The summer is coming to an end, and so is the travelling season. But I love to travel! Seeing distant places, experiencing different cultures, and enjoying the good life with fine cuisine. Whenever I am visiting a foreign country, I look at old buildings and tell myself: “We have this at home too. I should visit some nice places in The Netherlands more often, and be a tourist at home”. Hence, my girlfriend and I got our bikes and went for a 20 kilometer ride (a classic Dutch activity). Starting in our home town Hilversum to Kortenhoef and via ‘s-Graveland back home (click here for a map).
The area around my home is fabulous. Little old buildings, old farms, architecture by Dudok, and wide spread meadows, forest, and heathland. This week I’ll be posting two blogs on the area around my home, and in this post, I’ll focus on the houses and farms outside my home town.
Hilversum is a small city, south-east of Amsterdam, in a region called “‘Het Gooi”. With a population of around 85 thousand people, it is the largest city in this region. “Het Gooi” is a wealthy region, prove are the large villa’s. Since the 1920’s radio and tv stations located in Hilversum, and today it is know as the “Media City” of The Netherlands. But for this blog, we will not be staying in Hilversum.
Hilversum is surrounded by great small villages, with old houses. One of them is Kortenhoef, a small village with just over 6.000 inhabitants. One of the characteristics of the area, is that houses and pastures are surrounded by small ditches that function as a border between two pieces of land.
These typically Dutch houses all have a few similarities. Dutch people like sleek designs, with a vintage atmosphere. Most (or maybe even all) houses in The Netherlands are built with bricks, and the very old houses have shutters, typically painted with a chequered pattern. The most popular colours for these shutters are green, red, black, and white (see the first picture of this blog).
While some old farms only function as a home for the wealthy, others are still active, as farming is a very alive business in The Netherlands by tradition. The combination of wealth and farming is a unique mixture. In this area, it is not uncommon for a tractor to be overtaken by teenager who borrowed daddy’s Ferrari. Something I saw while riding my bike, and happened on a numerous occasions while jogging near my home.
I hope you enjoyed this post! In my next blog, I’ll show you more about Kortenhoef and ‘s-Graveland!