27 08 2008

To all those thinking this is a post about football/voetbal/soccer I apologize in advance.  This is a post about my desire to hit all 12 provinces of the Netherlands.  I know you are thinking, “But the Netherlands is so small that shouldn’t be a problem”, well you are right; the Netherlands IS small but like living in any country it seems once you reside there you stop travelling with in it.   In Canada I had only made it to 5 provinces, and knowing full well that the chances of me making it too all the provinces were slim to nil especially the territories.   So instead I’ll some how make it to all the provinces here in the Netherlands. 

Out of the 12 I’ve managed to get to 7 of them, traveling through them like Noord-Brabant doesn’t count, I actually have to get off and touch soil and spend time there. do the tourist thing.  And this year I was able to add once more province to the list of where I’ve been, Zeeland (more on that in another blog).

The Provinces I have been too and some of the cities located in it are:

Noord-Holland**:  Amsterdam, Zandvoort, Haarlem. 

Zuid-Holland**: Rotterdam, Delft, Den Haag, Gouda

Utrecht: Amersfoort, Utrecht

Gelderland: Apeldoorn, Nijkerk

Overijssel: Zwolle, Deventer, Giethoorn

Limburg: Maastricht, Valkenburg

Zeeland: Middelburg, Vlissingen

So the ones that are left are Flevoland, Nood-Brabant (I’ve driven through here before but never stopped), Frysland, Drenthe, and Groningen.

Sooner or later I will make it to those provinces, the train system here in NL is pretty darn good and I can get pretty much anywhere I need to go.  But when you start going the longer distances it’s costs more of course and it can get a little pricey.  For example for me to get back to Zeeland (which I will do later on this year for a day) a round trip from Amersfoort to Middelburg is 39,00 for one.  After a while it does add up.  Still I want to see as much as I can.  Train travel is great for me since I can basically veg out and just read for the trip, a bit of a change from the driving I used to do back in Canada, except on the train people aren’t as appreciative of my singing like Stoney is.

 ** The name “Holland” which many people use to refer to the country is actually the two province names.  Most Dutch, especially those that do not live in either North or South Holland Provinces do not like using that term for their country and would rather people use The Netherlands.




5 responses

27 08 2008

You’re doing good for the short amount of time you’ve been here…Just double-checked with the Dutchie and I’m missing a couple by your definition, but I’m getting there:

Noord-Holland: I live there and used to work there; too many towns to mention!
Zuid-Holland: My SIL lives in Hilligom, but I’ve also been everywhere you’ve mentioned.
Zeeland: Friends live in Terneuzen; also saw the best kick-ass bluegrass band in a wee pub there: Chatham County Line. They were on Jools Holland last series. Awesome.
Noord-Brabant: Baarle-Hertog/Baarle-Nassau — the town that is in both Belgium and Netherlands!
Limberg: Maastricht
Gelderland: Nijmegen
Overijssel: Not yet.
Drenthe: A friend lives in Assen.
Groningen: Had dinner in a roadside diner on the way back from Assen; does that count?
Frysland: near Joure
Flevoland: I work in Almere now.
Utrecht: A friend lives in Utrecht.

Wow…all but one; better than I thought! Not quite sure what I’m missing in Overijssel though…

27 08 2008

Oh in Overijssel there are a few smaller towns that are adorable, Geithoorn and Dwarsgracht, plus Blokzijl are just the cutest.

27 08 2008

€39 to Middelburg? Don’t you have a voordeelurenkaart from the Dutch Railways (NS)? It costs €55 for a year and you get a 40% discount in weekends, and after 9.00am on monday-friday and during certain holidays.

On the NS website (in English, it’s called a ‘off-peak discount pass’):

* Do watch out for the automatic renewal and payment each year. (So cancel it in time.)
* Years are only (if I remember correctly) january-december, so if you buy one now it’s valid untill the end of 2008. Because of this they usually have some special offer after August, when you can get a voordeelurenkaart for less.
* You can also get a RailPlus card for €15 more, wich offers you a 25% discount on international trains (but not on all. As far as I know Thalys, TGV and Eurostar are excluded.)
* Get the form at the NS-desk at the station, fill it out (requires a passport photo), show passport, pay in cash and get your temporary pass on the spot so you can use it immediately (otherwise it takes about 3 weeks).

28 08 2008
textual healer

Can you delete the one above to take out the typo – here’s what it should read.
Hi I’ve been here five years and have only not been to the three provinces in the north east – drenthe , Overijseel and Groningen. Have you got a korting card for the trains yet? one can save you a lot of money.

28 08 2008

We actually don’t travel a lot by train, but I will look into that voordeelurenkaart for sure, thanks for the tip. But yes… around trip ticket on normal fare is 39,00 Euros. We took advantage of the special offer in August to take the two day trips we took, but I do plan on going back to Middelburg for the day.

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