Let’s make no secret of it. We both like a nice cold glass of beer. Being at our travel pace is always a challenge to find a beer we like, which reflects our taste of having a beer. At Alkmaar (and this probably counts for our entire home country) it was rather difficult. We found out that there are a few local beers, only known in the particular area. But anyway nothing really special, which was a bit of a disappointment. Therefore we finally bought the same beer as we drink back home, Grolsch!
Grolsch Brewery (Grolsche Bierbrouwerij) is a Dutch brewery founded in 1615 by Willem Neerfeldt in Groenlo (Grolle). The beer from Groenlo gradually became better known in the surroundings of Groenlo. Through the years the demand for Grolsch beer shifted from a local to national and eventually international level. It is a bit bitter and has a pale colour. You can taste the hop flavour, and has a alcohol content of 5 percent. You should try it!
Maybe it sounds a bit weird, but as an experience traveler I know that you every now and then need this kind of information in advance: electricity in the Netherlands is 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to the Netherlands with a device that does not accept 230 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter.
There are three main types of voltage converter. Resistor-network converters will usually be advertised as supporting something like 50-1600 Watts. They are light-weight and support high-wattage electrical appliances like hair dryers and irons. However, they can only be used for short periods of time and are not ideal for digital devices. Some companies sell combination converters that include both a resistor network and a transformer in the same package. This kind of converter will usually come with a switch that switches between the two modes. If you absolutely need both types of converter, then this is the type to buy.
Outlets in the Netherlands generally accept 1 type of plug: Two round pins (see the picture). If your appliances plug has a different shape, you may need a plug adapter. Depending on how much you plan to travel in the future, it may be worthwhile to get a combination voltage converter and plug adapter.
For my search for the origin of the Donderdag Meppeldag I needed to take a look way back in history. Back in the days, way back in history, the village of Meppel was known for the largest butter and piglets market of the entire nation. It attracted many farmers and other potential buyer to Meppel and everybody benefited of this. In the years after the second World War the meat industry developed in a way that the weekly markets weren’t necessary anymore. And because of the large scale dairies the butter market ended as well. Therefore the idea arose to develop all kinds of initiatives to continue to draw the public to Meppel.
Truly everybody was thinking about an idea to have Meppel keep its dominant position in the entire region. Therefore activities were organizes by the nobles and they were mainly folkloristic venues like demonstrations of old crafts, various interactive games, skill games and all part of the so called 'Jennechiesmarkt'. This all developed in the Donderdag Meppeldag as we know it today.
The Donderdag Meppeldag of today is in no way the same as it started out. It truly developed over the years, knowing that in 2014 the 55th edition will take place. Every year, six Thursdays in July and August, there are recognizable theme days often with international allure. You can witness themes like street theatre festival, music of Amsterdam (so called Mokum style) festival, dance festival and musical festival. Via the Donderdag Meppeldag thousands of visitors do find their way to the village of Meppel and they all say that they will attend the “Möppeler Marrek”, local slang for visiting the festivals.
For sure nobody could expect way back in 1960 that it would be such a success. I am from Hoogeveen myself, which is about 25 kilometers away from Meppel, and I always visit one or two days (nights) of the Donderdag Meppeldag. I always love the hive of activity, the people who are in a great state of mind and the atmosphere of the festivals. Just walking around, having a nice cold beer, watching all the great performances and watch the world go by is just what the Donderdag Meppeldag is all about.
It is good to know that all the activities take place from the early morning until late at night. So, it doesn’t matter when you join in, every time is a good time. For example I once knew that my cousin was performing at the Donderdag Meppeldag. At that time I worked close to Meppel and I took a few hours free from the office and watched his performance on stage. He truly blew us away with his trumpet. After that we had a nice lunch, we said goodbye and I returned to the office after that.
The performances are of high cultural level, very progressive, adventurous and with much variety. My girlfriend is born in Meppel and her parents still live there. For us a good reason to visit the Donderdag Meppeldag during the evening and night. Usually we walk over the beautiful squares of Meppel and on each square a performance will take place. Just strolling from the square to square is a great pleasure. Gheee, writing over the Donderdag Meppeldag makes me want to visit again … but still some months to go … lol.
I guess we all agree on this on; there is nothing more exciting than going travelling - exploring another country, experiencing a different culture, travelling around in new ways, sampling the local cuisine and chatting to the local people for a different perspective on life.
However during our travels we learned that there is one certain thing that you should be aware of and prepared for to make sure that the trip is as easy and enjoyable as possible. We always try to see everything once we're there, but this is not always an act of responsible travelling. We always talk to the locals and we know that they have the information about just the right spots to visit and how to undertake them. It will not only enhance your experiences but also avoid any unnecessary hassles.
For me the travel tips I have written down in this section made the most of mine travel experience and I came home in the same happy, healthy state that I left.