A tourist at home (Part 1)

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).

House in Kortenhoef

House in Kortenhoef, The Netherlands.

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.

Farm in Kortenhoef, The Netherlands.

A nicely restored farm in Kortenhoef, The Netherlands.

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.

Classic house in 's-Graveland, The Netherlands

A classic house in ‘s-Graveland, The Netherlands.

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.

Farm Kortenhoef

What a place to live. Kortenhoef, The Netherlands.

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).

Modern farm

A relatively modern farm in ‘s-Graveland.

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!

Kind regards,



  1. The tourist at home – I like that (as you know 😉 )! I also love playing tourist in my home town, it’s amazing what you suddenly start seeing once you go out with the camera.

    Your pictures as well as the area you’re showing are beautiful! I like the colours, and everything looks really idyllic. I can very well imagine exploring the place by bike.

    Maybe you should work in city marketing promoting your area 😀

    Have a great day, and I’m looking forward to seeing more!

    • Hi Kiki!

      I am glad that you liked it, and good to have you on my blog 🙂 Being a tourist at home is great indeed! So much beauty, so near by.. You don’t need to spend thousands of euro’s (or whatever currency) to enjoy the outdoors and historic views!

      I can’t agree more on how the camera changed the way I see the world. I’ve learned what I like, and why I like it. I pay more attention to little details, or the complete overview of a scene.

      Thank you for that great compliment! And maybe contacting the local Tourist Information isn’t a bad idea!

      When will we see some touristy shots from around your home town at your blog?

      Enjoy the last day of the weekend!

      Warm regards,

      • Actually, I’ve done I think 4 or 5 posts (somewhere between 2013 and 2014) about my home town. An American friend and I used to choose one part of town per month and explore that. There’s much more to explore, though, and once I’m back from my *ahem…* quite expensive vacation end of September, I’ll be meeting again with my friend to explore another part of Stuttgart 🙂

        • Oh I should look them up when I am at a laptop (I don’t like looking at WordPress pages on my phone).

          Expensive trip, that sounds great! Where is the journey heading to?

          Keep us up to date with some brilliant shots of your trip and the surroundings of Stuttgart!

          Happy traveling!

          • If you type “Stuttgart” into the search window, you’ll find them easily.
            Journey is going over the pond… I haven’t talked about it anywhere online yet, so … psssst! Keep it a secret, and when I’ve safely returned (hopefully!) I’ll post some stuff 🙂

          • I’ll do that!

            Oh that big! I’ll keep it a secret and look forward to your photos and stories!

            Travel save!

            Warm regards,

  2. Pingback: Top 10 places to visit in The Netherlands and when to go there - Luvo Photography

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