On Thursday 25th May 2017, I ran 5km in the Golden Tenloop Delft. This was my first ever running event and a beautiful location to start in the beautiful city of Delft and surrounding countryside. I started vlogging in October 2016 about my personal challenge to go from “couch to 5km” and it was a great feeling to be able to complete the course in a reasonable time.
This event was the 30th edition and is held annually on the Hemelvaartdag public holiday. The 5km circuit followed a pretty route, leaving from the centre of Delft and heading into the Delftse Hout. This is close to where I live, so I was familiar with the area, but have never run it with so many people before! I believe there were about 5000 participants overall, but this includes the children’s 1km and 2.5km, as well as the 5km and 10km.
I registered online some time in advance, which is usually necessary as start numbers sell out. It was only 10 euros to take part in the 5km, which included the t-shirt as well. I picked up my start number at the beautiful Delft city hall before the race.
It was a really festive atmosphere in the Delft city centre, and considering the number of participants and supporters, was busy but still well organised.
Here I am smiling before the start in the Delft Markt. The race started and finished at the Beestemarkt and when I was nearing this at the end, I sped up with my last burst of energy. What I didn’t realise though is that instead of heading straight there, the course took us on a last loop through the Markt. So I needed to find an extra bit of energy to finish! It was a lovely location though to complete my first ever 5km race though.
Here’s a photo my husband took en route, you can just make me out in about the middle of this photo.
I didn’t get to see this bike in the photo below during the race, it was way up front I imagine! The fastest time for my 5km race was just over 15 minutes. Amazing! Took me more than twice that, though I managed my best ever time for 5km in 34.33 minutes. I was pretty proud of this, especially considering I had a stitch from the first 100m (but which I managed to shake about 1.5km in), and the evening before had such a sore ankle I thought I wouldn’t be able to run (but was ok once strapped). It was also a very warm day by Dutch standards at about 22 degrees. I was so thirsty by about 1.5km I could barely swallow, but there was some water at 3.5km. I had to remind myself to not gulp it so I could finish the last 1.5km.
At the end, I had actually thought we may get all get a medal, but that was apparently for kids only! The CPC in The Hague does a medal for all participants, I’ll have to do that next year. But we did get a lovely t-shirt, designed by a talented graphic artist in my neighbourhood: https://www.studiozomereik.nl
It was a really well organised event and I’m glad I took part. The only negative experience for me was something I already struggle with in NL regularly – inhaling 2nd hand smoke. Not only do I simply not like it, I suffer from asthma and am intensely sensitive to it, even from metres away. I find it near impossible to avoid in daily life in the Netherlands anywhere there are crowds and outdoor events – even at children’s theme parks and zoos. There were spectators smoking right near the starting gates and at other locations along the sidelines, it’s never pleasant to have an unexpected lungful of smoke, and certainly not when you’re running a race.
Was great to have my husband and daughter cheering me along the way. They’d jump on their bike and cycle ahead so I saw them at a few points along the way.
There are a number of running races each year in the Netherlands, including some fun ones like the Bubble Race and Colour Run. Even if you’re far from the fastest, it’s a great experience to challenge yourself, and I think I’ll get my girls involved in the future.
The 2018 Golden Tenloop Delft is on 10 May 2017 and you can sign up here:
Today we attended the 2017 Food Fest held at Hoeve Biesland, on the border between Delft and The Hague.
It was a beautiful, sunny spring day and really nice to meet up with friends and hang out for a couple of hours. Queues were long to get food, and it wasn’t cheap, but was mostly organic and totally delicious. The kids had a lovely time playing and enjoyed meeting the local farm residents (and so did I).
This is the same location I have made a video about before: Weiland Winkel and where we enjoyed the spring Cow Dance. They also have another festival in September each year called the Biesland Dagen.
Though I will always miss Australia, this area I have ended up living is really lovely. We’re only about a 15 minute drive to the very centre of The Hague, and even less into the centre of Delft. Yet, even so close to these cities, we still are surrounded by beautiful countryside. It’s made extra special with lovely festivals like this.
The Australian circus-cabaret LIMBO plays hard and fast in Amsterdam this summer. Having sold out London, Sydney, Melbourne and Munich seasons LIMBO now brings it’s thrilling live band with over 50 instruments to accompany jaw dropping contortion, gut-churning aerial acrobatics, nail-biting stunts and staggering illusions. For 7 weeks the theater on the Rozengracht is transformed into a circus and cabaret space with the stage in the center of the venue so the audience can be close to the action. With only 350 seats, this intimate venue is the best place to see this big show.
LIMBO’s stellar international cast includes Coney Island’s fire-breathing, sword-swallowing vintage beauty Heather Holliday, Europe’s gravity-defying Chinese pole master and beat boxer Mikael Bres, the aerial grace of Canadian acrobat Evelyne Allard, alongside Australia’s tap dancing sensation Hilton Denis.
Music is one of the driving forces in LIMBO, created by New York’s Sxip Shirey. Sxip has created a musical genre called JANK; constantly surprising, always funky and very sexy Shirey describes the music as “a New York brass band marching through New Orleans on its way to an all-night party in Berlin. It’s brass, electronics, surprising sounds, hip-hop and club beats.”
LIMBOS Melbourne based Creator and Director Scott Maidment (Tom Tom Crew, Cantina, Blanc de Blanc) of Strut & Fret Production House can’t wait. “We are over the moon that the award winning sensation LIMBO is finally coming to delight Dutch audiences,” said Mr Maidment. “Since the start in Adelaide in 2013, the show has since traveled non-stop around the world and I’m really excited to finally get the opportunity to present LIMBO in Amsterdam for the first time.”
