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Author Topic: Amsterdam, Velsen Zuid (Pontplein) and Ijmuiden  (Read 2684 times)
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« on: March 19, 2007, 06:41:08 pm »

Hi All

I thought I would record the outcome of my recent visit to Amsterdam, Holland and thank all of those who offered advise before I left.

One thing you can never bank on are the weather, we had three days of rain and one of sun shine and the fact that the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam had only juts closed for a two year renovation.

Anyway, the Ship Spotting went well. The obligatory canal cruise in Amsterdam revealed many former barges being employed as house boats and I even saw a rescue craft (lifeboat) that had belonged at one time the CSO Wellserver on the canal.
An ideal spot for watching the likes on Inland Craft, Barges etc is at the rear of Amsterdam's Central Railway Station. Just walk straight trough the Station and you will come to the Het IJ - best position I found was on the pontoon used by the Fast Flying Ferry - just to the left of the blue and white passenger/vehicle ferries that work that area. Loads of traffic on the river and I would have stayed there all day if it hadn't been for the fact that  had my wife in tow ;-)  - the added advantage of taking photographs from that point is the cove available on the pontoon for waiting passengers.

Next it was off to Velsen Zuid (Pontplein) near to Ijmuiden on the Fast Flying Ferry (about 8 Euro's return journey). Great on the ferry (Rosana - piloted by Captain Jan-Paul Degeling) quite rough when it is at top speed and hitting the wake of other North Sea Canal user. Shame that the windows of the ferry are scratched so much that it makes photography impossible, as you pass the Ports of Amsterdam on the way.
We found that Velsen Zuid (Pontplein) was too far from Ijmuiden to walk and there didn't appear to be any public transport or taxi's passing. This was a shame as I wanted to photograph vessels passing through the locks. Some other time I expect. However all was not lost, as the pontoon at Velsen Zuid (Pontplein) makes an ideal base - there is a cafe on site which sells hot food and drinks, more importantly it also has a toilet! Lots of traffic passes this position and therefore lots of photographs taken.

I think in hindsight that it would have been a better idea to stay in a hotel in Ijmuiden rather than Amsterdam - more time to watch ships :-D

Hope this may be of help to others thinking of travelling to the North Sea Canal.

Regards

Steve Ellwood
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2007, 06:54:42 pm »

Hi Steve,

Nice to read your trip report, hope you had a nice time despite the bad weather!

Best regards from a rainy (again) Holland!

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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2007, 07:05:50 pm »

Hi 2nd Mate

Yes very good time, hotel was great, trams were great, beer was more expensive than in the UK, food good (although mayonaise with chips?Huh?).

I noticed the Easycruise (floating hotel) when in Amsterdam and quite like the idea of a cruise on it, taking in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Ostend - anyone out there been on it?

Regards

Steve Ellwood
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