Netherlands
Kanaleneiland

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    • Day2

      Utrecht

      October 22, 2022 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Völlig ungeplant ergibt sich die Möglichkeit einen Stopp in Utrecht einzulegen - seit Jahren meine absolute Lieblingsstadt in Holland! 😍

      Am Morgen lernen wir, dass die Bahnstrecke Hengelo - Arnhem an diesem Wochenende gesperrt ist. Die Route führt nun mit Umstiegen in Zwolle und Utrecht quer durchs Land 😄 Und dauert drei anstatt einer Stunde.

      Wir nutzen die Chance also und verlängern die Umsteigezeit um 4 Stunden.

      Der Ablauf: Mittagessen, durch die Straßen laufen, zum Kaffee einkehren - und die Stadt genießen. 👍

      Mit der Gracht, den ganzen Cafés direkt am Wasser und den vielen Geschäften lädt das Zentrum einfach zum Verweilen ein. 😎 18 Grad und Sonne tun ihr Übriges.

      Meine Meinung über Utrecht verfestigt sich weiter…
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      Traveler

      Eine Fahrradtour durch Utrecht morgens um 8:00 Uhr ist ein Erlebnis der besonderen Art. So viele Fahrradfahrer auf engstem Raum, das ist unglaublich 👍😀

      10/22/22Reply
      Traveler

      Toller Ausblick

      10/25/22Reply
       
    • Day3

      Utrecht

      June 7, 2022 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Unsere Reise führt uns heute nach Utrecht, einer kleinen Studentenstadt die auch 'Das kleine Amsterdam' genannt wird. Hier ist es nicht ganz so hektisch wie in einer Großstadt, und es wirkt eher wie ein kleiner Vorort. Entlang der Oudegracht kann man wunderbar entlangschlendern, und an beiden Seiten des Ufers findet man eine Vielzahl an Bars und Restaurants die direkt am Wasser gelegen sind.
      In einem 'Cheese & More' machen wir halt und probieren uns einmal durchs ganze Sortiment, begleitet von einem Verkäufer der uns mit seiner entspannten und freundlichen Art all unsere Fragen beantwortet. Im Großen und Ganzen finde ich die Menschen hier sehr aufgeschlossen und hilfsbereit. Ein paar Schritte weiter entdecken wir eine Fahrradgarage. Hier kann man seinen fahrbaren Untersatz von wenigen Stunden bis hin zu mehreren Tagen für einen günstigen Preis parken. Zudem werden noch kostenlose Ladestationen für E-Bikes, Reparaturservices und eine kleine Auswahl an Zubehör angeboten. Ich bin begeistert, und es bietet schon mal einen kleinen Einblick in eine mögliche autofreie Zukunft. Selbst im Supermarkt ist das Bezahlen an Selbstbedienungskassen schon salonfähig geworden. So kann man sich bereits am Eingang einfach einen Scanner schnappen und während dem Einkauf bereits die Ware scannen, um dann am Ende mit der Übertragung der Daten den Bezahlvorgang zu beschleunigen. Nur seinen Bon darf man nicht vergessen, der öffnet einen die Tür nach draußen indem man ihn scannt.
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    • Day3

      Bunk Hotel :)

      June 7, 2022 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Unser Hostel hier in Utrecht ist direkt am Fluss gelegen. In einer ehemaligen Kirche, die zu einer Unterkunft umfunktioniert wurde, befindet sich im Erdgeschoß ein Restaurant in dem man die außergewöhnliche Kulisse auf sich wirken lassen kann. Die Orgel und die Balustrade sind noch original erhalten, und einmal im Monat kann man bei kleinen Konzerten den Klängen der Orgel lauschen. Dank unserem netten Gastgeber durften wir sogar einen kleinen Einblick hinter die Kulissen bekommen und sie von innen besichtigen.Read more

