February 05, 2007

Places to Visit Before the Sea Rises (1): Giethoorn (NL)

GiethoornThe first part of this hopefully series-to-be of unique places at low locations looks at Giethoorn, “the Venice of Holland”.

Giethoorn is a village with some 2,200 inhabitants in the heart of the Netherlands, and part of what is known as the Dutch “bible belt”. I reckon it’s rather low, probably below sea level, although I don’t have the evidence to prove it. For convenience’s sake, just believe me, as about half of the Netherlands is below sea level.

The somewhat touching comparison with Venice comes from the many canals that were dug throughout time, leaving the village with some 175 or more bridges. If you’d come and visit the place, you’d be best of doing things by boat. The village has gotten some reputation with the rich and famous; actors, a cartoonist and an author have gone to live there. Moreover legendary Dutch film maker Bert Haanstra shot his first film here, a film about two competing fanfares, suitably titled Fanfare.

Either way, as much as you have to hurry up visiting this unique place, so do I. Haven’t actually been there myself yet.

If you have any suggestion for another unique place that is under threat of being eaten up by the advancing sea/ocean/lake/river, let me know.

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