branded by the storks

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Our stay in the country also included a visit to the nearby village of De Schiphorst. Thankfully, we had our very own tour guides (Joost’s dad and Margreet), who are locals of the area and know the must-see sights. We enjoyed visiting Castle Havixhorst, which dates all the way back to 1753. The castle (moat included), along with the beautiful grounds and fabulous landscape gives an old-timey feel that puts you right back in the 1700s.

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Castle Havixhorst is not only known for their wonderful food, beautifully catered events and luxurious hotel, but also their storks. Yes, the bird. Each spring, hundreds migrate from Africa to the northern parts of the Netherlands. I was surprised to learn that the birds return to Castle Havixhorst each year, seeing as there’s millions of other places they could go to spend their summers.

While walking the grounds, you’ll notice storks and their nests everywhere – even in the chimney of the castle (if you look closely at the first picture, you’re able to see a nest settled in the right-side chimney)! My favorite sight was watching the birds build their little homes – truly amazing how many supplies can fit into their beaks. Naturally, the birds will not allow you to get too close, but if you’re as lucky as I was, they’ll be sure to drop a present or two or three (explained in detail below).

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Unfortunately, there are no fun fashion pictures to share, as the storks associated my brightly colored attire for a toilet. Of course, I was the only one of the group to receive a stork branding(s).

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Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney

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4 comments on “branded by the storks

  1. Effie says:

    So beautiful and so inviting (Castle Schiphorst)! The Dutch know a thing or two about making everything “zo gezellig”, don’t you agree? Oh my gosh the storks!!! – “Ooievaars” in Dutch. Yes, you will see their huge nests high above the ground….often built by men. So cool to be reminded of things forgotten!

    Dank je well Whitney!! How are you coming along with learning the Dutch language…I am sure it is challenging? Fortunately pretty much everyone in Holland speaks English. We aren’t that lucky in France for example :).

    Tot ziens….big hug!
    Effie

    • whitneynixon says:

      Yes, the Dutch do a great job at making everything gezellig! Seems like everywhere you go the atmosphere is warm and inviting. Mijn Nederlands is ooke. De talen is moeilijk! I’m starting to ask family and friends here to only speak to me in Dutch. Have to learn! However, very fortunate the people here are willing to speak a little English when need be! XX.

  2. Brenda Nixon says:

    The grounds were beautiful…I was amazed how big the stork nests are sitting on poles! Very interesting. Funny…you were the only one they poop on! lol Love you Whit :)

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