Friday, 4 June 2010

Best Portuguese hostess in the Netherlands!

Train station in Almere city.

A few days ago I received an invitation from a fellow blogger that I could not resist: a day out in Almere, a city at about 85 km from Zwolle. I had made a mental note to visit this part of the Netherlands many times, but somehow the opportunity to go there never presented itself.

Finally, this invitation came and with an extra bonus: I was to have a de luxe tourist guide. Have you guessed who it could be? Yes! Blogger Sandra, from Presépio con Vista para o Canal!

We met at the train station -Almere Centrum- and from there she took me to see the sights in the city. What a pleasant surprise Almere was! I found it very modern-looking - but then in a nice way!

Almere bus station.

Almere is quite a new city. It was built on reclaimed land -that is, the polder- in the also young province of Flevoland. The first inhabitants of Almere moved into their new houses in 1976 and today, the city has approximately 188.000 inhabitants making it the fifth largest city in The Netherlands.

Colourful megashop in the city centre.

While Sandra guided me through the shopping streets pointing at her favourite winkels (shops), we were at the same time busy talking, picking up where we left it the last time we had seen each other and shooting pictures all the time.

Shopping street in Almere city centre.


All the roads lead you to... the HEMA?

Modern achitecture is outstanding in Almere. Everywhere you find new trendy mega-blocks, leisure and shopping complexes, reflections, colours and originality of forms...

Blue and orange reflections in Almere city centre.


I couldn't resist taking this shot...


The Apollo hotel in Almere city centre.

Modern architecture in Almere.

More reflections - the Utopolis cinema complex.


For lunch, Sandra suggested a very nice eetcafé: (coffeehouse) "Bobbie Beer", where we had a delicious boerenomelet (omelette, farmer style) and rested for a while by the water.

Bobbie the Bear was waiting for us...

Then we took a long and relaxing walk in the Koningin Beatrixpark (Queen Beatrix Park) ...




I spotted this man sitting by himself next to a grafitti that reads enig, meaning "unique" or also "single" in Dutch:



And I also visited a historical site in Almere... a historic site in Almere? Well, yes: a place where a "baby" was born in a presépio ("Nativity stall" in Portuguese) Here I present to you ...the birthplace of Presépio con Vista para o Canal!

The canal that inspired Sandra to create her blog!


After spending a wonderful day with Sandra, talking a lot, walking around Almere, relaxing in the park and also practising a bit of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and of course, English - it was finally time to head back to the station and say our good-byes. But not without first stopping for coffee and cake at Granny's. Delicious!!

Espresso and apple tart at Granny's. Photo taken by Sandra.

Muito obrigada, Sandra, for a lovely day! You are a wonderful hostess!

23 comments:

Presépio no Canal said...

Bom Dia ;-))) So wonderful wake up with so great compliment! ;-) Thank s for the email, too ;-) i am going now for the appointement with Gilde Samen Spraak and I will have a busy day, with two more appointements, but I want to say it was a pleasure to have you here ;-) And you must come back, there is so much to explore and specially to enjoy our friendship...So, let s wish many sunny days ;-)
If you come with your husband this weekend, please go to Gelados Mariola in Almere Haven. These ice-creams are so delicious!!!
I will catch up later! Your fotos are amazing! And now I see Almere trough your eyes...seems even more beautiful!
Besitos,
Poncieta ;-)
Next time in Zwolle? ;-)

oranjeflamingo said...

It sounds (and looks!) like a lovely visit! I'm quite taken with the modern architecture there, but still nice to have the park nearby, as well. Beautiful photos, as always!

Aledys Ver said...

Buen día, Sandra! There we go again, with our taalsalade :o) Thanks again to you for a nice day in Almere!
Good luck with your meetings and thanks for the tip - problem is, gelato (icecream in Italian) goes straight to the cadeiras ("hips" in Portuñol, though in Portuguese it actually means "chair", I think?) :o)
Next time in Zwolle!!

