Netherlands
Disteldorp

Here you’ll find travel reports about Disteldorp. Discover travel destinations in the Netherlands of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

25 travelers at this place:

  • Day839

    Amsterdam! Day 1

    October 13, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    The time had come to explore the Netherlands' world famous capital city! After a prompt set off on Saturday morning Will navigated the van to Amsterdam City Camp on the North bank of the River IJ. The area was rather run down with building and road works, overgrown verges, random grafitti and a general air of being unloved. The camp itself was accessed via tall electronic gates, one for vans and one for pedestrians. Vicky got started entering our details into the machine. Despite having to pay extra for dogs there weren't any dog facilities, so the warden helped us choose a plot close to the entrance so Poppy didn't have to walk too far for the toilet. After parting with €56 for two nights we scanned our barcoded ticket, the big gate slid back and we parked up between two other motorhomes on the gravel. There was space for about 100 vans but we chose one of the 50 spots that came with electricity to give the batteries a treat. We made a plan to stick the ticket to the door handle whenever we were in the van. Vicky could just imagine going out to take Poppy in the middle of the night and getting locked out of the compound!

    It didn't take us long to get the tandem down and cycle to the NDSM ferry point, although we did need to wait for a bridge to open and let a large boat through. We are almost getting used to it by now! The city runs free pedestrian and bike ferries between various points on the river and they are hugely popular. We waited about 15 minutes, taking in the floating 'Botel', the grafittid submarine and the pancake boat in the harbour area.

    Our transport came and we squeezed on with the other 200+ people. The blue and white boat zipped us accross the IJ to west of the city where we headed towards Noordermarkt. The cycle tracks were great when they were open but several junctions were undergoing work and nobody knew where to go. There were a great number of tourists mixed in with a few locals and you can imagine the mayhem, with hundreds of bicycles and mopeds cutting accross lanes, stopping, turning and generally being confused. Between Vicky looking at Maps.Me and Will steering around hazards there wasn't much chance to take in the sights, but it was still miles beter than walking and we felt a lot safer on the tandem than we did in many cities.

    The streets and canals were layed out in a grid pattern. Noordermarkt was located in one of these long straight roads, with two lines of stalls taking over the car lanes. We again left the bike chained to itself and entered the gauntlet! It was very busy and difficult to move at times. Vicky was rudely barged to one side by a couple of women and to her shame, barged one of them back when she encountered them later on. On offer was a mix of fruit, veg, raw and processed meats and fish, quality clothing and jewellery. We picked up some mushrooms and beansprouts and were a bit shocked when the seller charged us €5.50. It seemed a lot of things were priced highly for the privilage of buying them at this particular market. A greek stall was selling spinach in filo and pepper stuffed with rice at a reasonable price, so we had lunch on the go. For desert we found traditional Dutch poffertjes - like fluffy, mini scotch pancakes cooked to order, topped with a knob of butter and more than a sprinkling of icing sugar. We'd both have these again if we saw them!

    We were relieved to find the tandem still there and peddled our way towards the Sex Museum - a 'must see' when visiting Amsterdam. Vicky had visited with her friend Mel when they were at uni more than 15 years ago, so was looking forward to a return visit. The museum has a range of displays; artifacts and art from different cultures, photos, comic books and life size models. Many of them poke fun at sex, such as the old flasher in his mac that moved out of the shadows on rails.

    When we'd finished looking round it was getting hot and we needed to get back to Poppy, so returned to the ferry point at the beautiful Station Centraal. This stately red brick building with its two gold faced clock towers was resplendent in the afternoon sunshine. The multilayered bike racks behind it were also an impressive sight as we waited for our boat. It was crowded on board and some people decided they needed to move further forward, despite the lack of space. One person in particular pushed past Vicky and stood very close behind Will, casually holding on to the rear handle bar of our tandem!

    Back at Martha Motorhome, Poppy had enjoyed having the electric fan on while we'd been out, settling easily into her bed after a little walk. We chilled with her and ate tea, but thanks to the bike, we still had plenty of energy to head back into central Amsterdam that evening. We chose to go on foot and once again took the free ferry over the river. We planned to visit Abraxas, one of the many coffeeshops this city is famous for. We caught the first ferry that arrived, meaning we needed to walk further once we docked on the south bank but we really enjoyed taking in the night time sights. The city lights had been beautiful from the river as they reflected off the water. Now we walked among them, through quiet streets, past the marina where huge houseboats were moored, some with pontoon terraces. One of these supported a communal play area and long picnic table where a dozen or so residents had gathered to make use of the warm evening. Many boats had golden fairy lights illuminating their cabins or strung above their decks and arched bridges were lit by bright bulbs tracing their outline. It seemed quite magical at points.

    Reaching the cannabis corridor the pavements were lined with bright display windows pedalling all sorts of seeds, leaves, buds, block, oils and the paraphernalia that went with them. These establishments were intersected by mouth watering bakeries selling cream cakes and pastries, chip shops and pizza places. We saw several coffeeshops as we walked along, with people sitting around low tables sharing hookah pipes and bongs. As you can imagine the atmosphere was pretty chilled out and we enjoyed people watching, especially the expressions on our fellow night owls' faces.

