Amsterdam is the start of the Floris V Pad hiking trail. It is not where I started my 245km hike in 2018. I decided to start in Weesp and save Amsterdam for a later time.
Logically, this hike should have been from Schoonhoven to Nieuw-Lekkerland. But, when a friend mentioned she wanted to hike with me and that she grew up in Amsterdam it provided a perfect opportunity to cross this Amsterdam section off my list.
MY FLORIS V PAD HIKING STATS:
Distance on this hike from Amsterdam start point to Diemen – 9.5 KM
Total Hiked to date – 94.3 KM
Total distance to Bergan op Zoom – 245 KM
Distance to complete – 150.7 km
This friend is a world traveler and a good ten years younger than I. I was a bit nervous about sharing my hiking with her. Silly, but true. Could I keep up? What if we got lost (that does happen to me occasionally)? What about snacks? What gear should I take now? I needed to think about two people and not only myself. Would the weather cooperate?
These are always concerns but when hiking on my own but I just kinda go with the flow of the universe. Was this friend like that? I have walked with her on short walks around our neighborhoods but this was different.
As I prepped in the days prior to the hike, I pulled out some older hiking gear. I would actually have to navigate this hike. Out came the Garmin 64s. We have used this devise for years for our canoe trips and I use to integrate the maps into my blogs. That was until I switched to a MacBook Air, then the pairing of the Garmin 64s was near impossible (most likely due to my lack of wanting to learn how to fix what was wrong and make it work). So I stopped using it as my navigation tool for hikes. Recently, I have just been using the old school methods of printed maps, intuition, and pure darn luck, and it works! So after three frustrating hours of downloading several Garmin apps on both my phone, and my MacBook Air, finding the interface cable for the Garmin, pairing the devices (still not sure I did it correctly), and downloading the gpx Floris V Pad file onto my devices. I thought I was finally up to date with the 21st century technology and ready to hit the hiking streets of Amsterdam. Take notice there are no Garmin maps on this blog posting! Meaning that I couldn’t get the track to save or load once we were completed with the hike. 🙄😬🤬
As I woke the morning of the hike, it was pouring down rain. I wondered if I would get the text message that my friend would rather not hike. I made up my mind that I would hike even if she decided this was not her kind of weather. Taking the words of advise from my Dutch Hubby when I first moved here…
“If you wait for a beautiful weather day here in this country, you will sit in the house all day! Doing things in the rain builds character!”
Now, with 14 years of character under my belt, hiking in the rain is normal and even enjoyable for me.
With only a text message asking if she should bring an umbrella we planned on meeting at the local train station.
Route to Amsterdam to start the Floris V Pad using public transport. Bike to train station Nieuw-Vennep→Train to Amsterdam Central Station→walk to Amsterdam Dam square.
My hiking partner for the day was Malika of ma.malika.travels on Instagram. I met Malika this last year at one of my volunteer jobs. Her family immigrated to The Netherlands from Morocco when she was young and lived not far from the large cruise ship dock in Amsterdam.
When we got to the Dam square we took a selfie in front of the royal palace to celebrate the start of the hike. Yes, it was still raining.
The Floris V Pad stickers along the route were not easy to find along the first part of the trail. Luckily I had my gps map loaded on the Garmin and linked to my phone. The three hours of frustration the day prior paid off! We hiked along, looked in shop windows and talked about how she grew up in this old scenic city. The best part of the day, we didn’t have to fight tons of tourists!
We finally found one of the route stickers.
Now we were almost to the area where the Floris V Pad follows the East bank of the Amstel River. Along the route, people setting up tables with items for sale. Malika shared with me that we were very close to the open air flea market. We stopped and talked with one of the vendors. We found out that it was actually the same flea market although it had been reduced in size due to COVID rules, then relocated due to construction. After this short exchange we continued our hike.
Now the trail hugged the Amstel River. The old buildings and neighborhoods in this area feels different from the hub of Amsterdam. Quieter. The streets are lined with micro gardens, the river banks lined with house boats, the architecture of the buildings old (by my standards, 1600-1900).
Malika and I chatted about the gardens, and all that we encountered.
One item that caught our eye was this huge wisteria vine.
At one point we had to take a detour due to construction. This could have caused anxiety leading us in the opposite direction back across the Amstel, to the next bridge, then back across to catch up with the trail again, but no anxiety, we just found a cool container garden.
The rain had finally reduced to a light drizzle. My rain jacket came off and went into the backpack.
We found our actual first Floris V Pad sticker.
We crossed over the s111 road and headed away from the Amstel River. This section of the trail is a long bike path along a canal. As we looked back towards the city, Malika made sure that I took note of the Rembrandt Tower, the tallest structure in Amsterdam.
The street art and graffiti also along this section of the hike was colorful.
We were getting close to our destination, Diemen train station. The station would mark about 9 km. This small suburb of East Amsterdam had its own treasures to reveal to hikers.
My phone had had enough exercise too, for the day. The battery was nearly dead from all the apps running my Garmin. We landed safely at the train station after completing 9.5 km.
All those worries and concerns about hiking with a friend were forgotten. We had a wonderful and fun hike.
Special thanks to Malika for joining me on this hike and for her photography, plus the app (Runkeeper) she used to capture the trek.
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