Aledys Ver said...

Alison,
Oh, if you've never been to Almere, I suggest you go whenever you get a chance, especially now in the summer. It's different to most of Dutch cities, but very gezellig.
Thanks for your comments!!

Anita said...

And why nobody invites me ?
Munf !

Aledys Ver said...

Anita!! Can you believe those people? Lol!
Just let me know when you are free to meet up here in Zwolle and I'll be more than happy to show you around! Beijo ;)

Criollito said...

Great tour! A perfect mix for me: I love contemporary architecture and parks. I could picture myself biking in Almere and having that delicious cake at Granny's

Aledys Ver said...

Gracias, Criollito - aunque con ese nombre tuyo me ha dado nostalgia y la verdad que más que un "apple tart", hubiera dado cualquier cosa por un criollito de hojaldre con manteca y dulce! :o)
Gracias por entrar!

Presépio no Canal said...

Anita, you are already invited to come to Almere ;)) A personal tour too ;-)Vrijdag is the best day for me ;-) You have my email, so when you can, say it ;-) Beijinhos acucarados ( em Portugal, dizemos que Portugues do Brasil e Portugues com acucar) ;-)

Sandra

Presépio no Canal said...

Vai para as cadeiras, mas que e bom e e nos nao nos importamos ;-)))
The meeting in the Gilde was good, 2 hours because we have talk about so many things. But next time, of course, only one hour. Muito bom!
Beijitos E Viva a Taalsalade!! ;-))

Aledys Ver said...

@Sandra,
Great! It sounds like you had a lot to talk about - why am I not surprised? :o)

buday said...

I'm not sure exactly why but this post made me happy. Gezellig indeed. May I just say, Aledys, you are a very good photographer, particularly of architectural & other landscapes. You're pics are "flickr-worthy"!

But the best thing? You just gave me a new favorite word: winkels. :)

Aledys Ver said...

@buday,
I'm happy to hear the post made you happy! :o)
Thanks, my pictures can also be found on Flickr! :o)
winkel is such a nice word, isn't it?

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Lucky you! How wonderful that you met this wonderful, generous blogger :-) It looks like you had a fun day!

aggieLap said...

Truly a beautiful series of photos, Aledys!! It sounds like a fantastic tour in Almere that you had :)

Aledys Ver said...

@JaPRA,
Thanks for stopping by, I know how busy you are these days!!

@Aggie,
Thanks a lot! Yes, it was fun, just like our city tours of Alkmaar, Delft, Utrecht, Dordrehct ...!!! :o)

Patricia Sgrignuoli said...

Eber, que interesante este sitio! No sabía que en Europa todavía existen "nuevas ciudades". Almere está a solo 85 km de Zwolle y no la conocías?
Se ve una ciudad muy moderna, pero me llamó la atención lo de 188.000 habitantes creada en 1976...
Buenísimas las fotos de los lugares que recorriste, excelente excursión!
Besos y hasta la próxima!!

Aledys Ver said...

Gracias, Patricia!
Bueno, dentro de las ciudades viejas, también se ve mucha arquitectura moderna. Y en cuanto a ciudades nuevas, sí, porque con ésto de la falta de espacio, la tierra que se va reclamando al mar, se convierte mayormente en tierras de cultivos y pastoreo, pero también en ciudades!

buday said...

Aledys, where are you on flickr?

~ Lopa said...

Ohh i don't know how did i miss this post...
I want an invitation too ! haha
:D

By the way beautiful pictures... i haven't been here but it looks beautiful through your camera lens ! :)

Pinay in Dutchland said...

I just recently visited Almere Centrum for the first time and was surprised how big the city center is. And lots of shops!

Inma said...

que maravillosas fotos, he caido aqui de casualidad, y estoy maravillada. Soy una enamorada de holanda, estuve alli hace unos años y guardo bonitos recuerdos. Seguire visitandote, un beso

Anonymous said...

Nice to read positive things about my home city, Almere. Un beso from Holland