    Neon lights alerted us to Abraxas coffeeshop down a narrow alleyway. The staff were very helpful, with one bar selling drinks and snacks and another with a digital menu, selling cannabis products. We bought a couple of vegan blueberry muffins and climbed the steep wooden spiral staircase to the first floor where we found a couple of low stools. The air was smokey but thankfully tobacco was prohibited and the open window we were next to provided a cooling freshness. Coffeeshops aren't allowed to sell alcohol but one of the 'Abraxas Crew' brought us a good coffee and an elderflower lemonade to sip on. After a while we found ourselves relaxing and grinning. The atmosphere was chilled with pairs and small groups drifting in and out, sharing the curved wooden benches that made a U shape around 3 of the 4 walls. It was proving to be an enjoyable experience, enhanced by a frothy hot chocolate and a little Dutch stroopwafel biscuit for Vicky. Nearing 11pm we happily made our way back to the central station ferry port and took the boat back to our side of the river.
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  • Day6

    Noord Amsterdam Street Art

    August 4, 2017 in the Netherlands ⋅

    Yesterday was all about the great Dutch masterpieces. Today it's all about the great masterpieces of Dutch street art.

    First, we stopped off at Buiksloterweg before heading to NDSM-werf, a derelict shipyard turned avant-garde arts community. NDSM is only 15 minutes upriver from Centraal station. Creativity oozes from every corner with its über cool, post-modern warehouse full of crazy installation art. Nearby an estate of houses built out of recycled shipping containers dot the landscape.

    One of the exhibitions included the Barbie peepshow. Pay one or two euros and you get to "watch crazy stuf [sic] between her legs". Ricky was curious but too scared to take the plunge into the seedy world of Barbie (art)porn. Jason on the other hand felt right at home with a beer 🍻 in his hand, sitting on the beach, as he immersed himself into the bohemian lifestyle of an avant-garde model.
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  • Day56

    Days Fly By

    July 1, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    We've been having a great time with Sophie, Jacob and Augie during their visit. The night before last we went out to dinner at Buurtboerderij. A farm to table restaurant that doubles as a social service support for people who may be struggling with one thing or another in their lives. I struck up a conversation with Peter, a guy about my age, who serves as a counselor and all around supporter for the place. He explained that there are about 75 volunteers who keep the place going. Not sure about the funding, but I'm pretty sure the city supports the project in one way or another. I'll ask next time.

    The setting is on a working farm within city limits. It is green and lovely. Garden seating is scattered around the place. The food was really good. Nancy and I have both been struck by the relatively small numbers of 'homeless' people struggling on the streets. This despite a demographic of leniency similar to Santa Cruz. These programs must be working. Social fabric is quite different as well. Seems much less 'dog eat dog' than in the States.

    Last night we arrived home to a lovely dinner provided by Sophie and Jacob. Basically personal sized bruschetta with some delicious toppings.

    Today Sophie and Nancy headed over to Quaker Meeting. They met a couple from Rotterdam who've offered to show us around later this summer. This afternoon we took the ferry north to the Ij-hallen flea market. It touts itself as the biggest such market in Europe. What a scene! We all wandered for hours and hours before hoofing it back to Tuinstraat and our summer home. The photo shows Nancy and Sophie at the end of the day.

    The final photo is of my find at the market. I'd been looking for a small garden gnome with just the right personality to put out with our bienvenido welcome mat when we stop at campgrounds in the camper. I found it!
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  • Day33

    Amsterdam

    August 19, 2017 in the Netherlands ⋅

    Looking around the city. Bikes everywhere. They rule the roads in the city. Went to have a look in the Red district. Very interesting but sad that this still exists. But we were still nosey and went to see the ladies in the windows. Smelt the air....full of dope. They have special coffee shops for smoking the stuff and eating special cookies. Gave this a miss.Read more

  • Day2

    Amsterdam

    June 16, 2016 in the Netherlands ⋅

    Heute fast 4 Stunden durch die quirlige Stadt gebummelt und haben schon sehr viel gesehen. Es gefällt uns sehr gut. Aber jetzt tun uns etwas die Füße weh und es ziehen Wolken auf, deshalb sind wir mit der Fähre zurück gefahren. Für Morgen haben wir uns schon Tagestikets für Hop On Hop Off Cruises durch die Grachten gekauft. Dann brauchen wir nicht so viel zu laufen.

    Stellplatz: http://www.amsterdamcitycamp.nl
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  • Day13

    Leaving Amsterdam and Rotterdam

    May 7, 2015 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

    Despite high taxes and excessive government regulation, Amsterdam is a city that can barely function. Overpopulation and choking traffic are problems that the government has not been able to solve. We caught the bus at 5:30 pm in front of the NH Barbizon Hotel, a grandly beautiful modern interior in a historic building. We used their rest rooms before leaving to hit a traffic jam that delayed our return to Rotterdam about an hour. Hal and Sharon Miles happened to be in Horizon Court, so without even removing our jackets, we dined with them. I went back out on deck to grab a few shots of the sunset as we left Rotterdam.Read more

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