March 28, 2016
March 27, 2016
March 26, 2016
We head back to the De Vreemde Vogel” (The Strange Bird) and our respective Birdhouse and Rocket accommodations. There are some interesting sculptures in the garden and whilst the Papa’s and kids are busy playing football, I stay in the car park and get some photographs…
March 8, 2016
Just aound the corner from the “caravans on stilts” at “De Vremde Vogel” we find a small field with a surprise at the end of it.
Little Mr sees it and lets out a whoop of delight, and even Kiwi Daughter is impressed.
The surprise that our friends have arranged for us this weekend is that we get to sleep in … a Rocket!!!
The “Rocket” comes in two parts, the lower section is a converted shipping container that houses a double bed and three tiny lockers, then there is a shower and toilet at the rear end.
The next section is like a connecting porch, with the entry door and to the right, the ” Rocket” section.
A ladder leads up to a first bunk at head height, and then still further up to another single bunk at the very top.
Both bunks are a tight fit but I’m assured by the kids that the view out of the top porthole window is worth the climb. Of course my foot makes the ladder impossible for me so I handed the camera to a willing volunteer (Little Mr) who took all of the photos from up high, the beds etc.
From the bottom I can look skywards, the “innards” look like this is a converted silo or something. Outside there is a small raised patio with a picnic table and of course plenty of space around it with the grass field. The main outer door of the shipping container opens to reveal a large wall to wall glass window (on the far side of the double bed). The accommodation is basic, but highly quirky which is indeed the whole point of all of the accommodation’s here at De Vreeme Vogel. There is a kettle but no further cooking facilities, but that said there is a restaurant on site.
The kids delight in exploring the rocket tower, the later summer weather is cool but just warm enough for us to eat together outside before the shadows lengthened, the sun went down and the coolness turned into cold. Although a tiny heater is provided, I would personally find the uninsulated metal floor too cold for winter, but for summer this place would be a true delight. It’s similar to camping in that things are “back-to-basics” basic but without the hassle of trekking outside to a toilet or shower block in the middle of the night, or enduring wet bedding and belongings should the unpredictable Dutch weather decide to be inclement instead of decent. For this weekend it is perfect!
Himself and I sleep with the heavy metal door of the shipping container closed at night but Himself opens it out wide in the morning so that we can sit in bed with a cup of tea and enjoy the early morning rays of sunshine creep over the dew on the field we are in. Beautiful!
Even quirkier is that fact that both the birdhouse and the rocket accommodations each sport a small record player and a small pile of vinyl (that’s “records” if you are from the post record and tape generations). The beds are comfortable and the fact that there are only two outside steps and no inside ones is a feature I specially appreciate our friends taking into account when they arranged this weekend. For me it’s also a welcome break from the four walls of home where often my only outings are for medical appointments. This is a most welcome change and the weather has been brilliant considering these are the very last days of summer.
De Vreemde Vogel / The Strange Bird
March 7, 2016
The first evening we spent at the “De Vreemde Vogel” (The Strange Bird) in Vlaadingen, we decided to have a combined family picnic dinner. One of the contributions that our friends bought to the table was something that I have never seen before. It’s a teeny tiny kiwifruit, hairless and going by the name of “kiwibes” which literally translates into English as “kiwi berries”. I haven’t seen them since in my local supermarket, but since we went later in the summer it is possible that these have a limited season and of course since they are new, they are probably not yet produced in large volumes anyway. Either way I will be on the lookout for these in the future because they are sweet and totally delicious. A quick rinse and they are ready to eat, no peeling no mess, just a mouthful of deliciousness! If ever you see them I highly recommend that you give them a try.
March 6, 2016
Sometimes in life you encounter some very strange sights.
These come in all shapes, sizes and forms, natural and man made.
But nothing, absolutely nothing though could have prepared us for our next sight just around a corner at the “De Vreemde Vogel” (The Strange Bird) in Vlaadingen.
Obviously this is a place for quirky accommodations, but this one takes the cake.
Everyone’s reaction was the same, our eyes widened and big grins formed as we all went ” whoa, what HAVE they done here!” or thoughts to that effect.
I mean we have all seen a caravan, who hasn’t? but I’m betting that very, very few have ever seen ones like these two.
It’s taken a brilliant flash of inspiration and some serious construction skills to achieve what we see before us… and a steep ladder entry for guests who don’t mind to do a little exercise to get into their bed for the night.
As with the bird house the toilet and shower provisions are at the bottom of the ladder in a tiny ablutions block. The ladder makes it an impossible accommodation for me of course but I imagine that the view up there must make the climb worth while. We hear from the owner that each caravan provided accommodation for two, so it’s cosy up their too. I couldn’t get any closer because there were people staying in them but even from across the grass enclosure these are funny and impressive. Whoever had the idea of making the humble caravan into high-rise accommodation had a little gem of genius, a stay in one of these is most certainly a night you would remember for the rest of your life.
March 5, 2016
During our stay at the “De Vreemde Vogel” (The Strange Bird) in Vlaadingen, a look around the grounds shows a playground and other unusual structures: as usual my camera was close to get to the shots…
March 4, 2016
The next thing that we see in the “De Vreemde Vogel” (The Strange Bird) in Vlaadingen is an aeroplane! No, not one in the sky, but a small one which is one of the accommodation options here. There were two reasons why I didn’t get particularly close to it, the first was that it was occupied for the weekend and secondly it was at the end of a small field which was going to be too difficult a walk for me. Our friends told us that they tried hard to book the plane for one of our two families but it seems that it’s easily the most popular of the various accommodations and as such booked months in advance. I waited for a quiet moment and took a few photographs by zooming in from afar.
March 3, 2016
Following yesterday’s post, the 2015 weekend surprise gift from our friends is about to unfold.
After driving through Vlaardingen, and then a small side street, we find a driveway at the end which leads to a large building that sports a sign: “De Vreemde Vogel” (The Strange Bird).
Hmmm… we pull up to find that our friends have arrived just before us.
They assure us that our surprise will be revealed soon enough, but first Himself needs to take care of our check-in details.
Their toddler son is therefore very keen that we first lets take a look at their accommodation.
We park in the car parking area and make our way round a corner to be greeted with a big surprise: their accommodation is a “Birdhouse”!
(Actually there are two “Birdhouses”, theirs is the raised up one with the stairs leading to the front door).
We are urged inside where we find a cosy, compact accommodation with a ladder to a mezzanine sleeping area upstairs.
This area was meant to be a sleeping area for their toddler son, but it turned out that he was too scared to sleep up there alone so he ended up sleeping in his sleeping-bag downstairs on the couch. The upstairs photographs were all taken by Little Mr because of course I have no intention of trying to climb the ladder. The lavatory and shower facilities are located down the stairs outside in the circular building between the two birdhouses. Both of these accommodations share these facilities, something not for everyone.