De Weerribben National Park originates from the peat industry in the 19th century. The peat was dug up, creating narrow canals and was laid to dry on the side of those canals. (The "ribben"). When all peat was exhausted, artificial waterways and landscape were left, which evolved in the current "De Weerribben" When you arrive at the main entrance, ample free parking space is provided. You step then directly into the visitors center with shop, cafe and offices for boat rental. Next to the visitors center is a large camping ground. De Weerribben is managed by the the Governmental Woodlands Agency (Staatsbosbeheer). The biggest attraction is renting a boat or a canoe, and explore the waterways and landscapes of "De Weerribben". A big invention is, that the boats have electrical propulsion and are virtually noiseless. We chose for taking a marked walk of 3,5 kilometer along waterways and through the woods. The walk was nice and instructive. We passed areas with bog and peat-land; (See pictures). It is really amazing that, when you step off the path, the ground feels really a bit unstable, just like rubber tiles. During the walk, the blessing of the electric propulsion of the boats on the water was well marked. However, in The Netherlands you are never alone. Part of the walk led through cultivated land, where a farmer was busy turning the hay with noisy machinery. Another part of the walk led over the public road; we had to jump for our lives when an ferocious motor cycle rider shot past and two seconds later an SUV with a driver in a hurry hogged the road. Returning to the visitors center we had a cup of coffee in the bit desultory cafe. This cafe was indeed uninviting. Notwithstanding that is was 12.30 in the afternoon, no visitors took lunch there. Summarizing, the nature is instructive, I am convinced that renting a boat and sailing the canals is OK, but it is all organized and a bit squeezed in between farming and traffic. Nice to visit, but not to go out of your way for.
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