Giethoorn is a small village in the east of Netherlands near the city Steenwijk. It is the most popular tourist site in Netherlands especially for Chinese tourists due to its fairytale and idyllic landscape with numerous bridges and canals. Giethoorn has a reputation of “Dutch Venice” as well. The village has only two thousands habitants but it receive over 1 million tourists each year. It’s really a great achievement for such a small place.
羊角村是荷兰东部的一个小村落，靠近 Steenwijk 市。它是荷兰对中国游客而言最受欢迎的旅游景点，它有着童话般的田园风光，拥有众多的桥梁和交错的运河。羊角村也享有“荷兰威尼斯”的美誉。虽然村中只有两千居民，但它每年接待超过 100 万游客。对于这样的弹丸之地来说，这着实是一项了不起的成就。
Giethoorn is located inside the National Park De Weerribben-Wieden. For tourists the easiest way to get there is to take bus No.70 or walk from the train station of Steenwijk. When I arrived, it was a rainy day in September 2020 and it was a bit cold outdoor. Although Steenwijk is just a stopover, I still had half-forgotten memory of its street view, especially its high cathedral tower and the neat brick-paved roads. It was a cloudy morning with patchy drizzle. I dragged my feet along the wet sidewalks. Only very few cyclists passed by and the whole town was so quiet that I could hear my foot steps clear.
羊角村位于德维尔本-威登国家公园内。 对游客而言，到达那里最简单的方法便是是乘坐 70 路巴士或从 Steenwijk 火车站步行。当我抵达Steenwijk的时候是2020年9月的一个阴雨天，室外有一丝寒意。虽然这里只是一个中转站，但我仍然对它的街景记忆犹新，尤其是它那高耸的大教堂塔楼和整洁的砖砌道路。这是一个阴沉的早晨，下着绵绵细雨。我在湿漉漉的便道上徐徐前行。那时只有极少数骑自行车的人经过，整个小镇是如此的静谧甚至连我的脚步声都听得一清二楚。
On my way to Giethoorn, I accidently passed by one delicately decorated villa. It has flamboyant features of Art Nouveau like the colorful stained glass windows, curve formed doorway and its unsymmetrical design. This building was built in 1899 as a residence house of wealthy Tromp Meester family and now it becomes a museum for visiting. There is a beautiful English style garden in front of the villa and behind the villa it is a 10-hectare park. This area is spacious, really a suitable place for relaxing and breathing fresh air.
在去羊角村的路上，偶遇一栋装饰精美的别墅。 它具有如彩色玻璃窗、曲线门廊和不对称设计等典型的新艺术运动的风格。这座建筑始建于 1899 年，是富有的 Tromp Meester 家族的私人住宅，如今成为供参观的博物馆。别墅前面有一个美丽的英式花园，别墅后面是一个10公顷的公园。 这片区域很宽敞，非常适合放松和呼吸新鲜空气。
In the south of Steenwijk, there is a large piece of wetland full of vegetation like reeds, and quaking bogs. This land is the national park of Weerribben Wieden and its area is 100 square kilometers. It is a perfect place of feeling the breathtaking nature of Netherlands. It owns a typical Dutch landscape like wide lakes, stretching waterways, and sheep browsing on grass.
在 Steenwijk 的南部，有一大片湿地，上面长满了芦苇等植被以及遍布泥泞的沼泽。这片土地就是威登国家公园，面积为100平方公里。这是感受荷兰令人叹为观止的自然风光的绝佳场所。它拥有例如宽广湖泊、连绵水道和草上觅食的羊群等典型的荷兰景观。
When I stepped on the National park, I was on this way in the photo straight towards Giethoorn. This famous village was just 3km ahead of me. The weather today was not very good but it did not affect my mood too much. Most people don’t like walk in their trips because they could not tolerate the unexpected bad weather or the exhaustion because of strenuous marches. However for me I think travel on foot is the only way to be close to your destination with zero distance and it’s the easiest and most direct way to discover the unknown beautiful world that only existed in other’s photo albums before.
Along the way towards Giethoorn, I found many private houses. The local people in this area all lived in this kind of triangle roof house. There is no fences or wall protecting the houses so I guess that social security in Netherlands should be very good. This kind of rural life is really admirable. The house is surrounded by trees and meadows. Everyday the people living here could see greenery and colorful flourishing flowers just outside the windows.
