Friesland with kids

Friesland is the European Capital of Culture 2018, but also Top 3 in Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe 2018. And I can only but agree. After living in Friesland for more than 8 years, I have discovered a lot of what Friesland has to offer.

 

Do you want more ideas of what to do in Friesland with kids? Check our post below.

 

Friesland with kids: De Friese Wouden

Friesland with kids: De Friese Wouden

After living 10 years in Friesland, I still get surprised by the diversity of this Dutch province. At the end of August, we spent two weekends in the area called “De Friese Wouden” (The Frisian Forests). While the landscape of the East and North of Friesland is dominated by meadows, the Wadden Sea coast and sea clay ground, De Friese Wouden’s landscape is filled with forest, heath and sand grounds. This region has also a lot of museums and it’s the perfect place for walking and cycling excursions. And last but not least, your wallet won’t suffer as many activities are for free or very affordable. In this post about Friesland with kids: De Friese Wouden and a compilation of the best family activities and attractions. Vijversburg Park in Tytsjerk Price: 2,5€ or 15€ for a year family card Vijversburg is a very special park. It combines nature and culture. The kids will love it: it has a lot of “hidden places” to be discovered and many fun activities. Would your children, for example, dare to enter a tunnel where you cannot see the exit? And would you? We did and I realized how often we get too many instructions like “go that way” or “look in that direction” in many attraction. At the Vijversburg, you are encouraged to use your imagination and sense of adventure. The children are welcomed to play, climb, walk and relax at the park. This is not only a park for children, but for any age. The oldest part of the park is from the 19th century and it has been recently extended with four more parts: Ooievaarsnest, Dwaalster, Frijlân and Overtuin. These four parts have been designed by different landscape architects and artists. Each part is unique and really surprising. As an example, the Ooievaarnest was designed by a German landscape architect based on his grandma garden. His theme was “get lost on the way home, finding ways in the nothingness”. While in Frijlân there´s a water labyrinth, where the little ones can have some adventures. This part made me remember the adventures of Huckleberry Finn. But I’m not going to tell you more details as otherwise, I would ruin the surprises. You need to come and discover the park by yourself. Pluktuin De Hagen in Haulerwijk  Price: free De Hagen is an ecological orchard where you can pick your own fruit and berries. For the kids, it’s really fun to pick their berries and, at the same time, they learn that some food comes from a tree and another food comes from a bush. If you come to De Hagen, you can bring your own bucket or use one from them. The first time, you will get a tour and an explanation of the different fruits and berries in the orchard. Afterwards, you can fill your bucket with the fruit of your choice. When you are finished, the bucket will be weighed and you can pay according to the price of each fruit. It’s always advisable to bring rain boots or waterproof shoes. If you forget them, don’t worry! In De Hagen, they also borrow child rain boots for free. What makes the Hagen different is its diversity. Normally this kind of self-picking fruit orchards has just two or three types of fruit, but De Hagen has a huge variety. You can pick from apples to blackberries, walnuts, hazelnuts, sloths, elder, butterflies, and more. The advantage of this diversity is that the picking season is very long. At the beginning of the summer, you can enjoy strawberries. While at the end, you can pick blackberries followed by apples, pears and walnuts. They also have old races of trees and if you’re interested, Jenny (the owner) will tell you all about them. De Kruidhof in Buitenpost Price: adult 6,5€ children (5 – 12 years old) 3€ It’s not a secret that we love the playground at De Kruidhof (I already wrote a post about it: Playing with water at De Kruidhof). I wish we would have a similar one close to our house. The playground is great for all ages and it has sand and water activities. If the kids don’t have their rain boots with them, you can also borrow a pair. Besides the playground, you can walk around the gardens, buy plants and enjoy the food of the garden café. They prepare all dishes self and they use as much as possible bio and regional products. On some Sundays, there’s a brunch. The only downside of De Kruidhof is that they are close in the winter months. Jachthaven ‘t Eibertsnêst’s electric boat in De Westereen Price: depending on the activity Have you ever tried an elctric boat? Once you do, you won’t want to sail in a motor one. An electric boat is quiet and it doesn’t smell like diesel. And of course, it’s much better for the environment. In De Westereen, you can rent an electric boat from Jachthaven ‘t Eibertsnêst. With it, you will be able to sail Bûtenfjild’s electric-only route. The best way to enjoy this beautiful environment! You can also do a day tour to Dokkum or Leeuwarden, but the different nature areas around De Westereen are stunning and have many highlights. We sailed from Feanwâlden to De Westereen, crossing “De Lodenhel”, “De Valom” and “De Houtwiel”. De Valom is a settlement of peat workers from the 16th century, but nowadays the houses are far from being for “poor” people. For the kids, one of the highlights of this route is the changing from one of the channels into the main one. As the water levels are different, the boat has to enter in a lock and the doors are still operated manually. Really interesting to see! You can also download an app and hear some stories. Sanjesfertier in Feanwâlden Price: 9€, babies (0-1 year old) free Sanjesfertier is a small attraction and animal park. For the bad weather days, there’s an inside playground, but the best part is outside. There are boats, a train and helicopters, as well as other climb and play devices. Themapark De Spitkeet in Harkema  Price: adult 4,5€, children (4 – 12 year old) 2,5€ ‘The Spitkeet’ is an open-air museum where you can learn about the living conditions on the Groningse and Frisian heath. This museum contains original and replica houses from the 19th and 20th century. You can learn about the poverty in this zone and how people lived. The most simple “houses” were the ‘Spitkeet’, a shelter built up from sods, some wood and rush. Big families were sharing this tiny shelters. Without water or WC, the hygienic conditions were really bad and the infant mortality was high. Thankfully, there were also subsidized housing and the living conditions improved. When we were here, the first thing that caught Liam’s attention was the playground. There’re two, one for the little ones (the one in the picture) and another one for the older kids. And the good thing is that you can sit down on the terrace and have a cup of coffee or thee while the kids are playing. Ciclying around “Duurswouder Heide” Price: free The Duurswouder Heath is an area close to Bakkeveen. The best way to explore it is by bike, but you can also walk or even ride a horse here. There are many possible routes, you just need to check the map and pick the points you want to see. On the way, you’ll find the marks pointing to the different numbers in the route. The Duurswouder Heath can be visited at any time of the year, but the late summer will be the best time. You will be able to admire the beauty of the blooming heath. I have to admit that even we live one hour from here, I didn´t know there was heath in De Friese Wouden. You can combine a visit to Duurswouder Heath with pluktuin De Hagen as it´s not far away. Playground and water activities at Paviljoen de Leyen in Rottevalle Price: depending on the activity. Playground is free Are you looking for a place to chill in the afternoon or on the contrary looking for some water activities like sup, swimming or boot camp? Then Paviljoen de Leyen is the place to be. This restaurant is located on the shore of De Leien lake. They have a great playground for the kids and a “beach”. Both as well as parking are for free. De Leyen also offers a wide range of activities like sup. Have a look at their website to discover all the possibilities. They are even an official wedding location, just saying 😉 Appart from the activities, the food at the Leyen is really tasty. They use as much as possible local and bioproducts. And last but not least, the views of the sunset at De Leyen are fantastic, so really worth to have dinner here. Boerderij de Omleiding in Feanwâlden Price: depending on the activity Boerderij de Omleiding is the kind of place of which I fall in love instantly! It’s an old farm that is been renovated (not yet completely finished) and offers activities for groups and families. We had an outdoor cooking lunch and we really enjoyed it! There was a food truck with soup, drinks and all necessary products to cook your own food on the fire. You could choose from baking bread on a stick to grilling a hamburger or an egg. Also here all the products were local and bio. The eggs were even from their own chicken, so they couldn’t be fresher. This is really the perfect place for a family reunion as they have a cool playground. A hen house is now a straw playhouse, and the sailboat is a sandpit. There’re also pigs, chicken and other animals to be feed. For now, you really need to come here as a group, but keep an eye on their facebook for activities and news. They are working now on a little camping. Doolhofpark in Bakkeveen Price: free In Doolhofpark in Bakkeveen, you can put in practice your orientation skills. They have three different labyrinths where the children and the “older kids” can try to find the exit. The entrance is free, but you are not allowed to bring any food or drinks. You can buy them at their paviljion. These are our TOP 10 in De Friese Wouden. We really enjoyed the time here and are already looking forward to coming back. Have you already been to De Friese Wouden? Which is your favourite activity or attraction in this area? This post also linked at Weekend Wanderlust and travel inspiration: We were invited to discover De Friese Wouden as part of a press trip. All opinions are my own. ...
August Summary: staycation & #defriesewouden17

