The Ideal Trip for Tourists: Amsterdam, Kampen, Bruges and Paris.
Kampen: A lot of potential
Recently I had the pleasure to show Peter Laanen, his wife and their two American friends around in Kampen. Peter is a fan of Kampen and sees a lot of potential in this ancient old Hanseatic city. He persuaded his former neighbors from San Francisco to join him to this lovely city at the river IJssel.
Peter’s friends were on a journey in Europe – they visited Amsterdam and were going to Paris and Bruges (for the third time!). Part of this trip would now also be Kampen.
The sun was shining that day but also the first view of the cobble stone market and the characteristic bell tower immediately appealed to our visitors. From that point on everything went very smoothly.
What I like about American guests is that they, way more than us ‘objective’ Dutchman, value quality time so much. They don’t hesitate to tell whenever something is wonderful or amazing or when they have the feeling of genuine welcome.
Personally I feel attracted by this kind of enthusiasm and sense of awe. Therefore I try to do my utmost best to show my guests the most beautiful things, to tell them special stories and to be a good host.
During our day trip Peter and his wife were contemplating to stay longer the next time they would be in Kampen. The next day I received the following testimonial:
At 09.15 we were heading for Kampen. Kampen ?! Well sure, we wanted to prove our American friends that in Holland there is more than Amsterdam. After one hour and fifteen minutes we arrived in Kampen where our host, Mr. Kampen Reinier de Wit, was waiting for us with a wheelchair for Ann who had difficulties with walking. What a guy! Thanks to Kampen and Beyond – www.kampenandbeyond.com – and a personal visit I already learned quite a lot about Kampen’s history.
First we visited ‘De Olifant’. De Olifant (literally means The Elephant) is one of two remaining cigar makers in The Netherlands. Production: 4.5 million a year, from cigarillo to ‘bolknak’. Very interesting tour, from tobacco leaves to quality assurance. Top-notch ! Reinier’s city tour was amazing and I can recommended it to everyone, but another highlight was the museum. The only museum in The Netherlands which holds a life size gallery of The Royal Family and a Courtroom with all the wisdom one can imagine. My wife cleverly pointed out that the bar at which the lawyers stood, was taken over by the Americans when they have to ‘pass the bar’ to be qualified as a lawyer.
Tomorrow we are saying goodbye to our former neighbors and remember: Visit Kampen and ask impassioned Reinier for a tour !
Our American friends also really enjoyed Kampen. They loved it!
I was wondering though if there would be any cigars left in De Olifant after they left Kampen 🙂
Reinier de Wit