Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Tag: walking

Bumper boats in Giethoorn

Giethoorn is truly an interesting place. Founded by Flagellants, has no roads, and the number of Chinese people travelling to this village in the Netherlands is so high that the village was voted in as one of the places that you could buy on the international Monopoly edition released in 2015, after the contest on which places should be on this special monopoly edition went viral in China.

So we had to go there and experience the madness. No roads mean that you travel on waterways by rented boats and there are plenty of boats to rent due to the many Chinese tourists visiting this place. Between 150 000 and 200 000 Chinese tourists per year visit this village that only has around  2500 inhabitants. So it really felt like we were in an amusement park riding those bumper cars, but at the same time we were actually sitting in the love tunnel boats looking at the surrealistic scenery around us. Be prepared to be bumping around with other, mainly Chinese, tourists.

The history of Giethoorn starts with the Flagellants, a Catholic sect where worshipers likes to whip their own bodies with different instruments, who settled here in the 13th century. After them came the farmers and their farmland activities created the big lake Boppenwide next to Giethoorn, a lake which is no more than a meter deep at its places. The water is quite shallow in most areas here, so that is why we lack life-jackets in all pictures below.

Giethoorn is best pictured by actual footage, not text, so there will be plenty of pictures of the village below. Othilia started walking here in the Netherlands so we will insert a video of her record walking in the end and a few photos from Ulrika’s birthday. Pictures coming up!


Giethoorn är en verkligt intressant plats. Grundades av Flagellanter, har inga bilvägar och antalet kineser som reser till denna by i Nederländerna är så hög att byn röstades in som en av de platser som du kan köpa i den internationella versionen av monopol som utgavs 2015 efter att tävlingen om vilka platser som borde vara med på denna speciella monopolutgåva blev viral i Kina.

Så vi var tvungna att åka dit och uppleva galenskapen. Inga vägar betyder att du reser på vattenvägar med båtar du kan hyra och det finns många båtar att hyra på grund av det stora antalet kinesiska besökare. Mellan 150 000 och 200 000 kinesiska turister per år besöker denna by som bara har cirka 2500 invånare. Det kändes verkligen som om vi var på ett tivoli åkandes i radiobilar medan vi samtidigt faktiskt sitter i kärlekstunnel-båtar och tittar på det surrealistiska landskapet omkring oss. Var beredd och stöta runt med andra, främst kinesiska, turister.

Giethoorns historia börjar med Flagellanterna, en katolsk sekt där medlemmarna piskar deras kroppar med olika instrument, som bosatte sig här på 1200-talet. Efter dem kom bönderna och deras jordbruksverksamhet skapade den stora sjön Boppenwide som ligger bredvid Giethoorn. Denna sjö är inte mer än en meter djup på sina platser. Vattnet är väldigt grunt i de flesta områden här, så det är därför vi saknar flytvästar i alla bilder nedan.

Giethoorn är bäst avbildad av faktiska bilder, inte text, så det kommer att finnas gott om bilder på byn nedan. Othilia började gå här i Nederländerna så vi kommer också att publicera en video av hennes rekordpromenad, samt några foton från Ulrikas födelsedag. Nu kommer bilderna!

Be prepared for a lot of pictures on lovely houses and canals!

We needed to eat lunch before we were heading out on the boats and the parking place we choose had a deal that you could park for free if you ate at their restaurant, so we did. One thing Netherlands is good at is to clearly put up signs where you can find a place to park your car. It is easy to find a parking place in both smaller villages and bigger cities.

The food was amazing so we did not regret it.

We rented a boat at the same place we parked our car and you can choose a number of different options. 25Euro/boat if you only want to see Giethoorn (an 1 hour trip), 50 Euro for the 2-hour trip which includes part of the national park as well and then more Euros for the longer trips, which we weren’t interested in.

We soon entered the national park and it was so quiet, even though a lot of boats were driving through. The boats are electrical so the usual noise from a motor is absent.

We stopped at an outlook tower to get a good overview over the nature park.

We suddenly got a vague feeling of being in the old movie “Waterworld”

There were plenty of birds that kept Othilia amazed for part of the journey.

The journey through the park wasn’t so pleasant as it looks like. We temporarily forgot that we have a daughter who loves water so when the initial curiosity over the boat was over, she was all about wanting to climb over the railing and go in the water. She was loud when she was denied going over the railing so Ulrika had to breastfeed Othiliato calm her, so our boat wouldn’t destroy the moment for others .

We where approaching the village Giethoorn again after approximately 1h and 20 minutes going over the lake and exploring the nature park. The last 40 minutes would be going on the main waterway through the village.

Hello Giethoorn! The village with around 150 bridges.

Strong feeling of being in bumper boats in an amusement park.

Othilia in Giethoorn! I think she is a direct image of her father in this picture.

A selfie in Giethoorn.

Giethoorn!

We left our boat where we had rented it and went back to the village walking on the pedestrian/bicycle road. The only roads in this part of the village.Nowadays Giethoorn is much bigger than just this old part of the village.

And we got to see the houses with their gardens better.

Giethoorn by foot!

Apparently tourists mistake the mail boxes to be trash bins. How strange and sad for the people living here.

Giethoorn by foot!

Giethoorn by foot! Then it was time for us going back home.

 

We stopped in Lemmer on our way home so that Othilia finally was able to bath. We had denied her that the whole day, so we wanted to make it up to her! The weather forecast had warned us about coming days with bad weather so we had to rearrange our plans for Ulrika’s birthday that was coming up.

We usually take a few days of between our adventures so we barbecued in our little Japanese garden in our own backyard for dinner the day before Ulrika’s birthday.

