Road trip – fourth stop: the Netherlands

posted in: knit | 2

After a “hyggelige” time in Denmark, we are ready for “gesellige time. The lonely places in Denmark are nice, but we like to be with people too. Meeting friends you only know from on another continent is special. And visiting them in their home country even more.

map roadtrip netherlands

After a quick stopover in St. Peter-Ording we want to see something new. So we drive towards west. Next stop is in the Netherlands. As we checked the wind and weather, we see not promising forecasts for the next few days.

roadtrip netherlands amsterdam view campervan

We head straight to Amsterdam, where we can park our campervan at the headquarter of Shakaloha. We know the owner Andre from Cape Town and have always good times with him. He lives in the northern part of the city. Just next to the house there is a ferry station. The central station is easy accessable by the free ferry (also free for bikes and scooters) where we hop on and discover the city by bike.

roadtrip netherland amsterdam stephen penelope shop front

Cycling into the heart of the city we soon find out, that a proper lock for your bike is necessary. We stop at a bike shop to buy a heavy lock (that you could also use as a weapon). Close by the bikeshop there is one of the soon-to-be-your-favorite yarn shop: Stephen and Penelope.

roadtrip netherland amsterdam stephen penelope

It’s Stephen West’s yarn selection, where they carry Madelinetosh, Malabrigo, Hedgehog Fibres, Quince & Co and more. They display the colours by hanging the skeins at the wall. After visiting some messy yarn stores in Denmark, this was a relief. Soon as you enter the store, you get a colour flash. And when you start petting the yarn, you start to groan. Really. Even my boyfriend starts doing it.

My boyfriend falls immediately in love with a green. What a surprise!  Stephen – as a great salesman- wraps his Askews Me shawl around his neck. My boyfriend wants exactly this shawl in his chosen green and another colour.

roadtrip netherlands amsterdam coffee KOKO

When I’m travelling I always try to ask locals, if they have any recommendations for me. While Stephen winds my yarn for the new shawl, we go to the coffee place he recommended: KOKO Coffee & Design. There you get good coffee and yummy sweets, also vegan cupcakes :-)

roadtrip netherland amsterdam stephen penelope

We bring Stephen a cappuccino and he hand me my yarn over. Of course I have to take a picture with him. He’s such a cutie, isn’t he?

roadtrip netherland amsterdam tour guide bike ride

The next day we meet our sexy, personal tour guide Kim :-) We know the guide since a couple of years from Cape Town. And finally we managed to see her outside of Africa. We cruise with our bikes through the city. But most of the time we spent in the coffee place Coffee & Coconuts to catch up.

The next day we wake up late. A bit too late. We drive straight to Wijk aan Zee where the wind forecast promises good wind. When we arrive, the wind just dies and it starts to rain. Although I don’t like it, but sometimes it’s true: the early bird catches the worm. Well, I’m more an owl…

Later the day, my beloved boyfriend reminds me, if I want to join Stephen at the knit night, we should go back. So we hurry back, I pack my yarn and needles and hop on the ferry to the center.

Upstairs from the shop there are seatings for the knit nights. With a common hobby it’s easy to get in touch and we had good laughs.

roadtrip netherland amsterdam stephen penelope knit night

Stephen isn’t there – instead I meet Nancy Marchant, the queen of Brioche. She’s a chatty person with a good sense of humour. Soon we find out, that we both will teach at the Swiss Wulle Festival. Before we all leave the place, I have to take a picture of them. Thank you ladies for this wonderful evening.

It reminds me also to my weekly knit’n’sip nights in Zurich which I miss so much. I miss you girls! It’s so much more fun to knit in company.

roadtrip netherland egmon aan zee paragliding dune overview

With sunny weather the next day we drive to Egmond aan Zee, which is a bit further north of Wijk. This time the plan is to fly. The wind blows straight towards the dune and it’s perfect to play/ fly around.

When we walk to the paragliding spot, we meet a pilot and ask him about the spot. He’s in a hurry and says, that his friend soon will show up. Then we find out, that we know this guy. The whole group who showed up, we know from Cape Town too. It was so much fun to see them and spend some time at the dunes.

roadtrip netherland egmon aan zee paragliding dune

After my accident in April this is the first time to paraglide again. First I want to see, if I’m able to do all the movements. In the flats I start to play with my glider and I realise soon it’s all good. Soon I try to walk up the dune – with my glider still above me. Suddenly the pictures of my accident pops up and I start to panic. I stop and have a break by watching the sea. Maybe I’m not yet ready for it. Hopefully time will heal.

Who would expect, that swiss come to Holland for paragliding?!

The sun is back again and brings some warm and nice weather. We enjoy the next day, do the laundry and have a drink at a beach bar. Catched by the beautiful view we spent the evening at the beach.

At the Berlin yarn festival in May I had a class about M.C.Escher. My friend told me about the Escher museum in Den Haag. Of course I want to visit it.

roadtrip netherland den haag escher museum

The museum is next to a park, where on sundays there are markets. We stroll through the market and have a lunch. Well feeded we enter the museum and have a blast. There are so many things to see. Over three floors you can explore his work. Bring some time. Two hours aren’t enough.

After two days in a row, we can’t ignore anymore the wind warnings we get from Switzerland. We check the forecasts and they look promising for the next three days. We travel that far and facing no wind in the usually windy Netherlands. And now there’s wind back home. As I have to be back for the next weekend, we decide to drive to our homespot for kitesurfing: lake Constance…

2 Responses

  1. […] I was in Amsterdam at Stephen & Penelope said Stephen, that is Hedgehog Fibres of Ireland. So I researched and put our route randomly via […]

  2. FO - Askews me shawl – DONNAROSSA
    | Reply

    […] travelling with our campervan through the Netherlands we had to stop at Stephen West’s yarn shop. OMG! This is the best yarn store ever. Seeing all […]

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