One Dane's personal view on the small but beautiful Dutch town Weesp.
By Lars Haagen Petersen
I can't say as The Beatles in the famous ode to Penny Lane that Weesp is in my ears and in my eyes. Nor can I say that I see Weesp with the eyes of a beardless boy, who probably thinks that the best of being a “Weesper Mop” (I) is that it only takes 15 to 20 minutes to get to the sparkling lights of busy Amsterdam. But what I can say is that I over the recent years have become more and more fond of Weesp with its quiet charm, its small bridges and its picturesque canals. And I can say that more and more often Weesp is in my thoughts - How is the weather there!- How is the colour of the leaves! - And when will I be bicycling along the beautiful canals again.
A picture of Kippenbrug – Summer 2009
Weesp has become a pleasant part of my life and every time I'm on a car holiday it's only natural to take a couple of nights stay in the local and only hotel in Weesp. It is no longer a question whether we shall stay in Weesp - only when and for how long.
A picture taken from the center of the old town – Summer 2009
But what makes a Dane to drive for the most of 9 hours - depending on the traffic near Hamburg in Germany - and almost 800 kilometres to a small town like Weesp, which presumably not many people outside the Netherlands has ever heard of? What can Weesp offer that very few other cities can't?
The picture down under is from
The picture to the left is from
The picture to the right is from Utrechtseweg
The pictures are from the old part of the town or very near by - Late summer 2010
There are many cities in Denmark which are just as picturesque as Weesp and all of them much closer to where I live. Many of them have the same small town quietness as Weesp and there are several cities both in Denmark and in the Netherlands which are more famous for whatever reasons tourists finds attractive - but none of them have the same charm as Weesp - for all I know. But what is it then? What is it that attracts me so much? - And the answer is! - It’s the water running everywhere – in canals, along roads and under the bridges.
The bridge near the fort on the way to s-Gravelandseweg - Spring 2009
In Denmark we have a very long coastline - roughly 7,000 km - Water is not a rare thing and absolutely not a rare sight for a Dane, but it's almost all along the costs. We only have very few canals and not like the ones in Weesp and that’s the difference. To me it's not a everyday sight to se boats passing by my window and to se the bridges open one after the other. That's what I love to see in the old part of the town. But it's not it all. I love to ride my bike along the river Vecht and see the everyday activity on my way. The inhabitants of Weesp seem to enjoy riding their bikes and enjoying outdoor activities when the weather is at it's best – and that is what I like too. Everywhere you see people on bikes, on skateboards and in all kinds of boats. After work it seems like all the good citizens of Weesp like to take a ride to Hilversum and back again just for fun - And who can blame them!
A view from the Hotel Het Hart Van Weesp - Summer 2007
The local hotel - Hotel Het Hart Van Weesp - is not a fancy five star ISO certified place for rich tourists and busy ambitious general directors. If anything it's a “good value for money hotel” and a place where the warm welcome and the friendly atmosphere is one of the major assets and I don't think the owner gives much interest in ISO certifications or modern profit maximization models.
Hotel Het Hart Van Weesp one summer morning - Summer 2009
I think he likes his dogs which you have to straddle over on your way to the dining-room and I think he likes his funny pictures of Che Guevara smoking Havana cigars and playing baseball. I don’t know why he keeps the pictures on the wall, though – But maybe his favourite uncle was fighting in the mountains together with Che and Castro – or maybe he is a big fan of Che - or maybe he's just fond of Cuba, big Havana cigars and baseball. I don’t now - but whatever it is - it's fine with me – I like to stay there (II).
“The Cuban Galleri” Hotel Het Hart Van Weesp – Spring 2007
Every time we arrive at the local hotel we hurry to check in and to bring the luggage to our room. After that we can do what it’s all about - driving our bikes around in the beautiful neighbourhood. Through the small cosy roads in the old centre of the town it goes to s-Gravelandseweg along the river Vecht and into the beautiful landscape they call 'Het Gooi'.
A picture taken from the centrum of the old town – Summer 2009
Click on the 3 pictures to enlarge them.
Along s-Gravelandseweg you can - among other interesting things - see some of the bunkers from the Fieldstronghold Uitermeer defence line.(III). The bunkers are remains from World War II. If you are interested in things like that there is a lot of fortresses and bunkers in the area and if you have access to Google Earth you can spot them all from the air.
Bunkers from World War II - Spring 2007
No more war talk - The area is beautiful and rich on birds, frogs and other animals and on the way you can often see people with expensive Karl Zeiss monoculars, Hasselblad cameras or other birdwatcher equipment.
If I'm not mistaken it's a couple of gees – Spring 2007
For those who prefer fishes to birds - fishing seems to be a well known sport or a pastime. I haven’t seen any fish though, but the fishermen I have seen look content - so why don't you try it?
Maybe the fishing-expeditions is just a good excuse for being together with a good friend or two.
Although this site is an ode to the beautiful town Weesp I can’t help telling you about a small B & B in Hilversum. To me there is not much to say of interest about Hilversum. To most people the place is known as the media centre in the Netherlands and for the assassination of Pim Fortuyn, a controversial politician. But to me the most important thing is, that the town has the finest bed and breakfast place I have ever visited. The name is 'Het Atelier' (IV) and the owners are a very fine and helpful couple. There names are Jon and Jeroen Brands. Normally I would never recommend anything outside Weesp – of cause, but these fine people deserve it. They have put a lot of heart into the B & B, they are very helpful and they takes good care of there guests. Try it and you won’t regret it - and another important thing………..It’s only approximately 15 kilometres from the beautiful town Weesp.
The 'Het Atelier' is in their backyard - but you have your own entrance - Summer 2005
A delicious breakfast in the 'Het Atelier'
The picture above is borrowed from Jon and Jeroen Brands website after agreement.
The 'Het Atelier' - Summer 2005
Now back to Weesp and their beautiful boats.
As you can see below you can find all kinds of boats - and that is only a small selection. I can sit for hours at the river bank watching the boats and ships passing by. It's a peaceful experience and good for the soul.
Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Pictures of boats - Weesp 2005 - 2007
First time in the air 28th December 2007
A “weesper mop”. To explain that is a little complicated but I asked one of the locals and got the answer below:
A citizen from Weesp is officially a 'Weesper' (male) or 'Weespse' (female). 'Weesper Mop' is the nickname for them but actually a sweet, round almond cookie.
But then you will ask "what's a mop"? Well, it has several meanings in Dutch:
- a joke
- same word in English for a tool to clean floors
- a large brick
- nickname for girl or women. (imagine that with "putting your teeth into a Weesper mop")
And another thing; I think he’s smart and knows that he will loose booth the dogs and the Cuban gallery if he “converts” to ISO and profit maximization models.
Thirty one group shelters to house thirteen soldiers each where constructed during the mobilisation of 1939-1940. They provided shelter for the men operating the machine guns and canons in the open earth walls. The earth walls have since disappeared but the shelters and a tank barrier remain standing. For more information about Weesp try this: http://www.rgaros.nl/weesp/
The link to their website: http://www.benbhilversum.nl/