The Venice of the North

A day trip to the north of the Netherlands to the village of Giethoorn, the ‘Venice of the Netherlands’.

On the weekend of the 10th of March the Netherlands Rotary Youth Exchange Multidistrict Committee arranged a gathering for all of the Inbound Rotary Youth Exchange students to meet in Giethoorn, a small village in the north of the Netherlands famed for its absence of roads, with the only way to get around being canals or footpaths.

The gathering was my first opportunity to meet all the inbound Rotary Youth Exchange students here in the Netherlands, with everyone who arrived along with me in January 2018 and those from the northern hemisphere who arrived around August 2017.

Giethoorn was about 2 and half hours on the train, which was a long way to travel in one day, however as I worked my way up along the stations further north I soon ran into other students, and it wasn’t long before I was part of a large group of students all taking the same train up to Giethoorn.

Once we arrived in the village we stopped at a cafe for coffee, before visiting the museum, which described the history of the town and typical rural Dutch life.

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We then had lunch, and took a canal tour of the village! It was great to see, and a good opportunity to chat with everyone. We then had about two hours to explore the village on our own. We split into smaller groups, and it didn’t take long to walk through the entire village.

We stopped at a cafe for appeltaart [apple pie] before dinner, and then made our way back to the restaurant. After dinner we were dropped off by the Rotary Youth Exchange coordinators at the train station, and made our way back to our homes all over the Netherlands.

I had another really long train ride home and got back pretty late with a few of the other students who live further south in the Netherlands. It was great to spend a day meeting the all of the inbound students living here, and have fun exploring the country together.

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Author: Campbell Winnett

I’m currently living in the Netherlands for 12 months as a Rotary Youth Exchange student. I’m sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tuggeranong in Canberra, Australia, and I’m hosted by the Rotary Club of Zaltbommel in the Netherlands.

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