On August 25, 2007, Ineke, Ruud and Janny visited the Efteling.
by Ineke Cornelissen/Sonja
Holland’s best entertainment Park THE EFTELING started in 1951 (before Disneyland)
with the “Fairy Tale Forest” designed by the Dutch artist Anton Pieck (born 1895, died
1987, 92 yrs old). Anton Pieck was a romantic artist with a fondness for drawing romantic
images from the 19th century. His works are noted for their nostalgic or fairytale-like
character and are widely popular, appearing regularly on
cards and calendars. He loved fairy tales and sagas. He
was married, had three kids. He was convinced that
children and adults need romance around, to feel good.
Anton cooperated and designed pictures for the Efteling
builders, during 30 years. Together they constructed a
living fairy tale book.
Anton invented “Hollebolle Gijs”, the trash eating fat boy. Until today, "Hollebolle Gijs" is still a big success and
keeps the park clean! Actually, adults have a lot of fun with Gijs too (boy’s name). Hollebolle means “hollow round,
(roly-poly)” (“hollow” because he is always hungry and “round” is the result of eating too much). Gijs calls out “Paper
here…” and if you throw something into his mouth, he says: “Thank you”. If you throw a lot into his mouth, he burps
and farts and he even says: “Excuse me” after that!! It is real fun and you can imagine the children clean up the
whole park to feed him!
Click here for more information about Holle Bolle Gijs
Including a great additional clip Ineke sent.
Ineke sent which I kept for the special Gijs page.
Other nice items in the fairy tale forest are the candy house of the witch at Hansel and Gretel, Snow white, sleeping
beauty, and the fakir flying around on his flying carpet and whistling for the purple tulips to grow high!! Purple?? Are
those Andre Rieu tulips??
Janny and I posed on the romantic bow bridge over the pool with Japanese Koi carps, in front of the romantic
summer house. Do you recognize the place where Suzan is singing “over the rainbow” from the pictures on André’s
The Efteling expanded, taking over the Disney style of attractions, waiting rows, efficiency, safety rules, fancy hotel,
etc. The latest attraction (April 2007) is “The Flying Dutchman”. Wait time for us on that crowded Saturday was 70
minutes. We walked through Captain Willem Van der Decken’s house. He lived in the 17th century and was a
captain of a VOC ship (United East India Company). Do you still remember that Old Dutch Legend?? (Check my
Flying Dutchman page) The VOC was a trading concern, getting herbs and spices from the country we now call
Indonesia. In 1676 he wanted to sail to the East, but he had to wait several days, due to bad stormy weather. After a
week he was fed up with waiting and decided to sail. That was on Easter Sunday, a Christian holy day, it was not
usual at all to sail that day! His crew thought he was crazy. The stubborn captain said: “Storm or no storm, I’ll sail,
even if I have to sail to eternity”. The ship was wrecked near Cape of Good Hope, the most southern point of South
Africa. Nowadays, on foggy days, the phantom ship is still being seen. It is doomed to sail forever but it never can
round the Cape of Good Hope. (Ruud and I were there in 1997. No mist, no phantom ship). An important vision was
in 1880. King George V of England and thirteen other persons, witnessed having seen a black ship with red sails
and a bewitched captain at the steering wheel. The ship was flying over the waves, heading the wind! It is a mystery.
It is a legend. The ship is called the Flying Dutchman. Let’s go back to the Efteling again. You understand we had a
crazy boat ride through rain, storm and mist, ending up with a big splash into a lake (we became a little wet…).
Janny and I rode horses (and a pig) in the historic steam carrousel.
Another funny item was the fairy tale of the princes who became a goose girl. Watch the video clip! The lady and the
herd of geese walked all over the Efteling!
Anton Pieck Calendar picture
Anton Pieck original drawing
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