The route starts at Batavialand. Batavialand takes you on a journey through 7,000 years of Dutch history. This is the perfect place to discover everything you want to know about the Netherlands and how the Dutch live with water. The video will show you how Flevoland was eventually reclaimed from the sea. Walk through the museum and find out how to create a polder/new land.
Continue on to Schokland. Schokland’s story is told in the Museum Schokland. You can also rent a bike and explore this former island’s position under your own pedal-power. After centuries of battling the water, the then island was evacuated in 1859 and the inhabitants dispersed. However, by 1942 the island was ‘marooned’ on dry land. It’s still recognisable today as an island though: the old port, the lighthouse, the lighthouse keeper’s cottage and Schokland’s tiny church.
Make for Urk. Like Schokland, Urk was once an island in the Zuiderzee. The sea still provides most of the employment here. Although Urk is no longer located on the Zuiderzee (salt water) but on the IJsselmeer lake (fresh water), it’s still the base for one of the Netherlands’ largest fishing fleets. Experience close-up the distinct fishing life and community, the cuisine and the astonishing history of this picturesque fishing village. Locals’ tip: join a ‘ginkies’ trail to explore the amazing warren of small streets and alleyways. More information about the tour is available at the Urk Tourist Information centre.
The route ends in the Waterloopbos woods. One spin-off from their endless strife with the tides was to make the Dutch the world class ‘go-to’ experts in water management. The Waterloopbos (now a national monument) was once an open-air laboratory. This is where the hydraulic engineers constructed scale models of 35 renowned water management projects and where they tested and refined their designs for these celebrated national and international projects. The abandoned scale models, partly reclaimed by nature, have acquired a seemingly mysterious and mythical presence.