    • Day7

      Utrecht

      August 30, 2019 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Um Zeit zu sparen legen wir gleich nach der Schleuse an und wollen mit dem Taxi ins Zentrum fahren. Das ist hier in Holland aber eindeutig der falsche Gedanke! Taxi?? Nach Anruf 40 Minuten Wartezeit! Eigentlich eh klar, hier fährt man nicht Auto. Das Hauptverkehrsmittel in diesem Land ist eindeutig das Boot oder das Fahrrad. Schließlich kämpfen wir uns zur Bahn durch und fahren zum Centraalbahnhof. Von dort trappeln wir zu Fuß weiter ins schöne Zentrum von Utrecht.
      OUDE GRACHT heißt es, dort spielt sich das Leben ab. Viele kleine Lokale und Läden säumen die Ufer. Abends ist hier sicher noch einiges mehr los, sind mehr Lokale offen.
      Unangenehm auffallend ist hier wie auch in Amsterdam die penetrante Fahrweise der Fahrrad-Fahrer. Hemmungslos, schnell und ohne Auszuweichen flitzen die Fietsers einem um die Ohren. Dass es hier nicht zu mehr Unfällen kommt wundert unsereines.....
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    • Day16

      Utrecht

      August 21, 2022 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Vor der Heimreise wollten wir uns nochmal Utrecht ansehen. Und was soll ich sagen - der Umweg hat sich gelohnt eine schöne und sehr lebendige Studentenstadt. Auch diese Stadt steht nur als mögliches Reiseziel fest um sie und ihr Nachtleben nochmal richtig kennen zu lernen.

      Abschluss unseres Kurztrips dann zum Essen in den Ahlerstedter Schützenhof. Eine echte Überraschung. Sehr schmackhafte Gut-Bürgerliche Küche.
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    • Day7

      Endlich Utrecht

      October 13, 2019 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Kein Regen !! Also fahren wir nach einem ausgiebigen Frühstück, das uns unsere Wirtin Wilma in unserem Zimmer serviert, nach Utrecht. Da besagte Wirtin uns zugeraten hat, mit dem Auto in die Stadt zu fahren, da es jede Menge Parkplätze gibt, folgen wir ihrem Rat. Wir parken in einem der Parkhäuser des Einkaufzentrums Hoog Catherijne, wo wir leicht einen Platz finden-- im übrigen schient dies ein riesen Parkhaus zu sein (nebenbei bemerkt: 3 Stunden Parkzeit kosteten 13,50 €- ja Parken in Utrecht ist teuer). Von hier aus ist es aber nicht weit bis in den Altstadtkern. Dieser Bereich wird durch die aus dem 14. Jh,. stammende Oudegracht und Nieuwe Gracht begrenzt, die zu den ältesten des Landes zählen. Wir nutzen eine sich ungeplant bietende Gelegenheit und machen eine Grachtenrundfahrt über die Oudegracht und den Singel, sehr informativ und interessant. Damit konnten wir uns schon einen kleinen Überblick verschaffen. Während das Boot so langsam dahinschippert, werden wir gegen Ende doch müde und müssen für einen Kaffee in einem Cafe einkehren. Wir finden etwas zu, Draußen sitzen in der Pauwstraat und freuen uns über den Sonnenschein. In der Stadt ist heute viel los, ab Mittag haben viele Geschäfte geöffnet, es sind also viele Fußgänger unterwegs. Dazu kommen unzählige Radfahrer, die (bekanntermaßen) hier in NL keine Rücksicht auf Verluste nehmen. Als Schlenderer muss man da schon ganz schön aufpassen. Nach dem ländlichen Idyll in unserer Unterkunft kommt dies ein bisschen wie ein Kulturschock daher. Wir wagen uns kaum vorzustellen, wie es in dem viel größeren Amsterdam zugeht.Read more

