I found a new hangout: Amsterdam North!
Just like many other inhabitants of Amsterdam, I was born in the countryside. But just like most residents of Amsterdam, as soon as I moved to Amsterdam, I didn’t bother with the countryside anymore and everything outside the ring road (what we see as the city border, even though the city stretches so much further) is just a "different country". But sometimes, a little trip abroad is nice, and Amsterdam North just happens to have all the ingredients for a wonderful day out abroad.
With my bike I cross through the city-centre, I go through the tunnel underneath Central Station (finally finished! And it’s beautiful with a magnificent picture of a seascape from ca. 1700, build out of Delft blue tiles) Behind Central Station, I take the Buiksloterwegveer, which is a free ferry.
The ferry is crowded, but as soon as I reach the deck, I calm down. For me, the ferries to the North have always something magical. They take me away from the busy city centre and when I’m on the deck and watch the city glide by, I feel very privileged to be living here.
I used to take one of the ferries to the village where I was raised. Back then, North was just a stop, but it has grown and developed so much over the past years, and ever since it is booming!
From the ferry, I cycle to the Sixhaven, to reach it I have to walk with bicycle in hand across the narrow lock. Here, at the marina, is the reason why I made the crossing today; Herberg het Mandelahuisje.
The Mandelahuisje (House of Mandela) is located at maybe one of the most magnificent places of Amsterdam North; at the tip of the marina, between the Buiksloterwegveer and the IJplein ferry. The inn started as a place to celebrate, feed and restore connections. The inn consists of a big conservatory, which is used as a room for forgiveness or dream-factory. But most guests visit because of the large summer terrace on the water and the absolute amazing view over the Central Station and the big cruise ships at the Cruise Terminal.
With my feet in the grass in a lazy beach chair, I enjoy a delicious glass of wine and a plate with sausage and cheese from Amsterdam North. Around 4 PM I suddenly hear a loud horn…the cruise ship de Koningsdam is leaving today!
From my place, which temporarily lies in the shadow because of the floating apartment building that goes by, I wave to the passengers on board and think what a privilege it is to stay in Amsterdam; guest or resident!
While the boats, ferries and containerships pass by, I decide to stay a little while longer to feast on one of the delicious daily specials and of course the cake, freshly baked every day by the hostess. I am already wondering when I am able to make the crossing again, isn’t the market in the IJ-Hallen coming up soon?
Wendy de Ridder
Reservations Agent XO Hotels