The article is a 7 min read…
Vacations are incomplete without surprises. While some prefer holidays pre-planned with booked destinations and guided tours, we were impromptu and explored the beautiful destinations of Europe by burning rubber of our shoe soles. We subconsciously walked an average of 15km/day with random breaks to have titbits from cute bistro’s, chatting with dipped toes by the river, laying and watching blue skies in huge public parks and fighting small wars on beautiful iron benches facing the river.
Treat to the eye..
Chilling by a random canal in Amsterdam on a beautiful morning, we were watching numerous boats sail with locals partying on them. It was amazing to see the Netherlanders living a family time on a workday. The culture there weighs life over work and most Dutch just work part time.
While every passing boat was carefully crafted to beauty, a Green Boat surprisingly appeared from the bridge conduit, full of naturally grown plants. The pilot was manoeuvring sitting on a comfortable sofa with a cruiser motorbike handle. There was a beautiful lady on the edge with dipped toes, and another cheerful man holding a beer-can at the corner, and a cute small dog roaming all around. The bridge quickly filled with bystanders clicking photos of them.
The awe instinctively made me shout to them - “Hey, thats a superb boat. May I click a picture?”
The lady replied - “Sure, do you want to come over and join us?”. By the time we could digest if what we heard was true, the pilot parked the boat and we were on it.! We were accompanied with four more strangers who felt the same.
In no time, we were sailing beside quacking ducks and swans, gazing the beautiful architected bridges and buildings of Amsterdam. We went all around Amsterdam treating our eyes to the house boats and waving to the crowd who all clicked pictures, accompanied with music, drinks, snacks and company of the Dutch. The boat caught the eye of every bystander and the neighbouring boats all along the way.
I whispered to my wife - “Is this how celebrities feel?”. She said nothing. She was still pending to believe it was real. The dog (Roxy) didn’t leave a single chance to keep going around the boat and sniffing everyone for food while also resting under the plants when tired.
The party aggravated when everyone started to dance to the peppy Dutch tunes from the bluetooth speaker. Im sure we got clicked roughly 10000 times by Amsterdammers in the 3 hour surprise.
We mellowed as evening approached. We thanked the guys and got off to sit on a bench and digest what just happened. As the day ended, we pinched ourselves to convince it was real. We didn’t get a chance to know the hosts and we felt sorry.
But, it was true - We were lucky and got picked up at Amsterdam and partied on the custom handmade boat with lovely Dutch company for real! When we shared this at our hostel that night, it was very hard to convince people. While Amsterdam is all about cool Netherlanders, this event is not likely for anyone on any day, even for the locals. Frankly, even we were not fully convinced of what happened to us.
Now you’re bullshitting..
The following morning we started wandering (again), shopped from the flea, had breakfast and walked through the streets talking about The Green Boat. We sat beside a canal, a different one from yesterday and wondered if the green boat would appear today again. What would we do if the boat appeared again? We then got lost watching ducks fight for food, admiring the countless bicyclers commuting the city, watching a girl read a book by the canal, saw a bunch of college kids enjoying beside the bridge, and it happened!
And it happened. The Green Boat was there again! Same boat with the three guys and the dog. We were now convinced it was real. We waved to the guys and they were equally happy noticing us again. Within no time, again, they invited us to the boat and we were on it for the second time the very next day. We went around Amsterdam through Magere Brugh on the big waters of the Amstel River, the Amstel Hotel and numerous other locations, continuously waving at smiling for the people clicking us.
This time, we spoke to the hosts.
Martin Te Riele is a super-talented man who built the boat all by himself. He carefully chose to design the boat from ground up without any heavy manufacturing equipment. He is a king on the seat holding the cruiser motorbike handle to steer the boat wherever he wishes. He planted a cool bath tub at the center of the boat boasting a presence of a private pool inside. He also showed us a camping house that he made in his backyard. He loves to drive his boat and enjoy life as he wishes. Im sure he is proud of himself.
The beautiful Saskia Gulien is the reason we could be on the boat. She invited us to be on it for the dreamy rides.
The ever cheerful childhood friend of Martin, who are together since they grew up was the third lovely person on the boat. He was smiling always and was a very enthusiastic party person who loved spending time with the other two.
And, needless to mention, Roxy - the cute dog who added to the beauty of the boat.
We were in company of a very good and kind family. We spoke a lot and exchanged contacts this time. We were emotional when we got off at last and kept waving back to them till we could see them disappear in the waters.
There isn’t any trace of this boat over the internet. This article is an effort to give this awesome thing some visibility. We never shared our second encounter with The Green Boat to anyone till date. We were sure people would have declared us mad.
This doesn’t happen in Amsterdam, it just happened to us, twice. I think we are just lucky :)
(Im sure people in Amsterdam are curious to meet the creators of The Green Boat. Please find their Facebook contacts above. Also, I only had limited photos of us, I was enjoying the whole time.)