I put 'Duitsland ligt ten noorden' and it was marked wrong. Does 'ten noorden' always require the 'van'? The Dutch sentence looks like it would be translated as 'Germany is in the north,' which seems to have a slightly different meaning from 'Germany is to the north.'
From what I understand, "Germany is to the north" means from my reference point, Germany lies to the north.
Duitsland ligt in het Noorden, means "Germany lies in the north", without a reference point being considered.