Oh! The Places I’ve Been – “H” is for HEERHUGOWAARD

Although I’d traveled to Amsterdam in the late 70’s, while a student in Switzerland, I returned to The Netherlands in the early 90’s, this time to visit a friend in the little town of HeerHugowaard.

photo by M. Reynolds
photo by M. Reynolds

The town is named after “Lord” (“Heer” in Dutch) Hugo van Assendelft, who died in 1296.

It’s a small, quiet town (about 45,000 residents when I was there in the early 90’s), very walkable, not far from Amsterdam. My friend and I attended a concert in the capital one evening. Classical music. The concert hall was filled to capacity and everyone was dressed to the nines. Young people, old people. No one crunched on chips or unwrapped cellophane-covered lozenges during the performances. No one chatted. And it was too soon for texting, but I’m sure no one would have been doing that, either. It was a very genteel event.

However, Heerhugowaard is no utopia. Since 2004, there has been a coffee shop in the town; its appearance was met with fierce opposition. If you’re wondering why, it’s because “coffee shops” in The Netherlands are establishments where the sale of cannabis for personal consumption by the public is tolerated by the local authorities. Some inhabitants realize that the establishment is there to make sure the laws are respected and to make sure there is no cross pollination between soft and hard drugs. Still, others saw fit to throw stones at the place.

Of all the places in this month’s group, this was probably my least favorite. Nothing against Holland, of course. 🙂

9 thoughts on “Oh! The Places I’ve Been – “H” is for HEERHUGOWAARD

  1. I must confess that a slight bias. I am married to a Dutchman but I concur that there are a few spots in the Netherlands that are not so exciting but you get that everywhere. There are some gorgeous spots in the south near the German-Belgian boarder. Did you get that far south?


  2. Yes! Well, I left out a few key elements. This involved a guy, too. Bad, bad choice. I ended up leaving early. But the post isn’t ‘My A to Z Love Life,’ although that could be interesting. 😉 Amsterdam is great place to visit – this little bedroom community wasn’t.


  3. I like that you don’t always wax rhapsodic about every place you visit. We need to know where we should not waste time and money visiting.


  4. I’ve been to Holland back in the 70s as well. All I remember is the fields and fields of Tulips and Windmills, though my parents have pictures of me in Miniature City. I love reading about other places to visit. Thank you for sharing your travels. It’s so much fun to read!


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