    • Day3

      2. Tag: Utrecht

      August 31, 2022 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Heute ging’s mit dem Auto ein bisschen über eine Stunde nach Utrecht!
      Die Stadt wird oftmals gar nicht so viel Beachtung geschenkt, zu unrecht!
      Durch die ganze Altstadt zieht sich der Fluss „Oudegracht“ - überall gibt es kleine Restaurants und Bars. Außerdem kann man auch Bootstouren machen, sich Kajaks ausleihen oder Stand-up paddeln und so die Stadt vom Wasser aus erkunden.
      Die Studentenstadt hat aber nicht allzu viele Sehenswürdigkeiten zu bieten. Neben einer Vielzahl an Museen gibt es noch den Dom - der aber natürlich gerade renoviert wird und deswegen von Planen und einem Baugerüst umgeben ist. Naja, schade Schokolade!
      Wir stehen heute auf dem Campingplatz „Budget Camping Utrecht“. Mit dem Bus brauchen wir ca. 10 Minuten ins Centrum.
      Zu dem Campingplatz gibt es nicht viel zu sagen. Dieser wird gerade komplett ausgebaut und es gibt nur ein paar Plätze auf dem Rasen. Für 14 Euro die Nacht ohne Dusche und Strom ist es jedoch das beste Angebot in der Umgebung.
      Nun lassen wir uns ein kühles Bier aus einer Utrechter Brauerei schmecken und schlendern noch durch den abendlichen Trubel der Stadt!
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    • Day2

      25 Hours

      April 26, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

      We made it! We are in the Netherlands and settled into our Airbnb and guys, let me tell you, we are darn proud of ourselves. I feel a bit silly writing this in black and white but it’s the truth and it must be shouted from the canals and tulip fields. Planning this trip meant contingency planning and lots of plan b’s. We worried about travel hiccups, meltdowns, kiddos struggling, no sleep woes and our own inability to keep it all together should we have to recalibrate our expectations and move to plan b. We worried about customs issues, managing security checks and all airport logistics and so much more.

      Our thoughtfulness helped but it doesn’t necessarily ready you for the weird unexpected things that happen. Things like waltzing through customs without a stamp, question or second look. All that paperwork we had ready but nope, they just let us come into the country for fun! OK then, we’ll take it. Or, clearly booking a minivan for all 6 of us and our luggage only to find out that actually meant a small suv. We are very thankful for Caroline, who graciously offered to transport a few of our crew and some bags as well.

      We’re 25 hours into our trip and I can truthfully say I’m too tired to finish this post properly. That’s what a 1/2 hr of sleep plus a cold will do to ya. More updates soon on how the rest of our first day went and where we’re headed next!

      Time for bed. Off to eat one last stroop waffle and maybe some paprika chips then straight to bed. ;)
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      Traveler

      Peek a boo

      4/26/18Reply
      Traveler

      You have so much to be proud of - you two could run a small country by yourselves. Huge logistics!! Well done - now go have fun, you've done it!!

      4/26/18Reply
      Traveler

      Maybe Nolan can smuggle me back a bottle of berenburg. :) Enjoy the travels! I'm following along intently. Please say 'hoi' to all of the family from Kathleen and I!

      4/26/18Reply
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    • Day5

      The Quiet of the Morning

      April 29, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

      Slowing down a wee bit last night and this morning has been a great choice for TELNAS. After an amazing day in Amsterdam touring the Anne Frank house, walking the city streets, feeling some rain on our faces and navigating a very busy and overwhelming Rijks museum, we were ready for a night of decompression. After once again thanking Caroline, Anneke, Kai and Nieske for their help and hospitality, the kids dispersed to their chosen activities. Liam to his loft space, the two boys to a world in Minecraft far far away, full of giggles and building and storing inventory, and Ava to some homework, nestled in beside me. The only major agenda item on our list for the evening was acquiring groceries and making a nice dinner.

      After some rest and time to ourselves, Trevor and I and the three littles walked the two minutes up the path to the shops to pick up what we needed for the night and coming few days. The kids each have 40 euros for the duration of our time in Holland and boy is it burning a hole in their pockets. Sully is desperate to find Pokémon and the other two are generally on the hunt for interesting treats. We left the kids at a pharmacy type store to scour the shelves for treasures while we went for groceries. It was a successful run for what we all felt we ‘needed’ - food for supper and fudge chocolate for the kids. Oh, and Ava found a very reasonably priced beauty blender, which she was very happy about snagging. Make-up application is important you know and having the right blender makes all the difference.

