Posts Tagged 'harbor'

Bicycles, Cheese, Windmills and Volendam! – Netherlands

Be close enough to enjoy all of what a great city has to offer, while maintaining the country and seaside lifestyle. Sounds impossible?

Traditional ways are strong in Volendam.

Traditional ways are strong in Volendam.

You can actually have both with a visit to Volendam. Being only 20 kilometers away from the capitol of the Netherlands, Amsterdam; Volendamis a fishing village with the picturesque traditional Dutch architecture along the waterfront.

Among its bridges and channels, known as Doolhof(similar to a Labyrinth), this small village is an ideal holiday choice. Amsterdam can boast many activities but Volendam can take you away from the far and maddening tourists within the city and let you experience Dutch rural life. It is here where many of the natives actually still don traditional Dutch attire. 

Volendam, from its humble beginnings in 1462, began as the small rural borough and gradually developed into a prosperous fishing-village. The old village is left intact near the harbor, but to view what life was really about, a visit to the Volendam Museum located near the old quarter and the Volendam dyke. This small building is built on stilts at the edge of the main harbor. The stilts are there to protect the building from frequent flooding that occurred before the Zuider Zee was cut off from the ocean in the early 20th century.

Within its confines, the Volendam Museum offers exhibitions that include a wonderful display of traditional Dutch clothing, gorgeous original Dutch genre paintings, furnishings and interesting historical displays. 

A modern vacation rental at a Marinapark Volendam rowhouse.

A modern vacation rental at a Marinapark Volendam rowhouse.

Your accommodations of a vacation rental is a modern row house in Volendam, where you can enjoy all of Holland at its best. It is a perfect location to share with the entire family in a 3 bedroom at the brand-new Marinapark Volendam, located right on the water with its own marina and views of windmills in the distance.

Broaden your knowledge of Volendamand its history, not only at the museum but along the countryside and waterfront.  At the harbor, view the long-established fishing boats leaving in the morning and returning with their catch later on in the day. Purchase some before the catch heads to the market. Much of the attraction of Volendam is to sample fresh seafood, such as salted herring and smoked eel. The outcome is reminiscing of past centuries fishing atmosphere that you can not easily find elsewhere anymore.

Sample the very best of Dutch cheese on a traditional farm, in Edam, located only 2 km away. Of course you can always rent a bicycle, as biking is the preferred mode of transport. Go on a trip of discovery along scenic routes and if you happen to arrive in the spring, the colorful bulb fields are in full bloom. Don’t forget to balance your time with a visit to Amsterdam; its bustling city centre offers an abundance of culture with an air of cosmopolitan and is easily accessable by train.

Afterwards, it will be pleasure to return to the wholesome and hearty Volendam; where time seems to have stood still, except in your vacation rental.

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The Blues Won´t Get You Down in Kinsale, Ireland

Even if you are not Irish, your eyes will be smiling with a visit to Kinsale, Ireland. Just a stroll along the river, by the harbor, on the upper side of the town consisting of its charming shops and of course, Irish pubs will exhilarate you.

Besides the pubs, Kinsale is known as the “Gourmet Capitol of Ireland,” and you will find wonderful cuisines that will suit all palates. It is said by many that the best tasting meals you have ever had will be here! You can even learn some the specialites at the Kinsdale Cooking School, featuring guest chefs each week.

Desmond castle is a short walk uphill and was a 15th century Custom and Town House that has had a checkered past with many stories to tell. Besides serving as a Customs house from around 1500, it became a prison for French prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars and relief centre during the famine. It is now finally converted to The Irish Wine Museum, where you become a connoisseur or perhaps just a little more knowledgeable than you were before.

Kinsale can easily claim its place among being one of Ireland’s more historic locations, as the town with its castle, can boast two historical forts, Charles Fort, and James Fort.

Dating from 1677, Charles Fort  can give visitors a good chance to familiarize themselves with the history of the town. A wealth of information is supplied by the Exhibition Centre and do not miss the chance to view the fort from a vantage point at the mouth of the harbor.

The pentagonal shaped fort with a covered walkway leading to it, is James Fort, constructed between 1601 and 1603. Here, again, you will hear the tales behind the walls.

A vacation rental in Kinsale, Ireland is the way to go.

A vacation rental in Kinsale, Ireland is the way to go.

No wonder so many visitors head back year after year. With great food, wonderful shops, and amazing views, Kinsale will be one of your favorite places to vacation. Stay at a vacation rental overlooking the River Bandon, sleeping six, so bring the whole family to explore.

This little Irish village nestled between the hills and the shoreline hosts and coincides with Cork’s well-known jazz festival with one of their own. The best of Jazz and Blues takes place in Kinsale, Ireland featuring international acts from the US, UK and Ireland. The music spills out on October 24th to the 27th.

Among maze of narrow picturesque streets, never far from the water, Kinsale will resound to the sounds of this party during four days of live jazz performances. Live it up and then after the festival, enjoy this small quaint city when it returns back to its normal flavor.

Although Waterford reigns with its crystal, Kinsale Crystal is gaining fast. Take a peek inside and you will even find that you can watch some of this beautiful work being done on the premises and not mass produced. Kinsale Silver is another shop, where the craft is made with pride  as the silversmiths create one of a kind silver jewelry.

A visit to kinsale can be yours, with or without jazz. So when will go head there?


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