Living in the Netherlands gives me an opportunity to explore hidden Dutch villages, beautiful canals and historic sightseeing spots that I wouldn’t find anywhere else. Each weekend I try to pack my travel bags and go to a new place to find out what it has to offer in terms of its history, food and traditions. Do you still remember my last visit to Gouda city?
My most recent weekend trip took me to Haarlem – a classic Dutch city of grand churches, historic buildings, cobbled streets, fine cafes, museums and obviously canals! Located in North Holland, just 20 minutes from Amsterdam and Schiphol airport, it’s a great weekend getaway spot if you are looking for a quite, picturesque and laid back place.
When in Haarlem, I did Geocaching. If you are not familiar with the concept, let me quickly introduce you to it. Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game where participants are to use GPS-enabled devices in order to navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at a certain location. That was my first experience doing geocaching and I didn’t realize that there were millions of geocaches hidden around the world, probably even in my hometown in Poland!
To get your adventure started, you should get the free Official Geocaching app and start finding!
Geocaching adventure starts here …
But first, let me grab some coffee!
Together with my friend we chose to go for two geocaches hidden in two different locations across the city. The app didn’t work well so we had to use Google maps for directions.
I must admit that we both didn’t succeed in finding the first geocache by ourselves. We’ve been working around one of the tunnels for a long time with no success. When we were just getting a bit impatient, a little boy with his mom on a bike arrived telling us that he was the one who hid a small metal tube and knowing that we couldn’t find it showed us where it was!
From location 1 we moved to location 2. That was even more difficult as geocache was supposed to be hidden in bushes. We did give it a try but never found it.
In overall, although my geocaching experience was not that successful, I still managed to have a lot of fun, see the city, relax, catch up with my friend, drink some coffee and laugh a lot!
Why go geocaching?
1 – Being active
One of the benefits of geocaching is being active throughout the day. You walk a lot in most cases, but sometimes it’s even required to climb or run. Sometimes you may want to run the course trying to find the caches as quickly as possible so it could be a good cardio workout of the day!
2 – Being social
Geocaching gives you a great opportunity to get social with your friends, work colleagues and locals. After all you have to work together or against each other to find the hidden geocaches. You talk, come up with different solutions and ideas and get creative.
3 – Being more educated
When geocaching, you can learn a lot of things – where certain spots are located, how to get to different locations, what the city / town looks like and what it can offer to its locals and visitors. The geocachers must learn something about the area in which the cache is located, thus you can get more familiar with both – places you are visiting for the first time and places you may already know very well.