This is another private house hiding amid the forest. This area belongs to the village of Giethoorn but it is not at the crowded tourist site. Only when you walk to the village, you could find it on the way surprisingly. It is an ideal residential place with wonderful nature environment. The house perches exactly at one cape surrounded by waterways with reeds. At the beginning of autumn, the silent surface of water is padded with freely dispersed small lily pads. A slow breeze causes gentle ripples across the still surface. It forms a perfect rural landscape of Netherlands in my heart.
I walked around 1 hour in the light rain until I arrived at the entrance of the village. All the bus or cars can only stop here because the village is only accessible by foot or boat. The canal connect the small waterways in the village. There is one lift bridge over the canal. When boat passes by, the bridge will lift up automatically. This is the first time to see traffic light in the canal. It’s quite interesting!
The village consists of canals and small islands which are inter-connected by 176 bridges to the mainland. This is the service area of the village with more modern houses. Tourists could rent a boat to travel the village. There are some tourist shops and restaurants here. Because there are so many Chinese tourists every year, I can even find a Chinese beef noodle restaurant here. All the way towards the end, there is a small bridge which will lead the tourists towards east or west of the village.
该村由众多运河和小岛组成，通过 176 座桥梁与外部相连。这片区域是村里的服务区，房子相对比较现代。游客可以租船游览村庄。这里有一些旅游商店和餐馆。每年大量中国游客蜂拥而至，我居然可以在这里找到一家中国牛肉面馆。沿着图中的路一路走到尽头，有一座小桥将游客引向村子的东边或西边。
I was standing on this old bridge which could be regarded as the entrance of the village center. From here the tourists could view the best picturesque landscape of Giethoorn. Behind me it was the most representative house here that appear on travel magazines for many times.
The center of the village is just a small area where the local residents live now. The tourists assemble in this area usually and take around 2 to 4 hours to visit every part of it. Its iconic landscape is the thatched roof farmhouses which are built in the 18th and 19th centuries. The houses are used as barn historically and surrounded by green well-kept lawns with beautiful flowering hydrangeas.
羊角村的中心只是当地居民现在居住的一个小区域。游客通常聚集在这个区域，大约需要 2 到 4 个小时才能参观完它的每个部分。这里标志性景观当属建于 18 世纪和 19 世纪的茅草屋顶农舍。这些房屋在历史上被用作谷仓，周围环绕着修剪完好的绿色草坪和美丽的绣球花从。
Although Giethoorn is called the Venice of Netherlands, it is obviously different with Venice. The waterway and canal here is not large as the Grand canal of Venice. Small boats cruising through the canal could only occupy two or four people. The verdant rural landscape with traditional thatched huts is different with the cultural renaissance palace in Venice as well. Giethoorn is a water village where people could embrace the nature fully. It is in fact more like a small piece of exquisite emerald which is not fully carved and polished.
Tourists could also visit Giethoorn on foot along the canal. On one side of the canal, it’s the path for bicycle and pedestrian. The footpath is very narrow and only allows one person to pass by. On the other side of the canal, they are the private houses of local people. Each house has one small bridge connecting to other side. Tourists could take a beautiful picture on the bridge but not disturb the life of the residents. In this village it’s easy to find some mini docks near the resident houses. Small private boats are just left there unattended under the autumn rain. What a leisurely and pleasant life!
On the small bridges it was easy to observe the panoramic view of the village. Historically, this village could only be accessed by water. The canal was the main gateway to connect it with the world outside. Obviously it was quite narrow as it’s the main transportation route. If there are many tourists, it will be too crowded on the water. I was fortunate enough to visit it at a suitable time. At this moment, only a few boats traversed to and fro under the bridges.
在小桥上观察村庄的全景。 历史上看这个村庄只能通过水路进入。运河是连接外界的主要通道。 显然作为主要交通线路它实在太狭窄。 如果有很多游客水面会拥挤不堪。我有幸在这个适宜的时机参观了它。此时只有寥寥几艘船在桥下来回穿梭。
Most of the time I was travelling along the axis of the village which name is called Binnepad. The village has a long and narrow shape and is separated by three tiny settlements: Noordeinde, Middenbuurt and Zuideinde. The Dorpsgracht is the central canal that connects these separate settlements. Punter is a kind of traditional flat bottom boat similar to Gondola that is used for transportation over the canals. Some visitors prefer to rent such a boat to drift around the village under the wooden bridge one by one. And some visitors troll around on foot like me.
