Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it !!
This is our story about our reaction to an Instagram Post.
About a year and a half ago. I was sitting in my office surfing internet & reading about destinations in Europe, places where only a few travels and experiences not many quests for. Facebook being one smart ass, guessed my search pattern and displayed one such article about a “City in Holland with no roads”. I first thought it to be a click bait but I did click it, “No Roads” kind of got me. My reaction to life was “Click”
That Post had some gorgeous pictures and description of this divine place, it described the tranquil, peaceful vibe of the city, where the only mode of transport is water and landscape like a fairyland. (though am not big fan of fairy tales but slow-paced vibe of city pulled me in )
Hippie in me connected with the city within no time, so that evening at home, I had planned to show Neha, about my discovery of this new destination and wanted to get some brownie points for being the first between us to spot and read about a new place.(its kind of a game between us: the reward of winning for me is always ahem ahem 😀 )
As I was about to show her the article, she hurriedly like a child showed me an Instagram post which she had saved for me since morning.
Call it destiny or coincidence or we both reacting to life in similar fashion, it was about Geithroon and exactly the same article. We both had our reasons to connect with post and city but it was decided then and on that very dinner that Geithroon will be part of our euro trip come what may.
Geithroon: Heaven with no roads
This blog is to share our experiences while visiting this paradise and also to give you some insights of this place, as in how to reach, where to stay etc. So let the Journey Begin!!
Giethroon is about 120KM from Amsterdam( the shortest route), a scenic drive of about hour and a half: if you drive without taking a detour or stop.Reaching is not a task if you hire a self-drive like we did and enjoy road trips. This one for sure is best I have done till now. Let me take you through how and why…
The Biggest advantage of hiring a self-drive car is you can explore more than just planned places like those small villages and towns en route your final destination.Especially when you driving in Netherlands, you will find many such locations or spots which will force you to stop and ask to admire the nature’s blessings. So always keep buffer time and be ready for such unplanned stopovers.
In our case, we took a small detour to a nature park: National Park De Hoge Veluwe, a massive park with limited wildlife. Good for a pit stop while on a road trip but if you a cycling enthusiast this park is ideal. Flat landscape and well-curated cycle paths allow you to go deep into the jungle and explore so as to keep you Up and close to nature.We saw many couples and tourists cycling in and out of the dense jungle… we chose to drive in 🙂
Reaching here from Amsterdam was not very tedious, below is the map . It took us little more than 1 hour 45 mins. ( I am not very comfortable with left-hand drive) but the journey was scenic and traffic free for the most part of it. We had hired an Audi A1 Manual, a really zippy and nice machine. Thanks to Sixt for marvelous service and car.
Hoge Veluwe National Park:
As mentioned earlier, this park is ideal for cycling enthusiasts and also for those nature lovers who would love to spend the entire day sipping beer and having some lip-smacking food while basking in sun. The park has this super cool restaurant, with huge sit out in sun and indoors. They also have children play area so that while you enjoying that beer your child learns some acrobats tricks 😀 ..and oh the food there was just beautiful…
They do have an entry fee for adults and child above 6 years also an extra charge for the car. One can park the car at the entrance( free parking) and take the cycles which are included the entrance ticket price to roam around and explore the jungle. The ticket and other details on the link below:
As you can see we really had a good and heavy pit stop. After spending about 75 minutes and some cigarettes we decided to move ahead towards our destination for the day. I can safely call the place we stayed that night “Paradise”. About 90 odd KM and an hour away from National Park comes to a small, quiet, secluded village of “Dwarsgracht”. Our Paradise for the Night
You guys must be wondering why we did not stay at Geithroon? Well, Before that I must clarify one thing that finding a place to stay in Geithroon is really simple and many accommodations are available on booking.com, Airbnb, and other websites. The reason we chose to stay in another town was that of the accommodation specifics or so to say how we reacted to that post which prompted us to plan traveling to this place.
That Instagram post had a specific villa mentioned, hence we chose to stay in that same villa.Luckily it was listed on Airbnb and situated just about 5 Km from the Geithroon main marketplace in a small village named as “DWARSGRACHT”.
The place is special, It was a heritage bungalow and about 250 years old. Owned by Ms. Petra who apart from being a gorgeous woman was also beyond words sweet and helpful. So we had a great ease of booking and thank you AIRBNB for same. Moving ON !!
It took us more than an hour to reach this place from the national park and once we parked our car * ( free parking), we were shell-shocked and numbed… Boy !! it was incredible and exceeded our expectation from this place…
We reached here by 4 PM and next few hours were spent clicking pictures of the gorgeous landscape and absolutely perfectly maintained, quaint heritage bungalows. It was dark by 7ish and got really cold for us. So we decided spending the entire evening sipping on red wine and smoking some nice tobacco while enjoying nice hindi gazals .. It was a well deserved ( it was a long drive ) relaxed and peaceful time. The Villa had a fully equipped kitchen so dinner was not a problem, we had carried some ready to cook food and noodles, though they do have a restaurant near to this house but the timings were not suiting our agenda for the evening: which was just spending quality and quiet time.
Next day was our Geithroon Day: We had hired Cycles and started by about 11 AM, it was foggy and windy but nothing could stop us exploring this small, surreal town of Geithroon. 30 minutes of ride and we reached the main marketplace.
There is not much, that goes fast in Geithroon, a car-free village of about 3000 residents in Holland’s northeastern province of Overijssel. Here, the boat moves along at a snail’s pace, waterside dining is everything but rush. Life, at this part of the world, seems to have redefined peace, with duck quack and chirping birds as the only noise. An Idyllic Fairyland.
Some 100 KM of waterways replace paved roads in this village. In this watery landscape, whisper boats glide noiselessly over the network of canals, through forests and under about 180 wooden bridges that connect to well-manicured houses on the island formed off the reclaimed land.
Established as a settlement of peat harvesters who created islands amidst the ponds and lakes, Geithroon was named after hundreds of goat horns were discovered from the marshland. To know about the history and culture of this town, we took a guided electric boat trip by a local operator. These boats, are electrified and are used as cars, with no horns and road rage. Typical tour by boat is for about 60 minutes, where they take you around the island and show you the reason why more than 100,000 thousand tourists are frolicking this town every year.
A roadside Bistro lunch is a must and though the village was bustling with tourists, it was serene and blissful.
The lunch was good and as we were enjoying the sun and food by the canal, we were disturbed by a local resident. He came right up to our table, unnoticed and uninvited and asked to share the lunch with him. We had no other option than to give in to his demand.. well, because he was too cute to just turn away.
Like i said earlier, Giethroon is so serene and peaceful that only noise would be either a quack or symphony by the birds.
Many have dubbed Geithroon, as “Venice of the north”, which I think is very unfair for this village and it’s postal, manicured to perfection houses and watery landscape. Giethroon is neither Venice nor like any other country/city. This Village is unique and must be seen on own to understand and feel what we felt and experienced.
After spending an entire day, we said goodbye to this little heaven with no roads and peddled our way back to Ms. Petra’s house.
This visit has changed our life for sure and yes, we have ticked another one from our Travel Bucket list.
There are many tours and travel operators in Amsterdam dealing in a day trip to this place but we would highly suggest to at least stay for a night, just to sink in the vibe and magic of this place.
So, Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react .. our reaction to that post has been life-changing and we are really proud of it.
Some links you may use :
Ms. Petra’s House :
Self-Drive car by: https://www.sixt.com/
*you can reach Dwarsgracht by car but at Giethroon one need to park the car outside the maret area.
Do comment below if you liked the blog and yes share if you care. 😀 .. till my next blog !! Keep Breathing !! TIA