Holland Habitation,Netherlands,Sights,Travel

Parks and Recreation

One of the perks of Dennis’s new job is that once a fortnight he has Friday off. I foresee many weekend mini-breaks in our future, but for his first Friday off we went to a park in Amsterdam and a beach on the coast with his family.

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The park is called Amsterdamse Bos, is technically part of Amstelveen and is right by the airport. It’s also huuuge! We walked a fair way from the car park through a wooded area out to a big open field by the swimming part of the lake and set up our picnic area under the trees by the water. It was very peaceful and pretty.

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There is so much to do here, lots of walking and biking paths, swimming, canoeing, paddle-boating, lots of climbing and ‘fun forest’ equipment including a flying-fox and there’s even a goat farm somewhere in there! Dennis’s brother and sister went swimming, and we played some shuttlecock on the grassy area then mostly lazed around in the shade and had lunch.  I was very impressed by the awesome climbing equipment for kids, even leading out to a little island to play on that was only accessible by climbing or swimming or on a self-propelled ferry! I could just imagine what an exciting adventure it would be to clamber around, falling and jumping into the water and generally having a lot of fun there.
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There was also a little cafe/kiosk where you could hire the kayaks and paddle-boats or buy an ice-cream.

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The swimming area was full of kids and the area that is roped off is not too deep so a good place to splash around in, although you can swim further out if you wish.  The ducks weren’t too happy about sharing though!

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Being so close to the airport meant we also got to see and hear lots of aeroplanes coming in very low above us to land at Schiphol Airport. I didn’t mind the noise though, I love watching aeroplanes taking off and landing! The airport is just on the other side of the trees in the third picture.
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Later in the day we drove north of Amsterdam to IJmuiden to the sea! IJmuiden is where ships leave from to travel to Newcastle in England and it has a very long coastline of beach. It’s been over a year since I have last visited the ocean, the last time I stood on a beach was January 2013 in Bondi, Sydney! Having never lived more than five minutes from a beach for my entire life before moving to London I have definitely been missing the smell of salt water and the sound of waves, so it was lovely that Dennis and his family took me to the ocean! I also liked the fact that I was technically standing in the North Sea.

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We found a very cool two-faced sand sculpture that someone had left behind, just before it got devoured by the incoming tide!

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We walked along the beach until we came to a dike. I don’t know if you ever heard the children’s story about the little Dutch boy who had to stick his finger in the hole of a Dutch dike to stop the ocean from flooding the country but I always imagined dikes to be like great big stone walls surrounding the country to keep the water out. But they don’t look like that all!

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After we sat and watched the sunset the clouds came over and it started to rain just as we got back to the car. Luckily the one with the cheeky bird on it wasn’t ours!
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If you’re interested in finding out more about Amsterdamse Bos check out the website here. If you want to read the story of “The Little Dutch Boy” a version of it can be found here.
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