August Summary: staycation & #defriesewouden17

Every month we share an overview of what we have done and our travel plans for the upcoming month(s). August has been quite a good month for two things: We didn’t have planned any trips but at the end, we had every weekend a trip or some ¨staycation¨ activities The number of visitors in our blog was double than we normally have!   Our posts of Slovenia were really popular. The most popular one (to my surprise) was the one in Dutch “hoeveel kost een kampeervakantie in Slovenie” with 1.900 visitors in just 2 days. The English version 3 weeks caravan trip in Slovenia with children also had 800 in one day, while the Spanish had 500. So you can guess which country has the most camping lovers 🙂   Staycation There was a reason for not planning big trips but visiting Friesland, the Dutch region where we live. My mother was here for two and half weeks, so we took her around during the weekends. Kaasboerderij de Deelen We visited several farms. As she loves as much as we do to buy local products, we stopped at the cheese farm De Deelen. She bought so much cheese that I was doubting it would fit inside her luggage 😀 This farm has besides a shop, a playground and a self-guided tour of the farm. You can walk around the farm, feed the cows and learn how to make cheese. IJsboerderij boereiis After a short drive, we stopped at the ice-cream farm boereijs. We enjoyed the self-made ice-cream and took home some fresh milk. Well, the main reason to come to this area was to buy the fresh milk. When I say “fresh”, I really mean fresh. From the cow into the bottle without any treatment. If you have ever tried it, you will know the taste is stronger than the milk you buy in the supermarket. Fruithof de Struikrover We also went to the fruit farm De Struikrover and picked some blueberries and blackberries. Yummy! Bootjesverhuur Ouwe Seun And to complete our staycation, we rented a motor boat at Bootjesverhuur Ouwe Seun in Harlingen and sailed around the channels of the city. With nice weather, this is a great outing.   De Friese Wouden – #defrieseswouden17 The last weekend of the month, we were on a press trip to the Frisian region De Friese Wouden. There are some posts coming up, so here a summary of all what we did in two and a half day. Camping De Waldsang We arrived Friday to the camping De Waldsang in Bakkeveen, where we had the luxury of a private toilet and shower next to our caravan. With kids, this is a well-deserved luxury! The camping is next to a park, where we went for a short evening walk. On Saturday, we started our day with a cycling route from Bakkeveen to Duurswouder Heide, a heath Nature Park. The route was beautiful and the heath was still at its best. De Hagen Ecologische zelfpluk boomgaard Afterwards, we visit the De Hagen, a self-picking orchard. We had self-made apple juice, blueberry cake and “krentenbrij” (a mix of lots of berries and juice in a drink). The orchard is pretty big and you can harvest many different fruits: apples, pears, walnuts, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and so much more. Now it’s the best time for blackberries and raspberries and that’s what we were picking. Boerderij De Omleiding We went for lunch to Boerderij De Omleiding. A newly open farm, where they organize events, food and activities. We had an outdoor lunch with a food truck and an open fire. The kids made their own bread and we cooked some hamburgers, eggs and pancakes on the fire. We really enjoyed the food and the way it was organized. Not only was the food fresh and local, but it was a nice way to interact with everyone. In this farm, they also think about the kids (the owners have themselves two little ones). The kids were happy feeding the pigs and the chicken, playing in a sailing boat converted into sandpit and a henhouse converted into a straw playhouse.   Jachthaven ‘t Eibertsnest In de afternoon, I was enjoying an e-boat from Jachthaven ‘t Eibertsnest. We sailed from a dock near to De Omleiding to Zwaagwesteinde. Here you can sail for a couple of hours of for a whole weekend. There’s a part of the channels that it’s only opened to e-boats.   Restaurant Het Spijshuys We finished the day with an amazing dinner at Restaurant Het Spijshuys. A restaurant run by a Swiss-Frisian couple that offers French-Swiss-Dutch food. An example? We had a perfect egg (cooked for 1,5h at 65 degrees) with tartar, Frisian sausage and Swiss cheese. It was delicious!! They also use as much us possible local products, which I find always an extra point. Park Vijversburg On Sunday, we were discovering Park Vijversburg. It’s a very park where nature meets art and where the children should use their imagination and curiosity to discover all the surprises. Will you dare to enter a dark tunnel not knowing if there’s an exit? Theeschenkerij ‘t Landschap We had lunch at Het Landschap, a tea house and B&B that was also participating in the blackberry festival. Our menu included a lumpia with a hot blackberry sauce and blackberry yoghurt. Yummy!! Openluchtmuseum – Themapark De Spitkeet Harkema In the afternoon, we visited De Spitkeet and learned about the poverty of this area in the past. It has one original house and lots of replicas that gives you an inside on how people used to live here. Paviljoen De Leyen We finished the day and the weekend at Paviljoen De Leyen. A restaurant at the shore of a lake, with terrace and a perfect orientation to watch the sunset over the water 🙂 There’s also a playground and lots of grass, which makes the place a perfect outing for families. As you can see, we enjoyed the weekend and discovered a lot of new places. The best part is that this region is just 50 minutes driving from our house, so we can come again soon. Upcoming trips I already mentioned that my sister is due in September, so our next trip will be flying to Madrid to meet our new nice 🙂 Further than that we don´t have anything booked, but sometimes booking a last minute trip is also fine. And how was August for you? What are your plans for September? This post also linked at Weekend Wanderlust and travel inspiration: ...
Where to pick blackberries in Friesland

Where to pick blackberries in Friesland

I grew up spending the summer camping in the mountains with family and friends. We spent our holidays swimming in ice cold water of the river (we swam until our lips get purple) and picking wild blackberries. That’s why every time I see wild blackberries, I remember those days. In fact, my mother was in The Netherlands this summer and we were eating some wild blackberries we had found. We didn’t know at that point that in The Netherlands it’s prohibited to pick wild blackberries. The reason is that the birds shouldn’t  have enough food otherwise. Our kids also enjoying picking berries and fruit from our own garden and therefore we also go to a “pluktuin” (a farm where you can pick fruit or vegetables). Here it’s a collection of places where you will be able (and allowed) to pick blackberries in Friesland. Fruithof de struikrover I already wrote about fruithof de struikrover. We visited it for the first time two years ago, when my grandfather came to the Netherlands. Grandpa also loves to pick fruit or anything growing in the wild. We went with him to the “harvest party” and it was a success! Grandpa and Liam walked everywhere picking (and eating) blueberries and blackberries. This year, my mother came two weeks to visit us and we went again to de Fruithof de Struikrover. This time, we have two small “struikrovers” (=bush robbers) with us. Both of them enjoyed carrying around their little fruit tray and filling it with self-picked fruits!! OK, sometimes some of the berries landed into their mouth, but that’s not an issue here 🙂 Upcoming Saturday 26th Augusts, there is a blackberry festival at the Fruithof de Struikrover. They have now lots of ripe blackberries and you can also try fruithof de Struikrover’s self-made products. During this festival, they will be also pancakes, drinks and some music. The perfect combination for a day trip with the kids. Fruithof de struikrover: hoofdweg 193, Oldeholtpade De Hagen De Hagen is located in Haulerwijk (near Bakkeveen) and is an ecological orchard. They have walnuts, tomatoes, hazelnuts, sloths, elder, butterflies, blackberries and more. We haven’t been here yet, but it will be part of our visit to #defriesewouden17 tomorrow. Bloemenparadyske during Brommels festival Last year, we did the food walk from Buitenpost, a walk with several stops where you get something to drink or eat. One of the stops was het bloemenparadyske. Here, we had first a tour of this beautiful farmhouse and we were invited to pick some apples. We then made our own apple juice. Basically, you need to cut the apples into small pieces and then press them to get the juice out. It was very fun and educational! Upcoming weekend 26 & 27 Augustus, you can pick blackberries for free at Bloemenparadyske. They are part of the Brommels festival and will have cake and face painting for the children. Bloemenparadyske: Paradyske 3, 9291 MV Kollum Brommels festival I just mentioned this upcoming weekend is brommels festijn. During the weekend, there are many farms, parks and public spots in the Frisian region De Friese Wouden where you can pick blackberries for free. Additionally, there are a lot of activities for the little ones and some restaurants have a special blackberry menu. If you love blackberries, this is the place to be this weekend 🙂 We are on a press trip this weekend in this region. You can watch our trip via instagram stories 🙂 Vink Fruitboerderij Vink Fruitboerderij has a special garden where you can pick your own fruit. They have all kind of appels, like Elstar, Jonagold, Goudreinet, Robijn, Delcorf, Red Prince, Golden Delicious, Karmijn and Roblos, but also peers and blackberries. They are open during the harvest season (end Augusts until half October) Gepostet von Vink Fruitboerderij am Freitag, 18. August 2017 Vink Fruitboerderij: Zuiderringweg 13 II, 8317 RA Kraggenburg Do you love to eat blackberries? Is there any other places in Friesland where you can pick blackberries? This weekend we’re going on a press trip to “De friese Wouden” in The Netherlands. If you want to discover a bit more of this region, have a look at the hashtag #defriesewouden17 on twitter and instagram.   This post also linked at Weekend Wanderlust and travel inspiration: ...
The best way to cruise the National Park De Alde Feanen with children

The best way to cruise the National Park De Alde Feanen with children

When I first came to Friesland, I was fascinated by its amount of nature and water. We have been discovering different parks and lakes in Friesland and our last outing took us to the National Park Alde Feanen. There we discovered the best way to cruise the National Park Alde Feanen with children. We spent three days in the National Park Alde Feanen and tried different water sports. At that time, our kids were 2 years old and six months old. Their age was the reason for trying something different. We love sailing boats, they are silent and environment-friendly. We used to rent polyvalks (small open sailing boats) before having children. But now we have reduced our sailing to just a two days sailing lesson per year 🙁  Well since I almost capsized a boat once (don’t go sailing without experience and wind 5-6), I’m very conscious about security and therefore we decided to try a motor boat. The advantages of an e-sloep from De Twirre You cannot imagine how surprised I was when I first heard about the electric motorboats (“e-sloep”) of De Twirre. And after spending a morning in it, I’m convinced that is the best way to cruise the National Park De Alde Feanen with children. The electric motorboats from De Twirre have the best of a regular motorboat and a sailboat. They run quietly, you can normally talk to each other just like in a sailboat! And since the electric motors don’t have a combustion system, there isn’t either a smell to diesel or gasoline nor emissions. What else could you ask for? The e-sloep was really spacious and comfortable. I was happy about the cap for the sun, as they day we were cruising was really sunny and warm and I didn’t want to keep the baby the whole day in the sun. The use of an electric motorboat from De Twirre is also really easy. Even without any sailing/cruising experience, you will be able to learn how to use it in just 5 minutes. That’s a huge advantage when you have two young children. I kept an eye on the kids, while Paul was in charge of the rudder. Routes in the National Park De Alde Feanen The navigation around the National Park De Alde Feanen is simple too and you will get a map with the e-sloep. If you prefer to use the technology, you can download the two routes from Freek Vonk and follow the route via gps. For those not familiar with the Dutch television, Freek is a biologist and television presenter very popular among the little ones. These routes are a perfect option if your children know him. We followed part of the routes and really enjoyed the landscape and nature. We were also really lucky with the weather and I was surprised that it wasn’t crowded in the water. I think it’s amazing that just in less than 20minutes drive from Leeuwarden, you have such a nice nature. For me, as soon as I step into the boat, I feel like on holidays. In conclusion, cruising De Alde Feanen in an electric motorboat is a great way to spend a day with the children. Have you ever visited this National Park?  Practical information The National Park De Alde Feanen is less than 20 min by car from Leeuwarden. There’re different types of accomodation in and around De Alde Feanen, from camping to chalets, to glamping or sleeping in a boat. The best time for cruising is April to October. The rental of an electric motorboat from De Twirre includes also life jackets for the little ones (I would mention the number of children in the reservation). Bring layers of clothes for you and the children, as well as sun cream, enough water, and a hat. ...
February summary: a caravan, birthdays and giveaway

