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.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
- Hiking and Walking
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.
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
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!
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
Frisian people speak Frisian. That is not a dialect but a different language. It is a bit between Dutch and English. Luckily Frisians are bilingual and speak Dutch also. So there's nothing from keeping you to talk to some people!
Tiles give away a great deal of information about history. I have loved tiles for a long time, ever since I visited the Tile Museum in Otterlo at age 15 or so.
Anyway, here in the Hindelooper Kamer (see Restaurant tips), it was fun to spot original tiles (verrry old), simply old tiles and new tiles.
You see, verrrry old tiles have a hole in opposite corners, made by nails when they were fired in the kiln. Newer tiles (and even those are old) do not have those.
Behind the stove in old kitchens, the wall would often be tiled so that it could be easily cleaned off soot coming off the stoves. The nicer the decoration, the richer the family, that's obvious.
A popular decoration were scenes from the Bible, even with the actual text of where to find the scenes.
Another popular decoration would be depicting children's games, or various professions. See photo 3 in this tip.
There were also tableaux, a series of tiles together depicting a larger image. Like in photo 2 and 4.
Mind you, this tile business is not typical for Sneek or for Friesland. It's a general thing in The Netherlands in old houses and farms. But as these tiles can be found in Sneek, I thought it nice to explain a little about it here.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Butter, broad en melk in un beker
WIe dat nyt sege jab us gyn echte Sneker
Ik wel, want ik woan bij de Waterpoart
Der hewwe jim fast wel fan hoard
Dat is al un heel out gebou derit ik kafn hou
Boaten, grachten en de stad
Sneek is en blieft myn groatste skat!
Marcel van der Meulen
Butter, bread and milk in a mug
whoever can't say that, isn't a true Sneker
I can, 'cause I live at the Waterpoort
You must've heard of it
It's a very old building that I love
Boats, canals and the town
Sneek is and will be my greatest treasure!
- Arts and Culture
The province Friesland is most renowned for its sailing and boating opportunities. Many people who live here own a boat. Some are lucky to have their boat moored right where they live. This possibility greatly adds to the value of the house.
On the photos a private home in Sneek with a moored sailing boat.
- Sailing and Boating
Here you can buy special dog poo plastic bags. When you walk the dog, in any neighbourhood, you're supposed to clear up the poo with the bag and drop it in special containers, like this.