A slower start to our final day in Amsterdam staying around the hotel until our 11.00 a.m. checkout time. Hotel 2 Stay had been a good choice, spacious studio rooms coupled with maid service and only a 6 minute train journey from Amsterdam Central with trains departing every few minutes. Sloterdijk is described as an up and coming district, it’s a very safe area with full transport links and several hotels including a Mercure and Holiday Inn. There’s also a branch of Spar on the station forecourt, which was convenient for our morning croissants.
Looking at our map for ideas of how to spend our final day, the only direction we hadn’t yet explored was north east, so we hopped on a train into Amsterdam Central and then connected four minutes later to Lelystad, the limit of our Amsterdam and Region travel ticket. The journey took about an hour, most of which was scenic, the train passing canalside homes and nearing Lelystad the Oostvaardersplassen Nature Reserve. From the train window we spotted dozens of deer and horses roaming on the reserve, it would have been interesting to take a walk there but the train did not stop nearby.
On reaching Lelystad, we found ourselves to be in a suburban town of 1970’s architecture. The shopping centre straddled several streets and in one of the squares a Saturday food market was taking place so we passed some time browsing the stalls and sampling yet more cheese and olives. Upturned umbrellas hung across the streets adding a splash of colour but I’m unsure of their significance, only assuming it rains a lot in Lelystad. Our plan had been to stay for lunch but as we had finished our tour of the town a little earlier than expected, we headed to the station for the next train back to Amsterdam where we soon found the perfect cafe for our late lunch.
A stroll through the maze of narrow, canalside streets without much of a plan followed, just stopping when and where something took our interest. The Prinsengracht district was particularly lively with families enjoying the afternoon sunshine.
On our way back to Amsterdam Central we walked along the Oostbank as far as the public library and Science Museum. Views across the water were good, and would have been even better if there hadn’t been some large cranes marring our view. It was then time to return to Sloterdijk to collect our luggage and head back to Schiphol Airport for our 10.00 p.m. flight back home.
I was intrigued by this huge clock hanging in the departure hall. The image of a man projected on to the clock face appears to paint the hands of the clock and then wash them off again every minute. Schiphol covers a vast area and we passed our time until boarding wandering around the airside shops and then having a snack in one of the many cafes.
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