      On our way back, we left the kids at the park and came home to make a nice familiar spaghetti dinner. After cooking and clanging around, all four kids began to hover and pace as kids are wont to do when they’re hungry. We soon had dinner on the table and their full attention as they devoured. It was a time for a bit of TELNAS reflection, a team check in of sorts on how the day went and what was to come in the next few days. Highs, lows and thankfuls were shared. All of us agreed that the Anne Frank House was a high. Sully said walking the streets for such a long long time was his low, which I’m not sure entirely if that was because he has short legs and was feeling very tired overall or if it had something to do with being scared a few times with some near bike and car misses with my shouts and strong arm yanking him away from the roadway. Adjusting to the narrow streets, compression of thousands of people and cars and bikes a plenty has been tricky for us all but the 8 year old has felt it the most acutely.

      We sat for a bit longer and ran through the coming day’s agenda. The family reunion, timelines, packing up, saying goodbye to the Airbnb and the ever present expectations we have of them for the get together, such as that annoying difficult social task of looking everyone in the eye when they’re introduced, speaking clearly and being present and attentive to whom they are meeting. This can certainly be hard for kiddos and teens, especially in big gatherings and new situations. Watching them grow and practice their social navigation skills is a pleasure. They’re all doing wonderfully on this adventure - stretching and learning and it’s magic to be a part of.

      The quiet of the morning is waning - Sully is now up and our sappy lovey sleepy morning feeling we woke up with is transitioning to adulting thoughts of packing, breakfast and the drive to Friesland. Goodbye sleepy peaceful feeling; until tomorrow when we meet again.
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      Traveler

      Great pic!

      4/29/18Reply
      Traveler

      Looks like you are all having a wonderful go 'round. Love you all.

      4/29/18Reply
      Traveler

      Loving the journalling. Wonderful pictures!! I’m sure it’s driving mom crazy not to have her iPad but it’ll be back in her hands Thursday and she’ll be pleased to catch up!

      4/29/18Reply
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    • Day3

      8 Hours...

      April 27, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

      Of sleep! In a row! The sun is up, the neighbourhood is quiet and peaceful and all of the kiddos are still snoozing. Trevor’s gone for a run and I’m sitting on the couch nursing this cold with a hot tea, listening to the birds chattering all the while drinking in the smell of netherlands spring. Lilacs and magnolias are in bloom, neighbourhood cats are everywhere and locals are sleepily walking their dogs. It’s a national holiday today so that is likely why there aren’t bikes zooming by; everyone is resting and taking it easy this morning. I’m feeling much more myself today after the sleepless whirlwind that yesterday brought and am slowly waking up to what’s in store for day two!

      Today we have plans to enjoy King’s day here in Utrecht by hitting up a canal tour at 11. A planned quiet morning with a slow start to give us all some time to decompress and rest. After which we’ll come back to this beautiful Airbnb home for some lunch. We’ll then head to Caroline and Henk’s to meet up with their three rascals and head to Rotterdam to see the windmills. Famke, Caroline’s daughter, is on school holiday already and joined us yesterday for the airport pick up. She’s a lovely gal and all the little kids hit it off very well chatting and cracking us up at lunch yesterday. I’m looking forward to seeing how much Kai and Nieske have grown today too and watching all the kids interact and play. We’ll have dinner at Caroline’s home tonight as well.

      But as promised, let’s finish out yesterday’s account first. Now, where did I leave off. Oh right, breezing through customs and rental van woes. Seriously, why did the Netherlands not care who was coming for a visit? Sullivan was so excited to have his new passport stamped in Iceland as we transferred planes yesterday and cleared customs and was then disappointed to not have a flashy stamp from Netherlands. So weird! No complaints of course - it’s far better to waltz through rather than have to answer questions and nervously dig for paperwork - but still, so puzzled by the ease of this hurdle.