February summary: a caravan, birthdays and giveaway

February is the month that we got crazy and bought a caravan! But before I tell all about the caravan and our further travel plans, I have a summary of February. February summary The most popular picture in Instagram was the one I took 8 years(!) ago in South Africa. From all the pictures I took during our trip, this is one of my favorites. We always try to humanize animals, and when I look at this picture I see a little one running after his mom. They were running to reach a water hole, and probably getting there as fast as they could was the best way to avoid predators. For me, it reflects our daily life. We rush every day to bring the kids to school, to get to work on time and we forget that the time is passing very very fast. That’s why I often take a deep breath and enjoy the moment! (I’m also back to my yoga classes 🙂 ) https://www.instagram.com/p/BP_ARz6Brt2/?taken-by=shereypaul This month we didn’t travel far away, but we just enjoyed the weekends and the activities that are offered in our region. We visited the Frisian maritime museum in Sneek. This one is so far our favorite museum in Friesland. Why? Because it has an amazing “children museum”. The little ones can learn there about navigation and science in an interactive way, as well as play in a real ship. I’ll write a more extensive post about it. Probably the best museum for children: the kids museum at the Frisian navigation museum. Don't miss it, if you visit Sneek. Gepostet von Shere y paul am Sonntag, 5. Februar 2017 We also visited Burmania, a farm close to Leeuwarden. This is one of the things I love about Friesland, it offers a lot of opportunities for the children to be in contact with the “rural world “. Liam enjoyed it a lot. He was feeding the cows and a lamb, riding a tractor and playing. Last weekend, we enjoyed the first edition of Heerlijk Binnen. A food truck festival inside of one of the port warehouse. There was life music and also a corner for the children. But we also learned something the hard way. We went to Swimfun, a swimming paradise, on a rainy Sunday. I knew it is very popular, and that’s why we arrived half an hour after opening. To our surprise, it was crowded and all chairs and tables were already taken. Well, we thought it was already crowded, but it got even more crowded!! People kept coming, and, as Mika has to take a nap, we left after a couple of hours. I mean, the setup is very nice, but with so many people is wasn’t so fun. Our caravan and travel plans Maybe the part you want to hear about: we bought a caravan. We have spent a lot of time deciding if going to Canada or to Slovenia. I have looked for campers and flights to Canada, but January/February is already too late to book something. Especially this year being the 150 anniversary of the National Parks (entry is free for everyone). After deciding that this summer we’ll going to Slovenia, I opened markplaats (a web where you can sell second-hand things) and had a look at some campers and caravans. I wanted to buy a camper, while Paul is always saying “let’s buy a caravan”. But I wasn’t sure about the caravan. Until I saw one that matched what we wanted and for just 1500€!! I told Paul “let’s buy this one, if we don’t like it, we can resell it”. I called the seller and unfortunately, someone had already called him (the ad was just 30min old!). He told me to call him the next day in order to know if the other person had bought the caravan or not. The other person bought it 🙁 The same morning we saw a new ad, a much bigger caravan (not what I wanted). Paul called the seller and we went to see the caravan the same day. The day after, we made an offer for the caravan and it was accepted. I had seen another caravan, but taking into consideration that second-hand caravans are sold within a day or two, we just decided to buy this one! It’s an old one, but it looks fine. It has bunk beds for the kids, a sitting area that converts into a double bed and another sitting area that can be converted in a single bed. Here is a sneak preview of it 🙂 The caravan will be ours tomorrow, so now we’re planning the first trip with it. And in the summer, we’retaking it to Slovenia. So now we can really start the planning of the trip! Birthdays and giveaway Well, the caravan will come like a birthday present for Paul, because today he is turning 19 + taxes 😛 (in The Netherlands taxes are 21%). But also Mika is turning 1 next week!! And as the Dutch tradition says “wie jarig is trakteert!” (the birthday person has to give a treat), we are preparing two giveaways. The first will start tomorrow and the next one the week after. So don’t forget to come back and enter them.  booking.com ...
Leeuwarden with kids in winter

Leeuwarden with kids in winter

In winter, it seems like everyone and everything are hibernating. Well, I have to say that there’re enough activities in Leeuwarden with kids in the winter, so no excuse to stay home. Not even if it’s cold, Germans used to tell me “there’s no bad weather, but bad clothes”. So put your jacket, hat, and gloves on and enjoy what Leeuwarden has to offer!! I have sum up some ideas and we even have a giveaway at the end of this post to take you out of the couch: What to do in Leeuwarden with kids Aquazoo Going to a zoo in winter could seem like a bad idea, but not if you go to visit the ice bears of Aquazoo. Yes, ice bears!! The two new inhabitants of Aquazoo are used to the cold and they’re most of the time walking outside or swimming. But even if they’re inside, once a day, there’s a keeper coming to tell you about the ice bears and answer all the questions. When we were there, she didn’t come with empty hands, but with an “ice-cream” for one of the ice bears. She threw it in the water and the ice bear was more than happy to jump into the water in order to get it. Ice bears are cute, but also big and dangerous. Therefore the keepers will never feed them by hand, but putting the food over the fence. Quite a different way than for the rest of the animals in Aquazoo! You can join one of the feedings, like the “seal safari”: you accompany the keeper in a boat to the middle of the lake and feed the seals. You can even feed some animals like the ring-tailed lemurs (you can buy special food for them). In a quiet day, they will come to eat from your hand. Natuur museum fryslan Another idea, if the weather is bad, is to visit one exposition of natuur museum fryslan, like the “kerststal” (nativity scene). This exposition is available until the 8th of January 2017. There’re a lot of nativity scenes in Spain, but this one should be the biggest of Europe. So we will come to check it’s true 😉 For sure the best way to get into the Xmas mood. Blokhuispoort Well, the best way to enjoy the pre-Xmas spirit would be by visiting the Xmas Market of the Blokhuispoort. The blokhuispoort is Leeuwarden’s old prison. It was used until 2007 and nowadays is being renovated. Once finished, it will be a cultural hotspot. It shelters already the city’s library, many handicraft shops, the tourist information, the museum as well as many events. Events like the Xmas market that will be held this weekend, 17th and 18th December. This year the entrance is free, so for sure a good plan with kids. With older kids, you can also join one of the tours of the prison with an old guard. I’m sure that during the Xmas market will be enough stalls with food and drinks, but if you come any other time, you can have a pitstop at the cafe de bak. (closed at the moment) proefverloof.  This cafe is located in the second square of the Blokhuispoort. Elfstedenhal If there isn’t (enough) ice outside,  you can still ice skating in the Elfstedenhal. For the inexperienced ones, there’re (kind of) chairs that you can use to skate without falling. When I came to The Netherlands I barely could ice skating, but after taking classes in the Elfstedenhal I was able to skate better than Paul 🙂   Where to sleep in Leeuwarden with kids For those wanting to stay the night in Leeuwarden, there are a couple of options: Alibi Alibi is a hostel that just opened and it’s located in the Blokhuispoort as well. As I mentioned before, the Blokhuispoort is Leeuwarden’s old prison and Alibi has transformed the cells into hostel rooms (they also have family rooms). I’m sure the kids will love to sleep here! They could even have their own adventure: let them get dress up as a prisoner or as a policeman and use their imagination to create a story. De Uil Another cool option would be De Uil, which you can also book via Alibi’s website. De Uil is a treehouse, not really far away from blokhuispoort (it’s just on the other of the canal). We loved sleeping in a treehouse, so this would be a perfect one with a great location. Giveaway (closed) Are you ready to go out? We’re giving away 2 tickets for the Aquazoo (for the week between Xmas and New Year). Just let us know who will you take with you in a comment here or on facebook. You only need to follow us in one of our social media channels (facebook, Instagram or twitter) or to be subscriber of our newsletter. We will randomly pick a winner on 24th December. It’s not mandatory, but we will appreciate if you share the giveaway. ...
The funnest playgrounds in and around Alde Feanen

The funnest playgrounds in and around Alde Feanen

It’s no secret that our boys love to be and play outside, no matter the weather nor the temperature. Especially Liam loves to climb and pick branches, shells and rocks. This is why we try to find nice playgrounds for toddlers. As we were exploring the National Park de Alde Feanen at the beginning of the month, I have put a summary of the funnest playgrounds in and around Alde Feanen. Have a look at this video and see if you can recognize some of them!   Did you recognize them? No problem, here they are: Playground at the visitors center of NP De Alde Feanen We visited the National Park De Alde Feanen for the first time during Fête de la nature and we felt in love with this playground. I call it “playground”, but it is much more than a simple playground. It was opened at the beginning of the year and has an infinity of amusements: slides, climb trails, herbs gardens, insect hotels, tractors … The good thing is that there’s entertainment for all ages, even for the younger ones there’s small slide in the form of a ship (I haven’t seen this little one in any other playground). Liam’s favorite thing here is a wooden house filled with hay!! This one reminded me to the fairy tail the three little pigs, but don’t worry, the house won’t fall apart if you blow it 🙂 The visitors center also organizes activities all year round. Our favorite so far was baking bread on a fire!!   Pettebosk De Pettebosk is a forest for nature education and very close to the visitors center. In this forest, you can follow a “rugzakroute“, a marked backpack route, (I will write a post about it) or walk around the paths, solve assignments, climb mounds, jump from tree trunk to tree trunk, swim or just simply enjoy the nature. Adventure Island in Kameleon Terherne As a non-Dutch, I didn’t know that “kameleon” is the name of a series of books, which main characters are the Frisian twins Hielke and Sietse Klinkhamer. In Kameleon Terherne is all about the books and these characters, but I will tell you everything in another post. In short, you can take a boat and sail to adventure island. This island is a boy’s paradise!! Bring a swimsuit and extra clothes with you, because there isn’t anything more fun than getting dirty in the marsh, swinging, jumping and “fierljeppen” (=fear lapping, a typical Frisian sport). IJsboerderij boereiis I don’t know if I have already mentioned it, but Liam loves tractors. In fact, he borrowed so often our neighbor’s tractor that they gave it to us, Thank you, Suus!! Knowing that you can imagine that as soon as we arrived at IJsboerderij boereiis he made the biggest tractor his own 🙂 But besides the tractor, there’s a great playground, a jump cushion, and animals to watch and pet. And of course the super bonus: ice cream made from the milk of their own cows!! If it’s not sold out, try the Frisian specialty “suikerbrood”. We will have to come back to try it, but also the blueberries ice cream was delicious!! Wooden ship at De Twirre During our last visit to NP De Alde Feanen we also tried the e-sloop of De Twirre (I will write about them in another post) and, despite Liam’s injured foot, he was climbing and playing on this ship. Which playgrounds have you visited? Which one would you like to visit? ...
Agenda week 22 – wat te doen met kinderen in Friesland

