Quirky Amsterdam: Leaning houses, bicycles, "coffee shops" and a delegation of trees


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Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam
June 5th 2018
Published: June 6th 2018
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Our trip is pulling to a close where it began, in busy, intriguing Amsterdam. This is the penultimate blog entry. There will be one more as we're staying 2 nights in Seoul, South Korea, on our return to Australia.

Returning to Amsterdam from Budapest has been a journey of discovery on our own, quite different from the tight and well-planned itinerary of the river trip. Each style of travel has had its benefits, surprises and pleasures.


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First class passage from Hannover to Amsterdam.First class passage from Hannover to Amsterdam.
First class passage from Hannover to Amsterdam.

Due to a ticketting fluke, we travelled first class for the first (and probably the last) time. We had the carriage to ourselves for much of the trip.
Amsterdam Central train stationAmsterdam Central train station
Amsterdam Central train station

Servicing the city which has the busiest airport in Europe and right next to the harbour where we boarded our boat for the river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Here we are again on our last day in Europe.
Three storey bicycle parking lot serves thousands.Three storey bicycle parking lot serves thousands.
Three storey bicycle parking lot serves thousands.

Cyclists are welcomed here and there are red bike paths all through the city. As a pedestrian it's the bikes, not the cars, which seem most hazardous. We were told, "They have brakes but they don't like to use them." Bikes zoom past from every which way.
Unclaimed bikes get taken away and sold again.Unclaimed bikes get taken away and sold again.
Unclaimed bikes get taken away and sold again.

Bikes are tagged to alert owners as to when they will be confiscated if not removed. Abandoned bikes gat taken away.
Many of the houses are leaning, due to instability in the ground.Many of the houses are leaning, due to instability in the ground.
Many of the houses are leaning, due to instability in the ground.

You can see the sloping floors from their window lines.
Condomerie in the red light district.Condomerie in the red light district.
Condomerie in the red light district.

Specialist stores abound.
Dam Square monument.Dam Square monument.
Dam Square monument.

Dam Square is a very popular venue for events. The name Amsterdam comes from there being a dam on the Amster River.
At the edge of the red light district.At the edge of the red light district.
At the edge of the red light district.

Many a sailor has taken comfort in Amsterdam.
Horticultural CentreHorticultural Centre
Horticultural Centre

Climate controlled mega greenhouses for desert, tropical and temperate plant life.
These horticulturists focussed on edible plants.These horticulturists focussed on edible plants.
These horticulturists focussed on edible plants.

A formal decorative garden planting made up of different lettuces.
Will the real octogenarian please stand up?Will the real octogenarian please stand up?
Will the real octogenarian please stand up?

Phil is not the oldest male in this room. The male cycad behind him is believed to be 300 years old!
What's this? An Ozzie tree delegate in Amsterdam.What's this? An Ozzie tree delegate in Amsterdam.
What's this? An Ozzie tree delegate in Amsterdam.

A Norfolk Island Pine, being kept in the green house for specialist plants.
A metasequoia or Dawn Redwood.A metasequoia or Dawn Redwood.
A metasequoia or Dawn Redwood.

This species was first described from fossil records and then was discovered living in a remote part of China in about 1943. Botanists around the world strove to multiply it. This one in Amsterdam was planted in 1947, and we planted one in our front yard in Pennant Hills in 1988.
Be careful what you ask for...Be careful what you ask for...
Be careful what you ask for...

"Coffeeshop" in Amsterdam means a shop for marijuana.
For the budding horticulturistsFor the budding horticulturists
For the budding horticulturists

Amsterdam is not just famous for its tulip bulbs.


6th June 2018

Amsterdam and the bikes etc
I loved Amsterdam although unfortunately I lost my favourite scarf there and I've never found another one as good. Did you get to see the Ann Frank Museum? Have a safe journey home. M xx
7th June 2018

I have loved your travelblog
Dear Martha and Phil it has been a delight vicariously enjoying your trip. I'm kind of sad it is now ending. I'll miss the photos and the witty comments. Thanks for sharing it :) Katie

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