In praise of the floating houses. IJburg, Amsterdam, July 2015.

Following a dangerously enthusiastic Airbnb browse and a ferry booking we Beers were Hamsterjam bound. Almost as quick to type as it was to arrange. A day or three later we boarded a wee train at Great Bedwyn heading for London and an onward train to Harwich International.

One ferry, two Dutch trains and a tram later we are walking along a recently minted dyke – snigger – toward our residence for a week at Steigereiland. This is at the western end of the newly created Amsterdam neighbourhood of IJburg risen from the waters of the IJmeer to the north-east of the city.

Here’s the story of the project in coffee table format http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seven-Million-Cubic-Metres-Sand/dp/9080641111

At the time of writing around 20,000 people have moved to IJburg and the aim is to top out at around 45k.

Our place was moored in the marina. No, it wasn’t a houseboat. It’s a purpose-built floating house. It’s got a fixed address (although it could be towed away if needs be). Thus begins a perception re-setting week in summertime Amsterdam.

Life at the house is tranquil, watery and – I imagine – like taking part in a floating hidden-camera Grand Designs minimalism experiment. Unlike the formality of a hotel, Airbnb offers you spontaneous local resident status. We instantly love it. This blog is just to share some of our snaps of life at the house and links to articles.

From TIME: http://time.com/2926425/the-floating-homes/

From Dutch architects who were part of the project: https://www.rohmer.nl/en/project/waterwoningen-ijburg/

Great photos here: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/06/the-floating-houses-of-ijburg-amsterdam.html

It’s a barely credible 12 minutes to Centraal by oh-so-frequent tram. It’s feels like a portal to a different planet. Woah, it’s a bustling city alright. One with all the well known seedy elements that are still on show. But it is also one bursting with sights, sounds, experiences and cultural things to do that are fabulous family fodder. Ooh, I feel a blog or three coming on.

Lapping IJburg on the water

Lapping IJburg by water

Floating houses make you sleepy

Floating houses make you sleepy

Bike deliveries

Teen transporter bycycle

The avid reader

The avid reader cares not where she is

Hammock girl

Hammock girl with watery backdrop

Local swimming

Swim like a local

Steigereiland by night

Steigereiland by night

Sleepy bunnies

Sleepy bunnies

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