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Durgerdam: a lovely bikeride

After what feels like weeks and weeks of endless rain suddenly the first weekend of October is unseasonably mild. Warm and sunny, it feels like a true Indian Summer. Levi suggests we enjoy this last warm weekend and take a bikeride to Durgerdam, a tiny village along the IJ north of Amsterdam.

We take the free ferry to Amsterdam north from behind Central Station, cycle for a few minutes, then find and follow the endless dike. It's lovely out here! The dike is lined with charming wooden houses with quaint facades. People sit in the sun on benches outside their houses, reading and relaxing. We are not the only ones who have had this bright idea, the dike is swarming with people riding bicycles. It feels like 'escaping to the countryside'.

Durgerdam Skyline

Durgerdam is quite a long ride. We take our time, going at a leasurely pace, enjoying our surroundings. After more than an hour we arrive at our destination and it is teenie tiny. Basically little more than one street facing the IJ. But what a view! We sit and have a drink (we brought our own water, there is a shortage of cafés and terraces. I think we passed only two watering holes on our 1h10m trip. They were filled to capacity).

It doesn't look like there's much else to do here, so we mount our bikes for the return journey, enjoying ourselves all the way home. If the weather's nice and you feel like getting out of the city: Durgerdam is a lovely ride.


View of the Amsterdam docks

view of Amsterdam docks in NorthI was working in Amsterdam North a little while ago and I feel the need to share with you this photo of the view of the docks.

How glorious the sun and the IJ river are and how ruggedly industrial the skyline!


Take the ferry to Amsterdam North

The ferry to Amsterdam NorthA few years ago, I had a job in Amsterdam North for a while. It took me a half hour to get to work, but I remember I loved taking the ferry to North every day, come wind, rain or sunshine. The trip alone is worth it, even if you have nowhere specific to go. From thet IJ river you have a good view of the back of Central Station and the towers of the lovely Saint Nicholas Church behind it. Best of all: this boat ride is completely free!

The ferries leave from the pier behind Amsterdam Central Station. There are three different ferries. This picture is of the IJplein ferry, which takes you east. This trip takes about 7 minutes and drops you off nowhere in particular. There are appartment buildings here, there's a supermarket a ways down the road and right on the pier where you arrive, there's a tiny coffee shack, called Al Ponte, which serves reasonably good Italian coffee with a smile.

The two ferries in the middle of the pier leave for Buiksloterweg, which is fairly centrally located for anywhere you'd like to go in North. There's a cafe there (De Pont), which I've never been to, but which gets mixed reviews from other visitors. The trip only takes a few minutes, so ferrywise, it's not that big.

The ferry that goes west takes around 10 minutes and goes to the NDSM area in North. Lots of creative companies have offices here. Underground techno parties and festivals are held here (Voltt Loves Summer for instance). And the fabulous IJkantine is located right on the docks. You can have a drink here, lunch or even dinner. What better way to say goodbye to the Summer than by sitting at the waterside with a nice coffee, enjoying the sun, the waves, watching the boats go by, and just chilling in the laidback vibe?

If there's a sunny Sunday afternoon somewhere in the near future, take the ferry, head North! And sit back and relax.

Ferries to Buiksloterweg leave every few minutes. The one to IJplein leaves every fifteen minutes or so, the one to NDSM goes every half hour. See the lighted signs at the pier to see which ferry goes where.