Buy your tickets here:
The show lasts 1 hours and 35 minutes, including intermission
The wonderful city of Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and this is for very good reason. It seems that everybody has been and has their favourite places to go, but there are a few fantastic alternative places that tourists or newbies to the city are not so familiar with. These hidden gems show the real heart and soul of the city and are, typically, much quieter than the busier areas.
Whether you’re a tourist or an adopted local, there are plenty of “best-kept secrets” dotted around the city for you to uncover.
Food is a key part of any vacation and Amsterdam has many great eateries. Here are a few of the best spots in town.
Mazzo – Head here for the best authentic Italian food in Amsterdam. It has a relaxed and cool vibe inside with a stylish interior, but it is also affordable too. In addition to the food, this is also a great space for drinking in the evening.
The Butcher – You can’t beat a good burger and the burgers at The Butcher are the best in the city. It may not look like the best, but this place stays open late and has a high-end speakeasy cocktail bar at the back – but shh, don’t tell everyone!
Rotisserie – This Brooklynese bar serves up tantalising chicken dishes and delicious burgers in a friendly and welcoming setting. They also have take-away if you want to enjoy your meal out in the streets or settle in for a cosy night at your hotel.
Food Hallen – A converted tram shed with dozens of cool food stalls and bars – Food Hallen is one of the newer and trendier places in the city and is extremely popular with the locals.
The Sea Food Bar – Craving seafood? The Sea Food Bar is the best place for fish and there are 2 restaurants in Amsterdam (you may want to book in advance, or have a drink at the bar whilst you wait).
Omelegg – Head here for breakfast. They only serve omelettes, but they are the tastiest omelettes you have ever eaten! Well worth the wait.
Amsterdam is famous for its brilliant nightlife and there are many excellent venues no matter what type of mood you are in. Generally speaking, the Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein areas are the most fun and have a handful of vibrant and fun pubs, bars and clubs. De Kroon in Rembrandtplein is a local favourite and free to get in, whilst Jimmy Woo is a swanky place if you are out for a fancy evening.
Beer lovers will adore Troost, which serves amazing burgers along with its very own craft beer. There are two places, both in the city centre.
Part of Amsterdam’s charm comes from simply wandering the streets and popping into the local stores and cafes. The best neighbourhoods to do this are the very picturesque Jordaan, and the trendy De Pijp neighbourhood where there are plenty of vibrant bars, cafes and restaurants – this is authentic Amsterdam. Gerard Doustraat is a street worth visiting with a number of cute shops and a friendly atmosphere. To get the most out of your trip, it is worth booking into a hotel near the city centre, like CitizenM, which allows you to get out and explore the neighbourhoods each day.
The city is well-known for its thriving art scene, but it doesn’t stop at just Rembrandt and Van Gogh. A great way to discover some of the alternative masterpieces on show is to take the Street Art and Alternative Walking Tour, or by checking out the independent art galleries, like Aschenbach & Hofland. You should also keep your eyes peeled for any art exhibitions happening during your stay, as this is a terrific way to immerse yourself in the local scene.
Can you add to this list? Please comment below!
This is a guest post by Alexa Cobbold. Alexa lives in a little village just outside of York, England and works in PR and Digital Marketing with a number of brands across the globe. Outside of work she loves photography (Instagram has become a little bit of an obsession…), getting out in to the countryside, buying way too many housewares and spending far too much money on photobooth photos.
If you are planning to study, work or live in The Netherlands it is important to consider your health coverage as you are possibly required to apply for health insurance.
When is Dutch health insurance necessary?
A health insurance (in Dutch: zorgverzekering) in The Netherlands is mandatory as soon as you start working in Holland or when you emigrate to The Netherlands. Failing to apply for a health insurance within four months will likely result in a substantial fine, issued by the government.
However, applying for a Dutch health insurance is not allowed if you are only in The Netherlands temporally, for example, if you are in Holland for your studies and you don’t get a job on the side. In this case your home country insurance will suffice if you are from within the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or another country (like Australia) that has a social treaty with the Netherlands. If you are from outside the EU/EEA you may need to check whether your home country or travel insurance covers the necessary healthcare when abroad.
In any case, it is wise to check and verify this sort of information with your current insurance company prior to entering the Netherlands.
If you are unsure whether or not you are obliged to apply for Dutch health insurance, you can contact zorgverzekeringslijn.nl on +31 88 900 6960 for free and unbiased advice.
How to apply?
If you do need Dutch health insurance you can easily apply for one online. An insurance broker, like ZorgWijzer.nl (English site), can help you find a suitable and affordable insurance.
Although the application process is quite straightforward, it is mostly in Dutch. So using Google translate or a Dutch speaking friend/co-worker to help you, might be a good idea.
What does it cover?
The minimum cover that a Dutch insurance company has to offer already covers a substantial amount of medical expenses, such as:
- Visiting a GP and treatments conducted by him/her
- Emergency medical care in The Netherlands and abroad
- Healthcare provided by (non-) physician specialists
- Physiotherapy for certain chronic diseases
- Treatments in a hospital or clinic
- Psychological healthcare
- Dental care (only up to 18 years of age)
How much does it cost?
Health insurance in The Netherlands is primarily funded by income tax. All other costs involve premiums (around 100 euros per month).
Furthermore, do note that using healthcare usually requires you to pay an excess which goes up to 385 euro a year. Once you have paid this amount, all further costs made by you will be reimbursed by the insurance company.
Residents with a limited income may apply for financial compensation (up to 88 euro per month) by the government. This can be done through the website of the Dutch tax authorities.
Need more information?
Do you need more information about a specific topic? Then it might be beneficial to visit or call ZorgWijzer for more information about health insurance in The Netherlands.