Agenda week 22 – wat te doen met kinderen in Friesland

Elke week komt de vraag “wat te doen met kinderen in Friesland?” en hier heb ik een paar ideen voor de komende weekend: wandelen, trekkers, straatfeest, welke is jouw favorite? En welke is een aanrader dat wij zullen toevoegen? 2. Juni Harlingen feestweek – Stadswandeling om 19 uur bij museum ‘t Hannemahuis. Het is gratis en na afloop is er koffie. Praamvaren in Leeuwarden – een leuke rondvaart door de grachten van Leeuwarden, er zijn twee routes: de Prinsentuinroute (50 min.) en de Kleine Potmargeroute (90 min.). 3. Juni Trekker elfstedentocht – op vrijdag vind de eerste deel van de trekker elfstedentocht plaats, een aanrader voor de jongens. Praamvaren in Leeuwarden – een leuke rondvaart door de grachten van Leeuwarden, er zijn twee routes: de Prinsentuinroute (50 min.) en de Kleine Potmargeroute (90 min.). 4. Juni Harlinger Parkontbijt – onze favorite event in Harlingen: een jaarlijks ontbijt in de Engelse tuin voor maar 3€ p.p.. Klick op de foto voor nog meer foto’s en om de sfeer te proeven. Het is een echte event voor families met veel activiteiten voor de kinderen. Harlingen Straatfestival door het centrum Vanaf: 13.30 uur tot 17.00 uur – Als je een keer in Harlingen bent, kunt je naar een heerlijke ontbijt verder in centrum van de straatfestival genieten. Trekker elfstedentocht – op zaterdag komt de trekker elfstedentoch langs Harlingen. Praamvaren in Leeuwarden  – een leuke rondvaart door de grachten van Leeuwarden, er zijn twee routes: de Prinsentuinroute (50 min.) en de Kleine Potmargeroute (90 min.). Wandelexcursie ” Schotse Hooglanders en damherten in Ketliker Skar, een natuurgebied dat ongelooflijk rijk is aan variatie en bestaat uit verschillende deelgebieden. Vaarexcursie in NP Alde Feanen met de excursieboot de Blaustirns die op zonne-energie vaart en vrijwel geruisloos is. Wij zijn een week geleden geweest en het was de moeite waard. Het is goed te combineren met de bezoekerscentrum en de speeltuin. Liam vond de stro geweldig!! Verteller Mindert Wijnstra op Oranjewoud Festival . In een tipi tent worden twee verhalen vertellt:  De naam van de boom (4-8 jaar) van 13.00 tot 13.30 uur, dit is een kleurrijk verhaal over dieren die een lange reis maken op zoek naar water en voedsel. En dieren zijn soms net mensen. De grootste, de sterkste en de snelste dieren nemen de leiding, maar de sterkste is niet altijd de slimste… Waarom is het water in de zee zout? (8-12 jaar) van 14.30 tot 15.00 uur. Een vraagt dat elke kind zich maakt. 5. Juni Sunday Funday & MadeBy markt in Harlingen Voor andere uitjes in Friesland klick op deze foto: Of en deze voor nog meer activiteiten rond het Lauwersmeer. ...
AtoZ of Friesland with kids: playing with water at de Kruidhof

AtoZ of Friesland with kids: playing with water at de Kruidhof

The playground from de Kruidhof is so far our favorite one in Friesland, therefore the W of the AtoZ of Friesland with kids: playing with water at de Kruidhof. It isn’t a secret that all toddlers love to play with water and mud, and Liam isn’t an exception. When we were there for the first time it was already autumn and it wasn’t so warm anymore (either so cold), but that wasn’t a problem to play with the water. I didn’t know there was such a water playground and I didn’t have any other cloths for him, so we were taking care than Liam wasn’t getting wet. There were some parts too deep for his rain boots and at the end his feet were wet (we took out the socks once in the car, problem solved!!), but he really enjoyed it! Besides the water playground, there’s another one with lots of sand and different discovering paths. De Kruidhof also organizes activities for children and for adults (check their agenda). In our wish list, we have pending to try the sunday brunch. Last year we were there for the harvesting party and it really worth it! The little ones could carve their own pumpkin, pick some flowers and make their own bouquet, eat healthy pies and admire all kinds of apples. The funny part of that day was that in the newspaper they wrote “bring a brunch from your apple tree and we can teel you which kind of apple is it”, so I took a brunch from our mini apple tree and the specialist looked at my brunch and said “you were supposed to bring an appel!”, ha,ha,ha. Sure!! I was wondering how you could distinguish one apple tree from another just by looking at the leaves. I hope to get this year more than one apple, so I can bring it 🙂 De kruidhof is a bonatical garden, where you can also buy plants. It’s locates in Buitenpost and the entry costs 4,5€ for adults and 2€ for children between 5 and 12 years old. ...
AtoZ of Friesland with kids: gourmet at the poffertjeskraam

AtoZ of Friesland with kids: gourmet at the poffertjeskraam

The P of AtoZ of Friesland with kids: gourmet at the Poffertjeskraam in Harlingen. From time to time I have friends or family coming from Spain and I like to take them for dinner/lunch to places they would find “Dutch”. Well, in Harlingen the most typical Dutch place to eat is the poffertjeskraam. Last month I had friends from Madrid and we went there to try the “pannenkoeken gourmetten”. “Pannenkoeken gourmetten” is a new concept and basically means you get a bottle with the  pancake dough, plates with different ingredients as cheese, salami and ham and a hot plate in order to prepare your own pancakes!! You can cook six pancakes at a time and the best thing is that the bottle with the dough will be refilled (if you are able to finish it), so a kind of all you can eat. The fun thing is that children can prepare their own pancakes and you can also order sweet ingredients such as nutella, smarties or jam (not only for kids of course). This was the second time we have been there for the gourmet and I really like the concept if you are going to have dinner with children. As the pancakes are small and once the plate is hot you can prepare them quickly. The price for the gourmet is 12,50€ for the adults and 5€ for the children up to 7 years old.  Besides the gourmet, we love to go for dinner to the poffertjeskraam as they have a play table for children as well as (ikea) high chairs and they don’t mind if the children are walking around 🙂 Enjoy your meal!! ...
AtoZ of Friesland with kids: atelier kleine-lijn

AtoZ of Friesland with kids: atelier kleine-lijn

Would you like to follow a different craft workshop? The atelier kleine-Lijn offers “zeefdrukken” (screenprinting) workshops and therefore the L of the AtoZ of Friesland with kids: atelier kleine-lijn. Even though I speak Dutch, I didn’t know what “zeefdrukken” meant, so I was really looking forward to follow this workshop and learn more about it. When we arrived at the atelier, there was coffee and a delicious cake waiting for us (you can also book a high tea with the workshop). We met Nynke, the owner, and she explained us what we were about to do. Our workshop was an introduction to screenprinting, so shorter than a regular one and that’s why we didn’t have the time to create a screen ourselves but Nynke showed us the process and some of the screens she had created. There’re screens in all kind of sizes and they are reusable. The next step was to make a test print. It’s not difficult but you need to make sure you have enough paint and you distribute it equally. The good thing of this process is that you can reuse the remaining paint on the screen. So even if it seems you are using a great amount of paint, only a part of it will used in the fabrics. Then it was time to create our own designs. In the atelier there’re different pieces of fabrics you can choose from for the screenprinting like aprons, towels or bags. I chose a sheet for the crib and I used two different screens, one with “slaap kindje slaap” (sleep baby sleep) and another one with different designs for children. You can see the final result in the picture below. Looking at the result,  I think this workshop could be a great option for a baby shower. There’re more baby/child products to choose from. This workshop is for all ages, although for children between 8 and 12 years old there’s a special workshop. Beside the workshops, the atelier has also a shop where you can buy the already screenprinted fabrics. The atelier kleine-Lijn is located in Blije, a little Frisian village in the North of The Netherlands. ...
AtoZ of Friesland with kids: It Dreamlan

AtoZ of Friesland with kids: It Dreamlan

There’re so many things to do with kids in Friesland that you can easily stay for a week or even a month and after so much fun during the day, you will need a cozy and child-friendly place to sleep. Well, the best place to stay in Friesland with kids: It Dreamlan. I stayed with a group of bloggers in the brand new holiday houses. I was welcomed by Minke and she showed me around my holiday house. Even though I was there without the little one,  the first that caught my attention was the play corner for the kids. I’m sure Liam would have run to take the tee pot or one of the cars. Further, in the ground floor, there’s an open kitchen with a dining area as well as a living room and a toilet. I really felt that the owners, Minke and Robert, had thought of every single detail to create a home away from home. The bedrooms are upstairs and also the stairs were child proof (you can use a barrier to close them), something that any baby or toddler’s parent would appreciate. In the house I was sleeping, there were two bedrooms, a single one (mine) and another double. In the double room there was also a tub. If you stay here, you could have a bath with views of the Frisian countryside.  If you come with a group, you can also use the group room. This room has a large table and a very well equipped kitchen. Perfect to cook and dine together. During our weekend this was the place where we were meeting, eating and chilling out. The holiday houses aren’t the only accommodation at It Dreamlan. You can stay in their camping or in one of their glamping accommodation: the “trek-in”. The two cabins are a great option for enjoying the outdoors with a bit of comfort. Next time, I will come with the kids to try them. I’m also looking forward to sit outside around the fire place again again. The best option to have endless conversations 🙂 It Dreamlan has an amazing location in the north of the Netherlands, with extraordinary views and perfect for those looking for peace. The only noise you could hear here is the one from the birds. This post also linked at: ...

