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A view across a beach to the water, but what is in focus is in the foreground: a twist of barbed wire

The Liberation Route Europe: WWII battlefields and more

If World War II interests you, the Liberation Route Europe is something you could easily build a European vacation around. It traces how the Allies advanced through Europe to retake it from the Germans. Click on any of the 10 countries listed on the Liberation Route’s website and you’ll find dozens of sites marked. The…

Heeswijk Castle near Den Bosch

I’ve written about two contrasting castles in the Netherlands before: Muiderslot and Castle de Haar. Muiderslot is the archetypal medieval castle: square with towers in each corner and crenellated walls between them. Castle de Haar, on the other hand, is far more ornate. Meant to look medieval, only more so, it was actually built in…

Aviodrome Lelystad, an aviation museum

For a fearful flyer like me, airplanes hold a certain fascination. It can seem an absolute miracle that something so big and heavy can actually get off the ground. And then, of course, there are flying enthusiasts. Those fortunate people actually enjoy their time aloft, taking pictures out the window or just dropping off to…

What to do in Den Bosch, a.k.a. ’s-Hertogenbosch

Our first bit of travel, as the pandemic seemed to subside here in the Netherlands, was a simple weekend away in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, generally referred to as Den Bosch. It’s only a few hours from home, and I had to be near there for a couple of days to lead a workshop anyway. My husband and…

Kinderdijk or Zaanse Schans?

You’re visiting Holland, so of course, you want to see windmills. While windmills dot the countryside all over the Netherlands, Kinderdijk and Zaanse Schans are two popular places for viewing windmills and seeing inside them. I wrote about a visit to Zaanse Schans a couple of years ago. North of Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans has a…

29 things to do in Drenthe province

If you’re not from around here, you’ve probably never heard of Drenthe, a province in the east of the Netherlands. When I decided to make a list of things to do in Drenthe, I was surprised at how many there are. Some are a bit odd or obscure, but those are the places I like…

40 things to do in Groningen province

Tourists to the Netherlands visit, for the most part, Amsterdam. They might take a side trip to Keukenhof (tulips galore) or Zaanse Schans (windmills in picturesque quantity) or the Hague. I live on the other side of the country, in a province called Groningen, whose biggest city (about 200,000 people) is also called Groningen. That means…

Castle De Haar: An extravagant vision of the medieval

Castle de Haar is one of the most fanciful castles I’ve ever seen, if you discount Sleeping Beauty’s castle at Disneyland. It’s got a moat, a formal garden, towers and turrets galore. Stunningly ornate, especially inside, it’s a medieval princess’s dream. Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one of them and…

Muiderslot Castle (a.k.a. Amsterdam Castle)

When you were little, did you ever draw a picture of a castle? If you were like me, the castle in your picture was square, with a tower in each corner, crenellations along the walls and a drawbridge to an arched gateway in front. I’ve been to a lot of castles in my travels, but…

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