The Netherlands : Travel tips from Michael
Reference map of Holland Scheveningen (1)   -   Panorama van Mesdag (1)   -   Kröller Müller Museum (2)

Weerribben (3)   -   Dolmens (4)   -   Europe   -   Australia   -   Jazclass

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NL 1 - Scheveningen   Reference map
Fairy tale sculptures on the sea

Scheveningen is still the number one seaside destination in The Netherlands. It is right next to Den Haag (The Hague) and can be reached with a 20 minutes tram ride (Line 10) from Den Haag Centraal railway station.

The 19th Century Kurhaus and the Pier in front of it (jutting out several hundred meters into the North Sea) form the central point on the beach promenade.

Kurhaus, Scheveningen The Kurhaus features a splendid hotel, a Casino, large indoor swimming pool, Theatre and Exposition hall (in which my parents used to hold hand-made Jewelry exhibitions during the 1950s and 60s).
On the square behind the Kurhaus (Gevaersdeynootplein) is the new home of the famous Vliegende Hollander (Flying Dutchman) nightclub, where the legendary Dutch Jazz pianist-singer Pia Beck used to perform.

On the beach there are numerous cafes and restaurants located right on the sand.
Sculptures on the sea A few hundred meters to the South of the Kurhaus you find on the beach promenade Sprookjes beelden aan Zee (Fairytale sculptures on the Sea), and immediately behind it the Beelden aan Zee museum (Sculptures on the Sea) which is partly inside, partly above the sand dune.

Photos - Regional map - National map

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NL 2 - Panorama van Mesdag   (The Hague)   Reference map
Panorama van Mesdag, The Hague

The above photo shows a small segment of the 360° cylindrical painting, Panorama van Mesdag, located on the Zeestraat 65 in central The Hague. It is one of the few remaining paintings of this type (10 of them I believe) around the world. The cylinder has a 35 meter diameter and is about 4 meters high. You enter through a corridor underneath the painting, then climb up a staircase to a centrally located viewing platform, which provides a splendid full 360° view.

Beelden aan Zee 1 The painting was created by the 19th century Dutch seascape painter Mesdag with the help of his wife and a few of his fellow artists of the time.
It shows a panoramic view of Scheveningen, the beach and The Hague as it was in the 1890s.
The picture transports you truly 120 years back in time, especially as some of the landmarks on the painting can still be identified today. A magical experience every time I come back here.

The roof in the far background of the painting is that of the Kurhaus (with flag on top on the photo), the building in front is still the Societeit De Witte, and my friend Carel on above photo is standing right on top of what used to be the dune surrounded by the fence on the painting.
The Panorama van Mesdag is a must see destination in Holland !

Regional map - Panorama Mesdag - National map

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NL 3 - Kröller Müller Museum   (Hoge Veluwe)   Reference map
Kröller Müller Museum, Hoge Veluwe

Of course you should go and see Rembrand's famous Nachtwacht (Night watch) at the Rijks museum in Amsterdam, and while you are there visit the Van Gogh museum as well.
But art lovers and nature admirers alike should definitely also visit the Kröller Müller Muesum on the Hoge Veluwe in the province of Gelderland.

Riding a 'White 

Bicycle' on the Hoge Veluwe

The Hoge Veluwe is a National park located within the larger Veluwe region : an ancient sandy dune-scape covered by heathers, grasses and various woods.
The Hoge Veluwe can be reached by car or by bus from Apeldoorn, Ede or Arnhem, with the main entrance to the National park being near Otterloo.

Arriving at the Otterloo entrance you have a choice. You can either drive to the Museum by car, or leave it parked at the entrance and take one of the many free white bicycles parked there and ride the 4.7 km to the Museum following the meandering bicycle path on bike.
After leaving the Museum again you can either leave the bike parked there, or take an extended drive through this wonderful nature reserve.

The Kröller Müller Museum contains a wonderful collection of modern paintings, including one large room full of Van Goghs, which exude an energy felt and absorbed by anyone entering the area.   Outside there is a large sculpture park which is a pleasure to wander through.

Photos - Kröller Müller - Regional map - National map (Area map coming soon)

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NL 4 - Weerribben   (near Giethoorn)   Reference map
The Weerribben

The Weerribben was voted het mooiste plekje in Nederland (most beautiful spot in the Netherlands) on a Dutch TV show in 2007. I have since visited the area in 2008 and 2010 and absolutely loved it.

Weerribben The Weerribben are an ancient peat extraction area located just North of Giethoorn. It can be reached by car or by bus from Meppel or Steenwijk.
The area is now a National park and consists of a patchwork of rectangular intersecting channels and nature strips all teeming with bird- and water-life.
At two locations electric battery driven fluister bootjes (whisper boats) are for hire (each can carry up to about 6 people).
You can easily spend a full day here navigation through the area, stopping for a picnic (or even a swim) at anyone of the picturesque natural mooring spots.

If you like to overnight there is Hotel Geertien in a nearby hamlet with the cute name of The Muggenbeet (The Mosquito bite). The Hotel is located right on the waterfront of one of the canals ("De Wetering"). Besides a excellent restaurant it also features a very cosy bar.

Photos - Fluisterboot hire - National map (Area map coming soon)

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NL 5 - Dolmens   (in the province of Drenthe)   Reference map
D49 - De Papeloze Kerk

There are 54 hunebedden (dolmens : graves built during the Stone age 5,000 years ago) in the Dutch province of Drenthe.
I lived there for a year (1964-65) during my National service and remember this delightful province with its woods, sandy dune-scapes and rural land plus the serene mystic of those primitive natural stone built graves.

2-day Dolmen bicycle tour With family and friends we often would visit one of these dolmens in the middle of the night, sitting on top, chatting and drinking wine.

Their magic has remained in my bones to this very day and I am planning a 2-day bicycle tour, visiting about a dozen dolmens in Drenthe when I return to The Netherlands in September 2014.

If you have an interest in these dolmens too, but wish to see just one or two of them then good places to go are D17 & D18 in Rolde, D45 in Emmen, or D27 and the Hunebed museum in Borger.

Photos - Our3-day Dolmen bicycle tour, 2014 - Regional map - National map
Maps : Map 1 | Map 2 | Map 3 | Map 4 | (of ANWB Topografishe kaart 7 - Oost Drenthe)

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© 2015 Michael Furstner