      It’s fun to sit here this morning and reflect on yesterday’s travel day. A good night's sleep adds a fresh perspective and a bit of distance. I’m smiling to myself at the funny quips all the kids said throughout the day. The kids handled themselves marvelously through all the “new” but a few times had us all covering our mouths trying to suppress our laughter. We hoped this trip would stretch us all, teach us to try new things and jump in openly to fun and new situations. Trevor and I have both worked hard to prep the kids to be open and that situations my be different than their expectations and to be mature and roll with the punches. As we were walking on our first flight yesterday, after all the nerves and logistics of getting all 6 of us through security behind us, Sully was navigating his way back to our seats in rows 32 and 33. People were filing politely down the aisles as Sullivan loudly yell/exclaims, as only a newly 8 year old can “THEY HAVE TV’S!!”. Each seat on the flight had its own tv, as most flights are wont to have these days but this revelation was pure magic to Sully. His relief and joy was felt by all around him. All fellow passengers, including all of us, cracked up and enjoyed the moment as he very happily found his seat and settled in for the long overnight flight - in front of his very own tv screen.

      The flight went smoothly overall. As predicted, I didn’t sleep, but that’s par for the course for me. But thankfully, Nolan and Sully slept for a good few hours. Liam and Trevor caught a bit of sleep as well but poor Ava struggled to get comfy and didn’t sleep either. All the kids took it in stride and before we knew it, we were losing altitude and preparing for landing in Iceland. We were all tired for our 1 hour layover in Iceland and zombie walked with the hundreds of other passengers - some transferring to France and others like us to Netherlands. Shuttle buses, teeming rain and snow, small waiting areas, long queues but after an hr we were seated on our second flight ready for our second leg of the journey. We were in the exit row this time and low and behold each seat had its own tv again! The joy! But this time, you had to press a button while simultaneously pulling on a lever to bring the tv up from its hidden compartment. Sullivan was over the moon! That tv, in seat 19e, has never seen more of a workout in its life.

      After breezing through customs we were greeted by Caroline, Aunt Anneke and Famke. It was such a relief having them there to help us navigate the airport and our rental car fiasco. We’re making do with a smaller suv but its not ideal. On the bright side, driving a smaller car through small streets and busy traffic has been a blessing in disguise. We followed Caroline past the Koekenhof and took in the brilliance of colourful tulips and ended up at a lovely cafe for lunch. As we settled in and got sorted with menus, Nolan in true Nolan style had trouble finding something to suit his tastes. Before he and Sullivan, our two pickiest eaters decided on pancakes for lunch, Trevor reminded him he needed to keep an open mind. Tired stretched weary Nolan leaned into his dad and with a shaky voice and near tears about to spring form his eyes, he said “I do have an open mind I just can’t find anything on the menu I like”. It was a very serious matter of course but the humour was not lost on us. Pancakes saved the day and both boys happily defended their lunch choice and gobbled up their traditional Netherlands pancake with joy.

      The rest of the night was a bit of a blur. Settling into our beautiful temporary home, a grocery run, backyard and nearby park romp, showers to wash off the grime of travel and bedtime tuck ins. I mindfully went from room to room to sing to each little kid and settle them for the night. When I asked Sullivan what his very favourite part of our trip so far was, without missing a beat he of course said the tv on the second flight. Nolan surprised me and said the tulips. He doesn’t miss much that kid and is very reflective. Ava was already asleep by the time I could get to her room so will have to ask her today. And Liam, who is too big for songs and cuddles but deserves to be asked too, said the sandwich he just ate was his favourite part. A perfect cheeky happy almost 16 year old response.

      Well, it’s time to rally the kids and get some warm oatmeal into us. Day two, here we come.
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      Traveler

      The way you write makes me feel like I'm sitting beside you sharing the cup of tea. Hope you're feeling better soon - bash on!!!

      4/27/18Reply
      Traveler

      What Grand Fun - enjoy. Hugs all 'round.

      4/27/18Reply
      Traveler

      Haha

      4/27/18Reply
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