AtoZ of Friesland with kids: aldfaers Erf, open-air museum

The E of the A to Z of Friesland with kids: aldfaers Erf. Aldfaers Erf is an open-air museum, a little village where you can see how Frisian lived and worked in the past. You can enter all houses and in some of them there’re demonstrations like in the blacksmith’s workshop or in the bakery, where you can buy typical cookies. Besides the houses-museum, there’s a huge sand bank in the main plain. This sandpit has also a lot of toys for the kids, so no need to bring them. The good thing of the sandpit is that you can sit down and order a drink or something to eat. On the left of the sandpit, there’s also an indoor playroom for the rainy days. Here you can find the usual toys but also old fashioned games. For those shiny days, there’s a huge meadow with more playsets, as well as a little channel where you can step into a boat or a kayak. Last but not least, there’re some vegetable gardens with strawberries, herbs and other plants. As you can see there’s enough to do to spend a whole day here. Aldfaers erf is open from 1 April to 31 October, Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 17.00. Entry costs 5€ for adults, 3€ for kids between 5 and 14 years, and 1,5€ for kids between 2 and 4 year. ...
AtoZ of Friesland with kids: Doniastate

AtoZ of Friesland with kids: Doniastate

The D of AtoZ of Friesland with kids: Doniastate. Doniastate is a much more than a farm for children (in Dutch a “kinderboerderij”). As any other children farm has a lot of animals, some of them are keept behind fences but other ones like the goats walk freely (they have also a fence but you can enter the area of the goats and they are free). I guess running after the goats and being able to touch them. Most of the goats seek contact with the children, but of course once they get tired, they run away. In the spring there are also baby goats, which are really cute. But the whole farm is 6 hectare and it has also playgrounds, a butterfly garden and gnome forest. In the gnome forest, there are games for the children and everything is small, also the entrance, so take take care of your head. There’s gnomes houses in the trees with lovely tiny doors and windows as well as many gnomes along the way. After walking around, you can have a drink and a snack in the terrace while te children are playing in the sand or riding a tractor. I think I don’t need to mention which part was the favorite of Liam: riding the tractors. There’re two sizes, the small ones to walk and the bigger ones with pedals. Liam took one of the big ones and as he was still to small to pedal, we have to push the tractor along the race track. He was really angry when we wanted to go home and he had to leave the tractor 😉 Doniastate is located in Truerderdyk 14, Stiens and is open everyday from 10 to 17. The entry costs 3,5€ (children up to 2 years are free) or 25€ for a year family card (up to 2 adults and 4 children). ...
AtoZ Friesland with kids: cuddling cows

AtoZ Friesland with kids: cuddling cows

Friesland is by far the province of the Netherlands with the biggest number of (melk) cows. Therefore the C of the A to Z of Friesland with kids: cuddling cows. In Friesland you don’t need to look for long in order to find cows. Almost in each meadow you will see some. In fact there’re 281.000 cows and around 647.000 inhabitants, so almost a cow per two persons. We live just at the end of the city and our house is overlooking a meadow. There we have from April to October some four legged neighbors: either cows or sheeps. Honestly we prefer the sheeps, as the cows bring a lot of flies with them 🙁 If you are not so lucky and don’t have cows nearby, you can always visit a farm. We often go to the Harmanna Hoeve (Ieslumbuorren 1 in Harlingen) to buy fresh milk and say hello to the cows. In general farmers in Friesland are really friendly and you can have a look at the cows. There are also “open farm days”, like the one organized by campina. This year the next one is either 6th or 16th of May. You can check the boerderijdagen  web for the adresses. In each farm there’re activities and information for the kids as well as milk and other diary products to taste. Last year Liam had a lot of fun riding a little tractor and he even got a “kiss” from a calf 🙂 You could also go to boerderijrecreatie and book a cow cuddling arrangement. We wanted to bring our Spanish friends here, but as it isn’t recommended for pregnant women, we decided to pospone it to the summer. Have you ever cuddle a cow? or did you get a kiss fro a cow? ...
AtoZ Friesland with kids: picking berries at fruithof de struikrover

AtoZ Friesland with kids: picking berries at fruithof de struikrover

We stat the Our A to Z challenge with our theme Friesland with kids: picking berries  at Fruithof de Struikrover. One of the things that we enjoy the most in Friesland is the nature and being able to get in touch with farmers. You can buy milk and other diary products, vegetables, fruit and even wine. Last year we went for the first time to the harvest feast of “fruithof de struikrover”. During the harvest feast, we were able to pick different berries and also buy some self made jam and juice, as well as having a coffee with a delicious strawberry cake. The kids get a small bucket and are able to pick their own berries, but Liam preferred to use our own bucket. I can say we are lucky that he loves any kind of fruit and vegetables, and as you can see, we have to stop him from eating the blueberries. In fact, he wasn’t the only one I had to ask to stop eating them, my grandfather was also visiting us and he was eating them as well 😉 At the time we were there, Liam was 20 months old. So it’s fun to go there as soon as the little ones are able to walk. But it’s also fun for older children as well as educative. The Fruithof de Struikrover is located near Heerenveen and it’s open during the harvesting season of the berries (in the summer). You can check their opening hours in their website or in their facebook. Have you been there? or do you know any other farm in Friesland where you can pick your own berries? ...
#BELM15: what to do around Lauwersmeer with kids

#BELM15: what to do around Lauwersmeer with kids

Are you looking for the next family holiday? Why don’t you come to Lauwersmeer, in the North of the Netherlands? There’re a lot of things to do around Lauwersmeer with kids and you don’t need to fear the weather as there’re enough outdoor and indoor activities for all ages. Here are some ideas: Take a boat to see seals in the Waddenzee In The Netherlands there’re two types of seals: the common seal and the grey seal. The first ones live in the Waddenzee and in the South part of the islands of the Waddenzee, while the grey seals live in the North Sea and the North part of the islands of the Waddenzee. A boat can take you to one of the sand plates where the seals are resting. Puppies are born in summer and winter and in season the probability to spot them is very high. If the weather isn’t so great or it’s not season, you can instead head to the zeehondencrèche in Pieterburen. Visit the seal puppies in the zeehondencrèche in Pieterburen This zeehondencrèche or seal sanctuary rescues seal puppies that have lost his mothers. The zeehondencrèche take care of the puppies until they’re old enough to survive by themselves and therefore there’re seals all year around. There are three different pools and an intensive care zone. When the weather isn’t so nice you can lay down on the cushions inside the building and watch the seals through the windows of the pool. Furthermore there’s a exposition with a lot of information, a cinema and a playground area. When we were there, the little one was 18 months and he loved watching the seals swimming through the window as a couple of times they also came to watch him 🙂 The zeehondencrèche is open Wednesday to Sunday (all days during the school holidays) from 10:00 to 17:00. Entry is free for children under 4, 5€ for children up to 12 years and 7,5 € for adults. Doezoo in Leens Doezoo is a insect park where children can touch, feel, smell, see and taste. During the guided visits (each Wednesday and Saturday at 14:00 and during school holidays each day at 11:00 and 14:00), the children are able to touch or even to hold the animals as well as feed them. This zoo is just 10km away from the zeehondencrèche, so well to combine in one day. Doezoo is open from Wednesday to Saturday (also on Monday and Tuesday during the school holidays) from 10:00 to 17:00. Entry is free for children up to 2 years and 6,5€ for children older than 3 and adults. Mudwalking and wagon ridding in Passens – Moddergat Mudwalking is one of the must do of the Waddenzee, as you cannot do it in any other place. A whole or half day mudwalking isn’t suitable for the little ones, that’s why I would recomend the “Wadpieren en andere dieren” (Lugworms and other animals) walk, an easy 3km – 2,5h mudwalk to Passens – Moddergat. A wagon will ride you to the end of the villages and then you will walk back through the Waddenzee. Mudwalking “Wadpieren en andere dieren” is available all year around and costs 12€ for adults and 9€ for children (you can hire mudwalking shoes for just 1,75€ in the size 35 to 46). The ride in the wagon only costs 7,5€ for adults and 4,5€ for children up to 12 years. You can also combine the mudwalking with “eating from the sea“: you will look for shellfishes, such as clams, mussels, periwinkles and oysters and plants such as samphire. Back from the walk you will prepare and taste whatever you have found accompanied by fish and chips. Eating from the sea costs 19,5€ for adults and 10€ for children between 4 and 12 years. Visit the museum ‘t Fiskershúske in Passens-Moddergat Passens and Moddergat are two little fishers village with a lot of charm, so don’t forget the camera. You shouldn’t miss museum ‘t Fiskershúske either, where you can visit fisherman’s cottages and learn about the old inshore fishing industry. It’s open from 22 February to 31 October ,Monday to Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00. In Juli, August and during school holidays, it’s also open on Sundays from 13.00 to 17.00. The entry costs 5€ for adults and 2€ for children between 6 and 16 years. Visit “Oudheidkamer Mr. Andreae” in Kollum The Oudheidkamer Mr. Andreae in Kollum as well as the museum ‘t Fiskershúske are part of the Mark en Ant project for children: with the help of a smartphone or tablet, they allow children on the basis of playful and educational assignments to see how much fun can be a museum. The Oudheidkamer is located in an old post office building and it shows the history of Kollum and the villages around. You can see, for example, a shop from the beginning of last century, a “bedstee” (the old fashion Dutch bed), all kind of clothes and tools as well as the studio of a photographer with a camera as big as you 🙂 For the children there’re explanations and activities from Mark and Ant in each room. It’s open from 3 June to 30 October, Wednesday to Saturday from 14:00  to 17:00. The entry costs 3,5€ for adults and 1,5€ for children up to 14 years old. Eat and play at the het booze wijf in Lauwersoog Het booze wijf is a restaurant on the shore of the Lauwersmeer and it’s really child friendly. While having some snacks there, there were a couple of families having dinner, their children were making noise and walking around, but that wasn’t an issue for the staff nor for the other guests (the restaurant is quite big, so people wanting some quietude can seat somewhere far from the children). Some of the children spent the waiting time in the play room. There’s a whole floor for the kids where they can jump, run and glide (it’s like monkey town), perfect to keep the children entertained! Outside there’s also a big playground and you can start many walks and activities from the restaurant. Take a ferry to Schiermonnikoog From Lauwersoog, you can take the ferry to Schiermonnikoog, one of the Islands of the Waddenzee. Indeed this is the smallest inhabited island of the Frisian Waddenzee. It’s 18 km long and 4 km wide, the perfect size for discovering it with a bike. The Island belongs to Schiermonnikoog National Park, with plenty of dunes, beaches, forests, mudflats and polders. For the little ones there’s a lot of nature to discover and space to play. The ferry to Schiermonnikoog  takes 45 minutes and it costs just 12,80€ (15€ in the summer) for adults and 7,25€ (8,35€ in the summer) for children of 4 to 11 years. Shell museum in Schiermonnikoog If it’s raining while you’re in Schiermonnikoog, you can visit the shell museum. All shells have been collected by the owner of the museum all over the world. The museum is open every day from 14:00 to 17:00 and entry costs 2€ for adults and 1€ for children. There’re still a lot of activities to do around the Lauwersmeer with kids, but I will save them for another post. Have you been in Lauwersmeer? What is your favorite kids activity around Lauwersmeer? Pin it for later This post also linked at: ...
Harvesting grapes in The Netherlands at de Frysling

