Captured Moments – Unexpected Kindness

The village of Giethoorn, Netherlands is located within a two hour drive of Amsterdam.  The picturesque town has relatively few roads and is made up of mostly walking and biking paths, along with a maze of connecting canals that run throughout the town. The houses, which are built on land surrounded by water are accessible by boat or foot bridge. Most homes have a private pedestrian bridge that connects the walking path to the front of the property.

After reading about the village on-line, we knew this was a place we had to see to believe. We took the ninety minute drive from our hotel in Den Hague on a perfect spring day.


Giethoorn is exactly as you might imagine. With 200 year old houses mingled among a few newer ones, it is postcard perfect. The homes, even the newer ones, have thatched roofs that present a very distinctive look.

DSC09948 (2)

This is the kind of place that was made for a lazy day. Stroll through the village, sit on a park bench, row a boat down the canal or just enjoy the breeze at a waterfront cafe.

We found a place to park our car and set out to enjoy the magic of this place. The Innkeeper at our hotel in Der Hague had cautioned us about trespassing on lawns and bridges, but, with Morgan in a pretty dress and willing to pose, we ignored the caution.


As I was snapping this shot, two gentlemen rode up on bicycles and stopped at the foot of the bridge. Oops! Morgan smiled and politely asked if this was their home and one of the men said, “yes.” She walked over and introduced herself and apologized for her boldness. Good move. We were about to leave, and the two men were half way across the bridge, when the owner turned around and asked if we would like to come over for a glass of wine and some conversation. You have never seen three people move so fast. After we passed the bridge he advised us that the pathway was boggy and we might want to remove our shoes. Very reasonable request, since this is the Venice of Holland…


I am yards ahead in my trusted GoWalks with rubber soles, watching Morgan trying to navigate the boggy path in her stylish shoes. Completely defeated, she ditched the shoes and proceeded in bare feet. Not germane to the story, but worth mentioning is that her luggage did not arrive with her and these were the only shoes she had for three days.

Philip brought us up to the house and introduced us to his daughter, a couple of friends and his granddaughter. He explained that the house has been in his family for sixty years and that this is their place to get away from the world. When we first encountered Philip and his friend, they were returning from a Marine shop with some wood to do a small repair on his sailboat. His granddaughter, who is an expert sailor,  was anxious to get out on the water.

P1790195After a short visit, Philip suggested that he take us for a boat ride, which we eagerly  accepted. We talked along the way and I asked him if he is always this kind to strangers. He replied, “I like Americans” they’re bold.


The view looking back toward Philip’s home. Couldn’t you just stay here forever?

P1790204 (3).JPG

Enjoying the ride, minus the shoes and with mud still in her toes!

After a few minutes of pristine beauty on the wide water, Philip dropped us at a dock that services Smit’s Paviljeon, a local eatery, and told us how to get back to our car.



P1790250 (2)

Without a doubt we would have stayed for hours visiting with this warm and interesting man, had he not had an obligation to get friends to the airport. Connections happen when you least expect it. This is one we will never forget and we will stay in touch.

P1790205 (2)

Thank you Philip for the gift of kindness. We knew there was magic in Giethoorn the minute we landed there.




22 Comments on “Captured Moments – Unexpected Kindness

  1. Such a lovely encounter with a local. Well done Morgan for ditching the shoes and getting the invitation. Very charming place 🙂


    • Thanks Tracey, I am of the mindset that bringing folks along for the ride is pretty much the whole point of Blogging. I am glad you felt included.It was a beautiful day and a beautiful experience.


  2. What a magical place! I love those – seemingly random – connections we make while traveling. You were just at the right place and time to meet Philip, a truly generous and welcoming man.


  3. Oh this is such a beautiful place Suzanne and so different to Australia. I have visited Europe many times but have yet to go to the Netherlands. Now it is definitely on my list. The photos are stunning and what a perfect day.! Thanks for starting my week in such a lovely way.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond


    • I am pleased that you enjoyed my photographs. There were so many, but I did not want to overwhelm everyone. Captured moments to last a lifetime…

      Liked by 1 person

      • What a lovely last sentence in your reply. I’m terrible at taking too many photos when I travel and then missing the moment. I’m trying to improve on that.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful story. We found the people in the Netherlands to be very kind but also very blunt and truthful. An interesting combination that they pull off beautifully.


    • I have never been good at mind reading, so I respect that about people. Truth, tempered with kindness is irresistible.


  5. While I love your photos of this beautiful place, it’s the story that is the most captivating. What a rare and wonderful treat to be embraced by this stranger. With so much bad news all the time of people behaving badly, it’s so refreshing to read the opposite.


  6. It’s these fantastic spur-of-the-moment meetings that create such special memories. It brought to my mind a by-chance conversation we had with a British man at a restaurant in Montpelier, France last year. I think we spent nearly 2 hours just chatting over lunch with him and it will stay with us for years to come.

    Your photos of the houses and the canal are picture storybook perfect. It all looks so serene. Your daughter is lovely and how nice for you to share the experience with her.


    • I love that about traveling. The chance meetings that create special memories. When you let go of the “schedule” and allow yourself to be in the moment surprising things happen. With only six days available for vacation, we invited her to choose from our stops in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium; she chose Tulips and is glad she did.


  7. Amazing and fun experience, and what a great memory! The house is simply perfect. I love the way he said “I like Americans. They are bold” . Haha! Very true when it comes to some things. I like that picture of her barefoot in the canoe. Great shot!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Chambers on the Road

RV, other Travels and Home Life in Retirement

Journeys with Johnbo

Reflections on places traveled and photos taken.

The Hungry Travellers

Independent travel, food, photography and culture

Stony Soil Vermont

Writing in Vermont

Travels with Ali

My site is all about my travels around the world and in Australia, plus daily life photos!

Buddha Walks Into A Wine Bar ....

Sits down with The Two Doctors and .....


Enjoying life and the empty nest while easing into retirement,

Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary


More Daddy Fool Than Daddy Cool

Travel with me

Travel snapshots from Toonsarah


Tales, Thoughts + Tribulations of a Free Spirit in Suburbia

Circadianreflections Blog

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ― Eudora Welty

Live Laugh RV

Our Next Chapter

Marsha Ingrao - Always Write

Having fun blogging with friends

Everyday Gyaan

Keeping Life Simple, Authentic And Holistic

Becky in Portugal

The Joy of Slow Travel


Adventures and Postcards from the road

Our Eyes Open

Come along on an adventure with us!

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon


The Beach Girl Chronicles


envisioning & implementing life's next stage

Book Club Mom

Read this, not that!

Something to Ponder About

Life - Photography - Traditional Art

The Showers of Blessings

Giving and Receiving Blessings

Writing Bites

by Susanne Fletcher

Change Is Hard

...but change is certain.


Midlife traveller

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Retired Introvert

Navigating retirement as an introvert

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

A Day In The Life

People, Places, Nature, LIFE!

The Chicago Files

A Canadian Perspective on Living in the Windy City!

Back Road Journal

Little treasures discovered while exploring the back roads of life

Meditations in Motion

Running and life: thoughts from a runner who has been around the block

And Anyways...

Author, Baker, Sunrise Chaser

P.A. Moed

Creative Exploration in Words and Pictures

Life at No. 22

Suzanne's Life and Travel Musings from New Zealand and Beyond

Hugh's Views & News  

WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!


Serenity is an Inside Job

A Hundred Years Ago

Food and More


Valuing quiet and solitude in academe.


"This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." - F.G.

Natalie the Explorer

Taking steps to live a healthy and enriched life

Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

%d bloggers like this: