A moving day in many senses of the word, as I bid a sad farewell to my Amsterdam home and headed to stay with relatives in the Rotterdam suburb of Bleiswijk for a couple of days.

But is there a better place to recover from a potent mix of a head cold, moving blues and a bad haircut than your aunt and uncle's house in a great little town?

Bleiswijk (pronounced blayss-wake) is a 1.5 hour commute from Amsterdam, but it might as well be on the other side of the equator. The relaxed, familial pace of this small town stands in sharp contrast to the hectic pace of Holland's capital city.

Here its 10,000 citizens live mainly in quiet streets and a few hofs, small leafy sections of about 10-15 townhomes. There's no hassle in these hofs, however. Neighbours pitch in for upkeep of the area, and the nearby village is filled with locals greeting each other daily at the butcher shop or post office. The area is also home to large industrial-sized greenhouses and Elysium, one of Europe's most popular spa/health centers.

A stroll through the streets and parks brought us to the local tennis club, very typical of small Dutch towns, functioning as a sport and social club.

Here, for the very modest sum of 160 Euros per year, you can play for 12 months on some of the finest clay courts you'll see. Today saw a kids' tournament in full swing, with future Federers and nascent Nadals in action.

The canals fill up with tree stuff (I believe that is the technical term)

A backyard pond stocked with goldfish

Here you can hobnob while you watch Bob lob


wholegrain said...

Hello Jeff. Hope you're feeling better today. I subscribed to your blog through an RSS feed when I started thinking of coming to Amsterdam. While my trip remains an uncertainty, I know that I'll follow you on yours. Cheers!