Harvesting grapes in The Netherlands at de Frysling

There’s something I love as much as travelling: wine! It’s not a secret, in our trips we visit the local vineyards, taste the wines and buy some for the rest of the trip. We have been in Tyrrell’s in Australia, Bodegas Monje in Tenerife,  Castello di Amorosa and Beringer in Napa Valley, in many vineyards of Martinborough and Marlborough in New Zealand, La Rioja and Bourdeaux, and after five years living in Friesland, I hadn’t visit yet the most northerly vineyard in The Netherlands: De Frysling. During my second trip to the Lauwersmeer region I meet Jantiene, the owner of the vineyard. She came to “it dreamlan“, our accommodation, on the Friday night and brought wine for a tasting. Too bad I was already pregnant and I couldn’t have a glass. But that wasn’t an impediment to talk about the vineyard and the wines. She told me they were about to harvest the last grapes of the season on the Sunday. I don’t know if it was because I was very enthusiastic about the vineyard and the harvesting that she invited me to join them! I didn’t tell it her, but in my mind I’ve been planning a trip to witness the harvesting of the grapes for a long time. So even thought our Sunday was already completely planned, I kept the idea of sneaking out at some point of the day to go to the harvesting grapes at De Frysling. The weather on Sunday couldn’t have been beter for the first weekend of November! I woke up earlier and I went first to take some pictures of the sunrise in Moddergat (a lovely little fishers village). When I was back, I headed to De Frysling. What makes this vineyard so special? Well, I don’t think the Netherlands will come to your mind if you think of wine producing countries. The weather here is just not so good for wine making grapes and even though De Frysling has found the way to be able to find the right grape varieties for this climate: Johanniter, Solaris, Souvignier Gris, Pinotin, Carbernet Noir and Cabernet Cortis. With them they produce white wine, rosé and amazing “Brûswyn” (sparkling wine). The harvesting is completely done manually, which assures that only the best grapes are used for the wine. I can tell you, harvesting is really time consuming. It’s not about picking the grapes and putting them into the buckets, but also checking grape by grape that they are all fine.  It’s a very methodical work, you take the brunch and exterminate all grapes. If the skin is damage, you need to remove it. If the grape is wrinkled, you also need to remove it. Sometimes you take a huge brunch and after you are done taking those not high quality grapes out, you end up with a tiny brunch. But this is the way De Frysling assures a great taste and quality wine. We couldn’t stay the whole day, but we had a great time talking to Jantiene in their tasting local, which is open each first Sunday of the month from 14:00 to 17:00. Well, if a couple of hours is not enough you can also stay in the vineyard. They have a cozy guesthouse that can accommodate two adults and two children. I loved the “bedstee”, which it’s the old fashioned bed of The Netherlands, a bed inside of a compartiment. This is surely one of the best ways to expend a romantic Valentin’s weekend. And if you even want more, you can always contact Jantiene as they also have volunteers staying for a certain period with them. Surely the best way to experience the vineyard. Thanks Jantiene for the great conversations and explanations as well as for being able to be part of the harvesting. We will surely come back to taste the wine we were picking and in autumn to help out a fully day with the harvest 🙂 This post also linked at: ...
The “gezelligste” Christmas Markets of Friesland (2018)

The “gezelligste” Christmas Markets of Friesland (2018)

December is the month of the Christmas Markets and not only in Germany and other Nordic countries, also in The Netherlands there’re a lot of Christmas Markets. The main difference though is that here the Christmas Markets are held one day, so you need to know when and where they are. As well as pick some of them (you won’t be able to ) Here I have an overview of the “gezelligste” Christmas Markets of Friesland. Why these markets? Because they are held in small cities or villages which offers a very cosy atmosphere. Zoutsloter Kerstmarkt in Harlingen Unfortunately, this year the Zoutsloter kerstmarkt is cancelled due to bad weather 🙁 Instead, there’s a small xmas market at Bloemisterij Van Der Meer from 15.00 to 21.00. Flinke Winter Favorieten A combination of Christmas markets and food trucks, workshops and live music. This time at the Zeilschool de Morra in Hemelum on 8th and 9th December from 11.00 to 18.00. Tickets cost 5€ for adults and 2 € for children (4-12 years). Lekker Sneek winter edition & Kerstmarkt Grootzand  Two events combined in one day! Enjoy the city with a nice Christmas atmosphere: Christmas trees, snow, heated tents and a living Nativity scene. On Sunday 9th December. Kerstfair Dokkum The kerstfair Dokkum will be held on 14th December from 13:30 to 22:00. The city center will have a Charles Dickens atmosphere and there will even be a parade. You can have an impression of this market in this video. Don’t miss the Dickens’ mulled cider and the wines from De Frysling (the most northerly vineyard in the Netherlands).   Charles Dickens Leeuwarden For the first time, the old coty center of Leuwarden will host a xmas market: Charles Dickens Leeuwarden on 15th December from 14:00 to 22:00 and on 16th from 12:00 to 18:00. It will be the biggest christmas market of the North. There will be music, street artists, theatre and a parade. Christmas market in Vlieland Around Christmas, you can enjoy a xmas market in Vlieland from 15:00 to 18:00. You can combine this market with a cranberry compote workshop (Vlieland is really famous for its cranberries). Are you visiting any Christmas Market in Friesland? Which one do you find is the “gezelligste”?   ...
Harlingen’s singular buildings to sleep in

Harlingen’s singular buildings to sleep in

In Harlingen we don’t have big buildings, but we do have many singular ones. Well, they are singular for anyone who is not Dutch and it’s not used to seeing the typical canal warehouse, with large windows and a pulley at the top for unloading ships and store them in the warehouse through the windows. In Harlingen there are several of these buildings and one I like a lot is “De Hamer” dating from the 18th century and considered as a monument. Harlingen offers to anyone who is willing to “scratch his pocket” two top end accommodation options, both original and exclusive: the first option is the lighthouse. Yes, the lighthouse is the most expensive accommodation here, nothing more nor less than 319€/night and belive it or not for 2013 is almost fully booked (just July 15th is available)! The other accommodation available for also the “modest” price of 319€/night is the crane in the harbor. If I had to pick one, I’d take the lighthouse which I think it’s very romantic. Paul for sure would choose the crane 🙂 You might be wondering why they are so expensive. One word: exclusivity. Not only they are meant for just one couple per night, but also because both are high enough to offer panoramic views of the city and the sea. More or less I know the views because I have been on the other crane (which is higher and in use to load and unload ships). I could not resist to mention that Paul would choose the crane to sleep because occasionally he also drives the other crane and the proof is this picture.  One day I have to ask if I can go inside to take some pictures, so we can also judge whether it is worth it 🙂 What is the maximum you spent for a night of accommodation? Have you ever sleep somewhere different?  ...
A foretaste of wadlopen in Groningen #BELM15

A foretaste of wadlopen in Groningen #BELM15

Imagine a cold, grey and rainy day at the smallest open sea port of The Netherlands: the Noordpolderzijl in Groningen. Imagine a group of 10 people wearing jackets and (most of them) shorts. Yes, shorts in a cold day!! what do you think they are going to do? Well, I can tell you as I was one of the 10 people, we were getting ready to go Wadlopen in Groningen’s Noordpolderzijl. Wadlopen means “mud walking” and consist on walking from the mainland to an Island of the Wadden Sea or to a sand flat during the low tide. It means that you get wet and covered in mud. So you could imagine I wasn’t feeling like going wadlopen when we arrived in the Noordpolderzijl and the weather was so bad. The second problem we were facing was the tide. The high tide was at 15:00 and we were starting the walk at 15:15, what it means the water level was still to high. But hey, some of the group were there from far away and we had to try at least. With a guide from Stichting Wadloopcentrum Pieterburen we put “feet on mud”! Here is a short video of the experience.  Even thought it was just a foretaste of wadlopen in Groningen, I think it was the best activity to end up our bloggers event #BELM15. I’m sure everyone is going to remember it for a long time!! For me it was the second time I went wadlopen. The first time, I crossed from Holwerd to Ameland with my colleagues. In Groningen I was missing the good weather but I have to admit, wadlopen with not so nice weather is really rewarding. Did you know what wadlopen is? Have you tried it? ...
Harlinger Parkontbijt or breakfast in the park

Harlinger Parkontbijt or breakfast in the park

After 4 years, it’s now a tradition for us to be part of the Harlinger Parkontbijt (Harlingen’s park breakfast). This year it was the 6th edition (we have missed a couple) and the day wouldn’t have been chosen better. Well, the original date was in June, but as it was forecast not such a great weather, it was postponed to 4th of July. What I love about this event is that it’s for everyone, it’s easygoing and offers a lot of fun for the little ones. For example: they can do braids with ribbons, such a simple but entertaining activity, or jump in a bouncy, or help making a piece of art, which was later auctioned. and of course enjoy a healthy and tasty breakfast. As the Harlinger Parkontbijt is sponsored by different companies and also organized as a nonprofit event by restaurant ONS, restaurant Stoof, eetcafe nooitgedagt and BENG Evenementen,  the participation fee is as cheap as 3€!! This year, as well as the past ones, the affluence of people was huge, so there were also people using the picnic clothes while enjoying the breakfast. Next year we will be for sure taking part again, will you? ...
This is Friesland in winter