大部分时间我都沿着村庄的中轴线旅行，这条轴线道路叫做 Binnepad。整个村庄呈狭长形，由三个小定居点分割：Noordeinde、Middenbuurt 和 Zuideinde。Dorpsgracht 是连接这些独立定居点的中央运河。名为punter的平底船是一种传统的类似威尼斯刚朵拉的平底船，用于在运河上进行运输。有的游客喜欢租这样的船在木桥轻舟荡漾。其他游客则像我一样徒步穿行。
Although the village is very small, it still has one museum to record the local history. There are some renovated farmhouses which are the Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus museum. inside the museum, Visitor can discover how the local people lived more than 100 years ago and how they cut peat and built small boats at that time. There is also a fishing house and a boat house in the yard. It allows you to know how they live difficultly in the history and how they strived for the admirable life nowadays.
村子虽小仍有一座博物馆记录着当地的历史。一些经过翻新的农舍是 Giethoorn ‘t Olde Maat Uus 博物馆。在博物馆内，游客可以了解100多年前当地人的奋斗历程，以及当时他们是如何开采泥炭和建造小船的。院子里还有渔屋和船屋让游客了解历史上的艰难困苦以及如何争取出如今令人羡慕的生活。
The village was built on peatland historically. It was cut into many pieces by the workers and the small islands are formed in this way. The bultrugboerderij is a common type of old farm houses with chimney in Giethoorn. The canals are built to transport peat and the farmers lived in these neatly arranged houses since 16th century. It was really a serene place and what you could hear was only the quacking of a ducks and whispers of wind.
该村历史上建在泥炭地上。它被工人切成了许多块，诸多小岛就是如此形成。图中名为bultrugboerderij 是羊角村常见的带有烟囱的旧农舍。运河也是为了运输泥炭而建造的，自 16 世纪以来，农民就住在这些坐落有秩房子里。这里真是一个宁静的地方，耳畔中唯有阵阵鸭鸣和风之细语。
Giethoorn is not large but it’s recommended to visit it in a slow pace so that you can observe every its detail with your eyes. At noon, I enjoyed to take some time sitting at waterside under willows. Slight raindrops soaked my sleeves and a gust of not-so-cold wind stirred the willow twigs and blew my face at the same time. I kept my eyes on the every plants and animal. Lovely wild ducks filed in a row at the river bank and looked for food. It was really a natural environment to combine human beings and nature perfectly. You will easily be assimilated into it.
The major color style of this fairytale village must be green as there are so many luxuriantly green vegetation all around the village. However it’s not so monotonous since the greenery is always interspersed with some colorful flowers. Giethoorn is famous for hydrangeas or Hortensia. This kind of gorgeous purple and pink flowers bloom in the summer until the end of September. The life here is as beautiful like summer flowers.
Occasionally I found this is the flag of the village. As the its name Giethoorn states, it has a goat horn on the flag. Giethoorn’s name originates from the first inhabitants’ discovery of hundreds of goat horns (gietehorens) in the marshland in the 10th century.
I continued to walk forward until I arrived at this area, it was the end of the village. Of course, you could continue to move but the landscape is not as beautiful as the center area of the village. Here is a campsite where visitors could rent camping pods for two people or a wooden log cabin for family. Although the village is extremely small, it still provides enough facilities to spend a nice holiday.
I took around 3 hours to finish the visit of the whole village of flowers and trees. Every corner of this village was worth of taking photo. In the early autumn, the flourishing flowers brought special charm to the village. A blow of cool wind flew through flowers with dewdrops and several petals dropped down and floated on the flat surface of flowing water. It was undoubtfully a romantic place but it was only pity that the weather is not so good. All the photos taken appear to be too somber. So before you come it is necessary to check the weather forecast. I believe that rowing in Giethoorn on a sunny day will provide an unforgettable experience to travelers definitely.
我总计用时大约 3 个小时倘徉在这个鲜花与绿树的世界里而不能自拔。这里的每个角落都值得拍照留念。 初秋时节，繁花似锦，给羊角村带来了别样的韵味。微风拂过，花自飘零水自流。这无疑是一个无比浪漫的地方，但可惜天公不作美，所有拍摄的照片都显得过于阴沉。因此在游览此处之前，有必要查看当地的天气预报。我相信阳光明媚的日子里在羊角村荡舟一定会给旅行者带来一生难忘的体验。