great party place when an Elfstedentocht is held..
To applaude the skaters and watch their performance a lot of people come to the cities. And usually there are also bands performing on the ice, on bridges anywhere where they can find an audience... That is one of the reasons the ice has to be so thick.. It is not only because of the number of skaters but also of all the people that flock to Friesland and dance on the ice...
Since our "hotel" was right at the harbor, this was the first part of Harlingen that we saw and enjoyed! From Dokkade you can see the entrance of the harbor from the sea, quite a few ships, ferries and fishing boats and on the other side (behind the tracks of the train) there is the old city of Harlingen and the lighthouse. The lighthouse, by the way, is a "hotel" as well, run by the the same company as our harbor crane hotel!
Harlingen Harbor Crane
The Harlingen Harbor Crane was THE sight of Harlingen for us. As you will be able to read on the following tips, this is a very unusual hotel - a once in a liftime experience to stay there overnight! The crane was still in use until 1996 and was afterwards redone to serve as a hotel room. No reception or anything, since you book the whole place just for yourself! Just wonderful!
Planetarium in Franeker
In the living room of a lovely Friesian canalside house is the world's oldest functioning planetarium. This accurately moving model of the solar system was built between 1774 and 1781 by Eise Eisinga, a wool carder.
It still functions, you can see that when you visit the building.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Follow the signs
We proceeded on and enjoyed a lovely walk through Harlingen. Actually you cannot get lost, because Harlingen is not a huge city - plus: there are good signs that direct you to all the sights there are! Both options are nice: to either stroll around just so or to explore the signposted sights! Unfortunately we went there in the evening, so the Tourist Information was closed, so we opted for the first version and just enjoyed a walk!
Since we enjoyed our crane so much, we had to force ourselves to explore Harlingen a little, which we then did! We crossed the railway tracks - and there we were! The first real impressive house was a house now hosting the harbor police. The house is beautiful: renaissance style with lots of decoration and beautifully kept!
While strolling through Harlingen we came across this church. It was pretty impressive from the outside, huge spire - but once again (and that happened to us quite a few times while in the Netherlands) we could not get in! So unfortunately I can only share the outside view and not give you any more information on what else is special about this church!
Near one of the canals we came across this beautiful house. Once again I am not very helpful, because I do not know anything of its history, purpose or whatsoever (Tourist Information was closed since we were there after 6 p.m.). Maybe anybody who knows Harlingen can help me out?
Nice little marina
On our way back to the harbor we passed by this nice little marina. What an idyllic place: to the left we had the marina, to the right a street with beautiful renaissance houses - so we stopped for a little while just to enjoy!
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