Friesland is an island region with a distinct dialect, and much of the land has been reclaimed by the sea, so dikes and waterways are common in the region. There are also remnants from World War II and plenty of activities for observation or participation, and the province's capital, Leeuwarden, has several charming old buildings and a museum.
Places to visit include the Afsluitdijk, a dike almost 20 miles in length that connects the area with North Holland; it was built in 1930. At the Kazematten Museum, the bunkers built to defend the dike remain, with some of them restored to give visitors a true picture of the life of a World War II soldier down to the weapons.
The Friesland culture is rich and colorful. Sailing is a passion for the locals, with a major competition each August; the town of Sneek is a major center for yachting and water sports. Meanwhile, kaatsen (comparable to cricket) and fierljeppen (akin to pole vaulting) are favorite pursuits. When you're ready to try the local fare, check out sweet treats like drabbelkoeken, a buttercake, or sukerbole, a cinnamon-flavored bread, while adult beverages include beerenburg (Friesland's national drink) and Frysk Hynder, a local whiskey.
The Dutch parks and lodges are the perfect place to relax and recharge when your day's travels end.
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