This is Friesland in winter

The most difficult part of living in Germany and The Netherlands is getting used to the winters, which are long, cold and with no sun. But in Friesland the winter is different: the colder, the funnier. What can you do when it’s cold? Ice skating!! Last winter I was ice skating my colleagues, it was the first time for me that I was skating on natural ice and I liked it! A round on the lake was 3km and I was able to skate four.  Friesland has its own identity: not only because of the ice skating, but also because they still retain old habits such as using wooden clogs. In the photo below you can see a Frisian  taking off the skates and putting on clogs with the Frisian flag. If the winter is really cold and everything is frozen there will be a “elfstedentoch” or the route of the eleven cities. In the ice skating variant the participants skate for almost 200km in one day! The picture below is from a frozen Harlingen in 1991. Until now we only have had two days with a temperature below 0, so no ice skating. Here is a video from last winter. And also one video of my great ice skating skills 😛 So no ice, but we are looking forward to visiting the zoutsloter kerstmarkt in Harlingen on Saturday. The Christmas lights are already on!! ...
Tall Ship Races Harlingen – WW/MM

Tall Ship Races Harlingen – WW/MM

Just one more night 🙂 Ya sólo nos queda una noche 🙂 ...
AtoZ: N is for Navigate – ww/mm

AtoZ: N is for Navigate – ww/mm

I know, I’m missing some letters but last weekend I was in a sailing training and I didn’t have time to prepare any post. Therefore the theme of today is navigate.  I enjoy sailing and my aim is to be able to go on holidays in a 40 feet bavaria. I do already feel confident to kip a open sail boat  like the polyvalk. Ya sé que me faltan unas cuantas letras, pero me he pasadao todo el fin de semana en un curso de vela y no me ha dado tiempo. El tema de hoy es navegar. La verdad es que me encanta hacer vela y me he propuesto aprender hasta ser capaz de irme de vacaciones con un bavaria de 40 pies. De momento soy capaza de manejar un polyvalk. Every year I go on a training, well last year I was already pregnant and it was still too cold (and there is no toilet on board). This year we had lovely sailing weather, sun and clouds and a lot of wind.   Una vez al año voy a clases de vela, bueno el año pasado no fui porque por las fechas ya estaba embarazada y hacía un frio que pelaba (y en el barco no hay baño). Este año sin embargo hemos tenido suerte, sol y nubes a ratos y mucho viento. But the most important is that I have improved!! I have 8 of the 16 points of the practice and 3 of the 9 of the theory of level II. I just need to practice this summer and I will be able to go to the next level!!  Pero lo importante es que voy mejorando. Ya tengo 8 de los 16 puntos de prácticas y 3 de los 9 de teoría del nivel II. Si este verano practico un poco seguro que la próxima vez paso al siguiente nivel 🙂 ...
AtoZ: D is for Dúmkes

AtoZ: D is for Dúmkes

Echte Fryske Dúmkes are the most tipical cookie from Friesland (The Netherlands). Dúmkes mean thumbs and the are called so because the baker immediately after baking them used to press his thumb into the still soft dough to put his “signature” and give them a special form. Echte Fryske Dúmkes son las galletas más típicas de Friesland (Holanda). Dúmkes significa pulgar y se llaman así poque el panadero presionaba las galletas con su pulgar para as’i darles su particular “sello de identidad”. Fryske Dumkes are hard cookies with aniseed and almonds. If you ask for a coffee in Friesland, it will be most probably be accompanied with a fryske dumke. Las fryske dumkes son galletas duras hechas con anis y almendras. En Friesland suelen acompañar al café en casi todos los bares y restaurantes. I love their flavor! I bought a bag to be able to take pictures and I almost finished it before I took a picture 🙂  La verdad es que a mí me encantan y casi me acabo la bolsa que compré antes de hacer las fotos 🙂 ...
2013 in 12 pictures

2013 in 12 pictures

I started writing this post a month ago and I always put the same excuse for not having the time to write/publish: Liam. January / Enero Last year January was really cold in The Netherlands, but I started to look for the fun things to do on that cold but sunny days (which are not many). Two years ago I started learning ice skating and last year I was ice skating for the first time on natural ice. It was fun and if you are curious about my ice skating skills the posts “This is Friesland in winter” even has a video. February / Febrero Finally February! I know it was only the second month of the year, but it was the month in which we finally went on honeymoon and a honeymoon is always a good reason to do things you otherwise wouldn’t do, like jumping out of a plane at 15.000 feet. Well, also the destination of our journey was special, the other side of the world: New Zealand! March / Marzo We also spent half of March in New Zealand. When you fly so far away, it’s not worth it for just a couple of weeks. If I would need to pick one place to come back, that would be Milford Sounds, next time I want to walk the Milford track, one of the nine great walks (I have added it to my bucket list).  stowaway April / Abril April was the month of the AtoZ challenge. At the beginning I was very enthusiastic but at some point my energy was going down and the time besides work was too little. Nevertheless I “meet” other travel bloggers like Rhonda from laugh-quotes, Molly from a foreign land, Kelly from my destination unknown and Jessica from a passion and a passport.  May / Mayo May was a no-posts month due to the stowaway we brought from New Zealand 😛 June / Junio In June I joined the blogger traveller and decided to write about the HT Race. June it’s always a great month in Harlingen: we have a lot of events and the weather is mostly nice. July / Julio In July we discovered that we were getting a son! We would have been happy with a girl too. Well, we had a name for a girl, but it took as months to decide the name for our little boy. August / Agosto If there’s something you can do in Friesland, that’s sailing. Last year we didn’t sail much, so it’s on the list of this year. September / Septiembre The belly was getting bigger and bigger and my posts were mostly an update of the growing belly. I normally don’t appear on the pictures, because I’m the one taking the pictures. So taking “selfies” every now and then was at the end worth it.   October/ Octubre Our last (mini) trip as a couple. We went to Düsseldorf for a weekend. We love visiting Düsseldorf from time to time, we feel like it’s like our second home town. November/ Noviembre Liam was born 4 weeks earlier than the due date, just on my birthday. I was getting very ill and the doctors decided it was time for him to be born, could you imagine any better birthday present?  December/ Diciembre The start of “the first times”: our first trip as a family (which we’ll post soon), Liam’s first Xmas, … 2013 was definitely a year of a lot of happiness and moments to remember. What is the moment of 2013 you will always remember? ...
Harlingen: HT race

Harlingen: HT race

El tema de blogger traveller de junio de hoy es “azul”. ¿Qué cosa azul abunda  en Holanda? El agua, ya sea de los canales, de los lagos o del mar. En Harlingen tenemos de todo. Tenemos canales que nada tienen que envidiar a los de Amsterdam, tenemos un puerto y canales dónde los veleros descansan por las noches. Quizás otro día os enseñe fotos de todo, pero hoy os voy a enseñar fotos del Harlingen-Terschelling race o “HT-Race”. This month traveler blogger’s theme is “blue”. Which blue thing is everywhere in  Holland? The water, either in channels, lakes or in the sea. In Harlingen we have it all. We have channels that have nothing to envy to those of Amsterdam, we have a port and channels where the sailboats rest at night.  Maybe next time I put pictures of all of them (I love to watch the sails boats in the “Noorderhaven”), but today I’ll show pictures of Harlingen-Terschelling race or “HT-Race”. La HT-Race es una competición de 34 kilometros remando, salidendo desde Harlingen y terminando en Terschelling (isla). Yo la verdad es que no soy muy aficionada a remar  (prefiero los barcos de vela), pero os puedo asegurar que esta carrera es muy dura. Una vez que las barcas abandonan el puerto, el viento empieza a soplar (y no siempre es a favor), de hecho, este año la carrera se canceló porque el viento era demasiado fuerte y no era sefuro (a mayor viento, más grandes las olas). Sólo hay que ver el esfuerzo que se hace en la salida. The HT-Race is a 34km rowing competition departing in Harlingen and ending in Terschelling (island). I’m not a rower (I prefer sailing), but I’m sure this race it’s very hard. Once the shallop has left the harbour, the wind starts blowing (and not always in the good direction), in fact this year the race was cancelled due to the wind. Just see how hard they already row at the beginning. La salida, como en muchas carreras de remo, es una de las parte más importante. En Harlingen además las barcas tienen que girar para poder salir al mar abierto. Como no hay suficiente espacio para que todas las barcas comiencen al mismo tiempo, la salida es por turnos, como en las contrarelojes del tour de Francia. The start, as in many rowing races, is one of the most important part. In Harlingen the challenge is to turn at the end to go to the open sea. As there is not enough room for all ships to start at the same time, the do it on turns of ten at a time. Y claro con tanta barca las vistas del mar, son espectaculares. Puedes ver un montón de barcos en el horizonte (en las noches claras se puede ver la luz del faro de Terschelling). A lo largo del camino no sólo hay botes de rescate por razones de seguridad, sino también otros barcos (barcos de pesca, de vela, a motor…) que siguen a los corredores y los animan. Porque ¿qué sería una carrera sin espectadores? Once they reach the open sea, it’s quite spectacular. You can see lots of ships in the horizon. Along the way there are rescue boats for security reasons, but also other boats (fishing boats, sailing boats, motor boats…) that follow the racers and encourage them.  A race without spectator wouldn’t be a race, right? Si me preguntais, yo preferiría ir en uno de los barcos de espectadores. Por cierto, después de la carrera tanto participantes como espectadores se quedan en Terschelling y montan una macrofiesta de fin de semana. Así que merece la pena ir. If you ask me, I would prefer to be on one of those spectator boats. By the way, after the race everyone stay in Terschelling for a big party. So it’s worth it to go there. ...
Save the date with a tulip

