by Stephan / 23 May '20
It has been a few weeks since we have been in the corona virus lockdown. Working from home sure makes things easier and would think it is less stressful but this surely is not the case. We have been avoiding big crowds or any other place for that matter where we can risk to catch or spread the virus. Since we can't travel internationaly I thought I would book us a weekend away locally in the Netherlands, just to take a break, recharge ourselves and not think about what has been happening the last few weeks.
Off to Friesland we go!! I was very optomistic when booking the accommodation, not looking at the "fineprint" I booked the one not as exaaaaactly as on the photos, but it sure was totally worth it. The photos show accommodation in big wine barrels but you also have the room option (which I didn't notice). The wine barrels will almost cost you double the price if you are interested though.
Upon arrival which was past the normal check in time we were welcomed by a very friendly young gentleman, explaining us the whole set up and taking us through the check in procedure, seamless! It is a very small town so everything was closed by the time we arrived so we had to settle for a "cup of soup" for dinner, luckily we had something small on the way to the accommodation so we were not too bothered.
Well rested Saturday morning we got up and get ready for breakfast. With the corona situation we had to book our time for breakfast, we agreed to 9:30. As we arrived for breakfast downstairs the table was prepared, with our breakfast on table already so there is no user interaction. The only interaction was us and the coffee pot which had hand sanitizer next to it. Overall everything felt clean and the steps were taken to prevent the virus from spreading.
The plan for today is to rent the bicycles from the hotel and cycle to Sneek, which is about +/- 40km one way, depending which route you take. The hotel staff showed us the bike parking at the back of the hotel and off we go. Just cycling through the open green grass fields felt so calming, away from the hustle in bustle in the city. We appreciated it so much just to be outside and be able to do this activity, not even mentioning the great weather. Looking around as we cycling everything felt like an fairy tale, stopping every few minutes to take a photo. The stopping and taking photos also happened to be our luck that we don't go on our planned route, which was with fairy over water. We were informed by local resident that the "pont" is closed and we have to take longer route around small town to reach Sneek. Few km's we biked through small town where we took a break for coffee and appeltaart, obviously in the weird situation we in, no patrons allowed inside the restaurants so we settled for small bench outside next to the road. Recharged and back on the road.
In the distance we see the famous "waterpoort", we made it! Parked our bikes and walked around the city. Stores are open with hand sanitizer in front of every entrance, no restaurants are open but some do sell outside few drinks and snacks. It is a weird situation. There are also no public toilets which makes it really difficult. We walk around town and realize how vibey it must be to visit this town outside of corona sitauation. On our way back to our bikes we pass restaurant selling take away bags with 5 beers and some peanuts, obviously we support them and buy one for 10 euros. Back on our bikes enroute back to Stavoren.
Just the thought off having to cycle 40km back on city bikes was not the best but try not to think about it we got on and off we go. This time we get headwinds and slightly different route, along the coast. At one point we took break, opened the beers and enjoyed the view from the hill over the ocean watching the kite surfers. Back at the hotel we walked around town, got pizza and managed to get open grocery store for few beers and some fruit. What a great day, so glad we braved to bike to Sneek.
Our last day Sunday we head to Leeuwarden, everything closed off course but great to see the city. We walked around, watching the architecture, Belinda doing "modern dancing" in front of the Oldehove and enjoying the great weather outside. Nothing much was happening, also it is Sunday but still managed to get a feel of Leeuwaarden. Shortly after we head back to Amsterdam, taking the A7 across "afsluitdijk", which was quite something to see.
For quick trip in the Netherlands we would definitely recommend going to Friesland. Netherlands is small but there are some great areas worth exploring and Friesland is definitely one of them. The history behind it is also quite fascinating, do some research on it before you go. We can't wait to go back to explore even more.
Hotel de Vrouwe van Stavoren
Cost: €166.10 Tourist Tax: €9.80 Bike hire: €15.00 Total: €190.90
Cost: €140.62 Fuel: €39.71 Total:€178.33
- Stavoren & surrounds
- Saint Boniface Church
Because of Covid-19 everything was still closed but we managed to get some pizzas the Saturday eve which was €.
Belinda's legs were way too tired from the cycling the previous day but I still managed to head out for 5km run along the same route we came cycling back from Sneek right next to the coast