And Ulrika was surprised with gifts by the family in the morning. We had a calm birthday waiting for the rain. We went to a small art museum and took it easy. We knew that we had a busy week ahead, but more of that in the upcoming blog posts.

And lastly, our daughter walking by herself exactly 10 months after we welcomed her into this world. The time goes so fast!

One day in Helsinki and Bitcoin-related things

We’ve been busy, but we now felt that it was time to update what we’ve been doing after our stay  in Tallinn and our week 20 ultrasound there. First we spent one day in Helsinki. It was the cheapest option for us when we wanted to travel from Tallinn to Sweden. Ulrika has never set her foot in this neighboring country, and Pontus has never been to Helsinki so we took the opportunity to see the Finnish capital on foot. We calculated that we walked about 15 km this day, so we managed to see a big part of Helsinki. Then there were Bitcoin and freedom-minded meetings on our Sweden agenda, and to meet family and friends. 


Vi har haft fullt upp, men vi känner nu att det var dags att göra en uppdatering om vad vi har sysslat med efter vår tripp till Tallinn och vårt vecka 20 ultraljud där.  Först spenderade vi en dag i Helsingfors. Det var det billigaste alternativet för oss när vi ville åka från Tallinn till Sverige. Ulrika har aldrig satt sin fot i detta grannland och Pontus har heller aldrig varit i just Helsingfors, så vi tog vara på möjligheten att få se den finländska huvudstaden till fots. Vi räknade ut att vi promenerade cirka 15 km denna dag, så vi hann se en hel del av Helsingfors. Därefter var det bitcoin och frihetliga möten på vår Sverigeagenda, samt att träffa familj och vänner.

A bitcoin ATM greeted us when we arrived to Helsinki, so it was easy for us to get the local currency (Euro) here in Finland.  0 confirmations, no need to sign in and give out personal information and we were ready to spend a day in Helsinki. The ATM can be found in the ferry terminal at Västra Hamnen and you can change the language so you don’t have to know Finnish to use it.

The second thing that greeted us in Helsinki was the Bad Bad Boy, the 8.5 meters tall urinating statue.

And a visualization of the mean depth of the Baltic Sea – only 55 meters.

We had taken the morning ferry from Tallinn so the sun was still rising when we came to Helsinki. Ulrika thinks that these sorts of cranes look like dinosaurs.

We found a beach, but it was to cold to jump in.

We took a walk through Kaivopuisto park and found a small hill from where we got a nice view over a few of the islands just outside of Helsinki.

There we also found a memorial for all seafarers and the deceased at sea.

One district in Helsinki is called Ulrikasborg, which translates to Ulrika’s castle in English, so we had to go there. Ullis is a nickname Ulrika and this district have in common.

It was funny that we found Pontus café in Ulrikasborg.

Finland was until 2009 the only country in the world that had Swedish as one of their official languages, since 2009 Swedish is also an official language in Sweden. Therefore, signs etc. in Helsinki have both Swedish and Finnish written on them, like the academic book store in the picture.

Finland has their moomins (by Tove Jansson) and we had to take a picture of one when we where here.

Atlas Obscura got us to see the Pohjola Insurance building – the company that wants to remind their customers that witches, bears, and gnomes are present so you better be insured. The building was built by architect Eliel Saarinen in 1901 and the name “Pohjola” is from the Finnish epic saga called the Kalevala. According to the legend, Pohjola was a Northern region ruled by an evil witch where you could find the roots of the World Tree.

We walked passed Helsinki train station, which has an interesting architecture.

Djurgårdsviken was still covered by ice, when we were here. It looked fragile so we strolled around the lake to get to Berghäll, another district of Helsinki. We used google maps and Atlas Obscura (link to the site can be found in the end) to get around here and we think that we were able to see quite a lot of Helsinki by foot before we had to board the next ferry.

Churches are interesting and we think that the architecture, both exterior and interior, often reflects the culture and the mindset of the people in that country. In Finland, the embellishments and colors are stripped of the church, whereas churches in Central America are much more colorful and full of decorations.

Hanasaari Power Plant is apparently a coal-consuming power plant.

We found a lot of beautiful wooden ships in the Northern harbor. More pictures from Helsinki can be found in the slideshow below.

 

Helsinki Cathedral was one of our last stops on our walk before we left Helsinki.

Skatudden seems like a nice place to chill out during the summer months in Helsinki. Our ferry departed from Skatudden so we had to go to the ferry terminal.

We went with Tallink to Tallinn, but we couldn’t book a ticket back to Sweden at the same time, because we didn’t know how long we needed to stay in Estonia. So when it was time for us to go to Sweden, it was cheaper to take the morning ferry to Helsinki and from there, take the night ferry with Viking Line to Stockholm. This was the reason we had an unexpected, but pleasant, day in Helsinki.

We came to Stockholm the morning after and Gröna Lund, the amusement park, greeted us. Unfortunately, no bitcoin ATM was present here when we came to Stockholm.

Back in Sweden and Pontus had a lecture about Bitcoin and the current economic system at the E-Commerce and Shop Tech fair.

Pontus has been voted in as a member of the board for the Swedish Bitcoin association so that was why he ended up on stage at this kind of fair. Link to the Swedish Bitcoin Association can be found in the end.

We also ended up meeting up with our old Bitcoin meet up group in Linköping.

We were able to attend this years Freedomfest in Stockholm arranged by the Swedish Mises Institute. We were able to meet a lot of like-minded people and the rumor is that the record of attendants was broken this year. One of our favorite lectures this year was the comparison of Sweden and Switzerland and why Sweden is much more vulnerable than Switzerland by Stellan Abrahamsson. All public lectures can be found in the link below (in Swedish).

© 2019 Ankor på vift

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