Save the date with a tulip

I know it’s been a while since my last post. I’m just going to say “it’s crazy here!” and I’m going to try to write regularly. This month I start again a very small challenge: every 15th of the month I’ll write something about Harlingen with a theme is set up for everyone. Today I’m writing the post of 15th of May, “más vale tarde que nunca” (=better late, than never). The post should be something related to flowers and our save the date came to my mind.  Hace una eternidad que no escribo, pero sólo voy a decir que “parece que vivimos en una casa de locos”, pero bueno voy a intentar escribir de vez en cuando. Este mes vuelvo a empezar un pequeño desafío: cada 15 del mes escribiré un post sobre Harlingen con un tema que está fijado de antemano. El tema del blogger traveller de mayo son las flores y me acordé de nuestro save the date. I still cannot believe that a year is gone from the time we made our save the date and our first anniversary is approaching fast!!! Some of you already saw it, but for those that were not invited 😉 here is the save the date we made (ourselves).   Todavía no me puedo creer que haya pasado un año de nuestro save the date y nuestro primer aniversaio está a la vuelta de la esquina. Para todos aquellos que no estuvísteis invitados o que no me seguís en todoboda, aquí os dejo nuestro save the date. As we wanted to be something “Dutch”, we decided to take a picture of ourselves in front of a tulip field, which isn’t always a easy task: tulips last just a couple of weeks in April-May and it depending on the temperature, the will start flowering earlier or later. Tulips in Holland doesn’t mean good weather (of course people only post pictures of tulips of a sunny and blue-sky day!). The day we took the picture it was quite cold and the ground was very wet from the showers of the previous days. Our feet ended up covered in mud!! Como queríamos que nuestro save the date fuese algo “holandes” decidimos hacer las fotos en un campo de tulipanes cerca de nuestra casa, lo que no siempre es una tarea fácil. Los tulipanes floreces sólamente un par de semanas en abril y mayo, y en función de la temperatura, comienzan a florecer antes o después. En Holanda que haya tulipanes  no significa que haya buen tiempo (por supuesto que las fotos de tulipanes que se ven en internet son de días con sol y cielo azul). El día que nosotros hicimos las fotos hacía  bastante frío y la tierra todavía estaba muy mojada por las lluvias de los días anteriores. ¡Al final acabamos cubiertos de barro! We waited for a couple of weekends to take the picture, because most  of the time you will have this kind of pictures/weather. Nosotros tuvimos que esperar un par de fines de semana para hacer las fotos, porque la mayoría del tiempo las fotos/el tiempo son así, con cielo gris o cubierto. Someone asked “do the tulip fields with multiple colors exist?”, the answer is “yes, but only for tourists”. Let me explain, there are different types of fields: – those with tulips to be sold, in these fields the tulips are cut before they get the color. People buy tulips to let the tulip flower in their house. I buy the tulips on the same day they are cut (this is one of the advantages of living in the “country side”) and the last in the vase for more than two weeks (with some tricks from my mother in law). – those fields dedicated to growing more bulbs. The bulbs need to be in the earth to grow and to duplicate themselves. In these fields the tulips will flower, but after two/three weeks the flower will be cut (the plant should use it energy to grow the bulb and keep the flower). Normally these fields have one or two colors. All the fields around us are for growing bulbs. – those fields to show to tourist with multiple colors. These fields are around the Keukenhof, which is the most photographed place in the world!!! Here a picture of 4 years ago in the Keukenhof. Alguien preguntó “¿existen los campos de tulipanes múlticolores?”. La respuesta es “sí, pero sólo para turistas”. Me explico, hay diferentes tipos de campos de tulipanes: – Aquellos con tulipanes para ser vendidos, en estos campos los tulipanes se cortan antes de que cojan color. Poruqe que gracia tendría comprar tulipanes que ya estuviesen abiertos y marchitándose!! Yo compro tulipanes que han sido cortados el mismo día (esta es una de las ventajas de vivir en el “campo”, la verdad) y me duran más de dos semanas en el florero usando los consejos de la suegra. – Los campos dedicados al cultivo de los bulbos. Los bulbos necesitan estar en la tierra para crecer y duplicarse. En estos campos los tulipanes florecen, pero después de dos o   tres semanas cortan la flor para que la planta dedique su energia al bulbo y no a mantener la flor. Normalmente estos campos tienen uno o dos colores. Todos los campos que  rodean nuestra casa son de este tipo. – Por último, los campos para los turistas con múltiples colores. Estos campos están alrededor del Keukenhof, que por cierto ¡es el lugar más fotografiado del mundo! Aqui os dejo una foto de esos campos hace cuatro años. Finally one more remark, you won’t find tulips all around The Netherlands but mostly, and luckily for the tourists, in Noord-Holland (which is the province of Amsterdam). One last picture of one of my preferred tulip, a bi-color one, that by they way was also part of my bouquet. Por último una aclaración más, no veréis tulipanes por todo Holanda, sino sobre todo, y para suerte de los turistas, en Noord-Holland (que es la provincia de Amsterdam). Una última foto de uno de mis tulipanes preferido, un bi-color, que por cierto formó parte de mi ramo de novia. ...
W is for Wadlopen or how to cross to Ameland without a ferry

W is for Wadlopen or how to cross to Ameland without a ferry

Wadlopen (or mudwalking) is for me one of the must do in Friesland (Friesland and Groningen are the only provinces in The Netherlands where you can do that). There are many routes, as you can cross from the mainland to Ameland or to Schiermonnikoog, or take a tour to one of the sand flats. In one team outing, we crossed from the mainland to Ameland and then walked to the ferry. The crossing was around 9-10km, but in total we walked around 23 km. Wadlopen is only possible with a guide, as the ways changes every year. It’s also dangerous to walk on your own, as you only have around 4 hours to cross. At the beginning and at the end of the tide is not possible to cross in some parts and also the currents are quite strong. The main organization for guided tours in Friesland is  Wadlopcentrum Friesland and it offers all kind of tours, from one day to a weekend. You can see here all tours. The tour of Ameland was around 23€ including the ferry to return back to the mainland. In our tour we followed a bit the coast at the beginning, where the ground is really muddy and at a times you get stuck up to your knee! Well, you can see that you get very dirty, no matter what you do. But the dirt is cleaned while you are crossing some water streams. Sometimes the water is up to your waste or even up to your neck!! At least that was the case for me, Dutch are much bigger than me, so our group split into two. The first group crossed and the water was up to the chest for very tall people. I would have been completely covered in water and as I had my camera in my bag i didn’t want to “swim”. I joined a second group that walked further to find a spot where the water wasn’t that high. After that the walk is easy, as the ground is hard and you can walk normally, and the landscape is beautiful. At some points, there’re also ships waiting for the high tide. That gives you an indication of how big is the difference between low and high tide. Crossing to Ameland is one of the challenging routes, but the most challenging is crossing to Terschelling, for which you have first to do a return crossing to Ameland in one tide. When we got to Ameland after around three hours, I was happy I didn’t have to come back. It was fun, but I was already tired. Crossing to Terschelling might be an extra item for the bucket list 🙂  Does Wadlopen sound like something fun to do?  Would you dare? ...

Fries Food Festival

¿Sin planes para Semana Santa? Nosotros después de la mega luna de miel y las 24 horas de avión nos lo vamos a tomar con tranquilidad en las próximas semanas. Así es que Semana Santa en casa, aunque eso no quiere decir que no vayamos a hacer nada. El lunes 1 de abril es el primer festival de comida frisia y nosotros estaremos allí todo el día. Es un plan apto para todos porque no sólo va a haber mercadillo, demostraciones, películas, sino también workshops (para adultos y niños). Bueno y lo más importante se va a poder papear de todo 🙂 ¿Quién se apunta? Todos los detalles están en la web del festival: http://www.friesfoodfestival.com. Without plans for Easter? After our mega honeymoon and the 24 hour flight, we decided we’re going to take it easy the coming weeks. So Easter at home, but it doesn’t mean that we are going to be couch potatoes. On Monday, April 1 is the first Frisian food festival and we’ll be there all day. It’s a plan suitable for everyone because there will be not only a market, cooking demonstrations and films, but also workshops (for adults and children). Ohhhh!!! I almost forgot the most important: lots of food to taste 🙂 who wants to join? All details are on the festival’s website: http://www.friesfoodfestival.com. ...
10 must do in Holland

10 must do in Holland

¿Cansados de ser un “turista más”? ¿Quereis visitar Holanda y sentiros holandeses por un día? Pues aquí os dejo diez cosas que deberías ver o hacer y con las que el bolsillo no se resentirá: Tired of being a “common tourist? Do you want to visit Holland and feel Dutch for a day? Then have a look at these ten things you must see or do and for which you won’t have to spend a fortune: 1.- Wadlopen en Friesland o lo que es lo mismo cruzar de tierra firme a una de las islas del mar del Wadden durante marea baja. Llevad ropa vieja, porque acabareis de lodo hasta las orejas 🙂 1.- Wadlopen in Friesland or walk from the main land to one of the Wadden Sea islands during low tide.    2.- Participar en uno de los 11 Stedentoch (ruta por las 11 ciudades) en Friesland. 2.- Take part in one of the 11 Stedentoch (11 city tour) in Friesland. 3.- Coge el ferry a Terschelling, Vlieland o Ameland, alquila una bici y descubre la isla. 3– Take the ferry to Terschelling, Vlieland or Ameland, rent a bike and discover the island. 4.- Skusjezeilen, haz vela en uno de los barcos tradicionales frisones. 4.- Skusjezeilen, sail in a traditional Frisian ship.  5.- Visserijdagen o “dias del perscador” en Harligen 5.- Visserijdagen or fisher’s days in Harlingen   6.- Bloemenmarkt en Leeuwarden, el mercado anual de flores más grande del país. 6.- Bloemenmarkt in Leeuwarden, the biggest annual flower market in the country. 7.- Visita la fábrica de cerveza y licores Us Heit en Bolsward. 7.- Visit the brewery Us Heit in Bolsward. 8.- Visita el mercado del queso en Alkmaar. 8.- Visit the cheese market in Alkmaar. 9.- Visita Thialf en Heerenveen y aprende a patinar sobre hielo. 9.- Visit Thialf and learn how ice skating. 10.- Recorre Noord-Holland en tren de vapor y barco. 10.- Go around Noord-Holland in steam train and ship. A cada una de ellas le voy a dedicar un post. Estad atentos, iré actualizando los links. ¿Conocíais ya estas  actividades? ¿Cuántas habéis hecho? ¿Cuales queréis hacer? I will write a post  for each one, so stay tunned. I’ll update the links accordingly. Did you already know these activities? How many of them have you done already? Which ones would you like to do? ...