On Whitsunday, or Pinksteren (still a Bank Holiday here) my other half and I set off on our bicycles to visit our allotment garden in de Eendracht. On the way we took a detour and explored the newly planted area in De Tuinen van West. (The Westerly Gardens.) This is a centuries-old polder landscape adjoining the outskirts of Amsterdam and Halfweg, largely unused by the residents of Amsterdam. In 2007, Osdorp and Geuzeveld-Slotermeer councils presented a plan to the Amsterdam town council, proposing a total regeneration of this area and it was approved by the powers-that-be!
The ambitious plan should be totally completed by 2020. It will create possibilities for; allotment gardening, picnicking, sunbathing, horse-riding, cycling, hiking, fruit-picking, a visit to the sauna and canoeing along the canals. There will also be a large, protected wetland/eco area to attract birds and wildlife. It’s already working because yesterday we spotted a spoonbill flying overhead.
As you can see from the photos, the plan is still in a fairly embryonic stage but the boardwalk is already installed and many trees have already been planted. We also came across some adorable Falabella foals (miniature horses) on the way! It was tempting to pick one of them up and take him home in the rucksack…
To complete our cycle ride we called in at the Cantina which is part of Het Rijk van de Keizer, a restaurant and events company. It has its own vegetable garden, event/dining halls and a smaller eatery, the aforementioned Cantina. Food and drinks are served from a converted railway wagon overlooking a canal, away from the noise of the Amsterdam-Halfweg motorway. The Cantina is open in the summer months for snacks and light meals. It can also be hired for a party or brainstorming session. Het Rijk van de Keizer has capacity for parties and weddings catering for up to 400 guests! If you have less ambitious plans then the Cantina is the perfect place to escape the busyness of the city and sip a coffee while admiring the polder landscape through the Willow trees. You can even enjoy your beverages on the back seat of a 1970s car. How it got there I don’t know, perhaps a failed cut-and-shut job? It doesn’t really matter but anyone who fancies a nostalgic, backseat snog can indulge themselves!
Idiom: in the pink* Fig. in very good health; in very good condition, physically and emotionally.