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Welcome to Giethoorn. On the surface it might look like just another beautiful town in the Netherlands with houses, people and boats. But, once you look closer, you’ll spot the difference between any other town and Giethoorn.

There are no roads and no cars. Well, how do people get around then? Giethoorn has canals, so boats are the norm. Otherwise your other options are to walk or ride your bike.

It’s been like that since the town was developed way back when, and according to Bert Dedden, the vice mayor of Giethoorn, it’s always going to be like this.

Well, if you’re going to walk or ride your bike, you will probably need a bridge to get over the canal. And that’s where the 167 bridges come in.

On a good day, there will be anything between 500 and 600 boats in the town. While it could cause traffic, it’s not the usual highway traffic we’re used to. There’s a bridge guard that opens the main bridge and canal to those travelling into or out of Giethoorn.

So, what happens if there’s a fire or someone is drowning? Then the brigade makes it way to the scene. The brigade has many roles, they save people from drowning, extinguish fires and even save other boats from sinking.

Who needs roads when you’ve got boats?

Watch the Great Big Story video below to see what the town of Giethoorn looks like.

Image credit: Holland.com

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