Blogs from Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands, Europe

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Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam April 30th 2022

Monday 25th April – Friday 29th April 2022 Easy Jet Holidays A short hop to Amsterdam to mainly see the tulips as we had both been to Amsterdam before but many, many years ago! Bus, train, bus for our flight at 4.35pm. Uneventful flight, other than being 45 mins late leaving and hanging around on then runway at Schiphol Airport for 30 mins also. Couldn’t find Information Office for bus tickets and our bus number had changed from No 69 to No 369, that was also confusing. Anyway, a friendly train info man helped us out, we paid for single tickets on the bus by card and after finding the correct bus stop at the Airport, and finding the correct bus stop to get off at ( 4 minute walk to the hotel!) we ended up ... read more
Me & Him at Keukenhof (1)
Kings Day
Volendam 2

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam February 12th 2022

What a fabulous start to Mark’s A-Z of Amsterdam tours - ‘ART & ARCHITECTURE’ Located between two gentle canals in the heart of the city, The Grand hotel boasts a rich history; from a 15th-century convent to royal lodgings, to the headquarters of the Admiralty to the City Hall of Amsterdam. Mark had received special permission to visit the beautiful Marriage Room, designed by artist Chris LeBeau, who completed the room in 1926. The Marriage Room was used, amongst others, to celebrate royal weddings. The wall paintings, with unique colour combinations symbolize the story of love. There was so much detail to absorb which was well explained by Mark. We also went into the Council Chamber with its wooden panels and wall paintings. H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands got married here in 1966, being a ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam November 18th 2021

Exploring Amsterdam at night. The canals look so pretty casting beautiful reflections with the lights and the full moon. The skating rink looked fun but a lot of people seemed to be chatting rather than skating. Another time we explored the top of the Jordaan district Our first stop was Muizenhuis - Maker and creator Karina since 2015 has been assisted by her four children, who all have their own role in the family business.Building the sets that are then photographed for the children’s books Sam & Julia. What a delightful shop and workshop. Next we entered the extra agent world of Dutch Designers Marcel Wanders & Casper Vissers who started Moooi in 2001, they promised each other to create a legendary brand. Today, after almost twenty years, Moooi is still inspiring and seducing the world ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam October 31st 2021

I am relaxing in our B&B with a coffee, while I start the blog. We have a couple of hours before we head off for our gay pub tour tonight, which should be a lot of fun (well, maybe it would have been, but the guide never showed up, more on that later). So, we had a bit of an issue with our covid test results (not what you think, we were both negative!). But the issue was with accessing our results. So, I’ll start at the beginning. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we did our covid test yesterday morning. They said they would email the results within 24 hours. So all day I’m obsessively checking email, waiting for the results. Finally, about 8:30 last night, I’m in the bathroom and Susan says her results ... read more
Morning canal views
Coffee in bed
The canal in front of the B&B

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam October 30th 2021

The rain that falls today, doesn’t fall tomorrow.- Dutch saying Well, I’m not sure about that proverb, because the forecast is for rain again tomorrow. Ah well, we are used to rain and at least we got a mostly sunny day yesterday. We started the day very early, as we both woke up basically in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep. It’s hard adjusting to the 9 hour time difference. Later we enjoyed a very lovely breakfast in our B&B. Katrien left us a tray with an assortment of breads and croissants, butter, jam, two different cheeses, boiled eggs, yogurt with fruit, sliced ham and roast beef, juice, and oranges. What a feast! There is coffee and a coffee maker in our room, so we also had some very good coffee ... read more
Kitchen and dining area
Large sleeping area
Our breakfast feast!

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam October 29th 2021

“I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.” Anne Frank Considering what Anne Frank and her family, and hundreds of thousands of other Dutch Jews, went through during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in World War II, I’ve always thought it amazing that she still believed that people were good at heart. But more on that later. First, our flight and arrival in Amsterdam! We had uploaded our proofs of COVID vaccines prior to our flight, so our check in with KLM was a breeze. We spent a few enjoyable hours in the Plaza Premium lounge at the airport before our flight, enjoying drinks and snacks. We had quite a pleasant 9 hour flight to Amsterdam. They gave us lunch (KLM didn‘t have a record of my vegetarian meal ... read more
On the walk from Centraal station to our B&B
On the walk from Centraal Station to our B&B
Oude Kerk - view from our B&B

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam August 28th 2021

We had an early morning at the Van Gogh Museum, at least early morning for us at 10 am. It is about a ½ hour walk which meant leaving at 9:30. We really had to wake up early, by 7:30 am. OMG. We went thru 2 of the 3 floors of the museum by probably 1pm and were tired and hungry. As it turns out the café isn’t open yet, due to Covid so we went down to the entry and got a coffee from the kiosk. It was easy and the coffee filled our belly’s. But the coffee kiosk is by the store so of course we had to visit that. After buying things like an umbrella and a silk scarf for me we sat and had another cup of coffee. Finally, we got up ... read more
One of my favorite paintings
A photo of a Canal
And another canal

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam August 24th 2021

We had a day of playing in Amsterdam, nothing too strenuous at the Botanical Gardens, now it was a day of museums. Well, really, it started out as only 1 museum. I had wanted for us to go to the Hague as there was one museum that I wanted to go to, the Mauritshuis House. This is the museum where Vermeer’s “Girl with The Pearl Earring” is hanging as well as several Rembrandt’s, other Vermeer’s, Rubens and Steen. I had attempted to purchase tickets for the Mauritshuis but there was nothing available. Instead, I found the Escher Museum and since Dale and I really like Escher, bought tickets for that. We took the train, catching it seconds before it pulled out, a good sign! We arrived in The Hague and walked to the Escher Museum using ... read more
An interactive exhibit at the Escher Museum
This exhibit is made up of flat pieces of metal that seem to move
The girl with a Pearl Earring

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam August 23rd 2021

Today was forecast to be sunny, no clouds and warm, a perfect day to spend outside. Of course, most of Amsterdam felt the same way but it wasn’t so crowded. After a leisurely breakfast we walked over to the botanical gardens, stopping to shoot photos on one bridge over a canal. The sun was so bright with people walking and biking every which way. The gardens are not on a large area but very efficiently planted. There are areas of evolution, and then categories of plants. The whole thing was started in 1638. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hortus_Botanicus_(Amsterdam) If you know us well, you know that we can’t grow much of any kind of plant, even when we try. And what we know about plants we could write in 1 word, nothing. So, starting with this it was going to ... read more
Lilly Pads
The Redwood tree in Amsterdam
A 300-Year-Old male plant and the 200-year-old female plant

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam August 22nd 2021

I wanted to have an easy day to start off our Amsterdam trip, especially since we had a concert at night. Of, course working out a schedule with days closed for one thing and not for the other, I had to work around all of that. So, for our 1st day of sightseeing, we went to the Oude Kerk (Old Church), from 1306. This is a church but also used for various exhibits. Today there was an exhibit on change using fabrics and other mediums. https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oude_Kerk_(Amsterdam) The church itself is very plain as much was destroyed by the Calvinists when they got some power, isn’t that the way it is with religions? One gets in power, doesn’t matter which one and there you go. Anyway, much was destroyed but the ceiling was spared as it was ... read more
The beautiful wood ceiling
The old organ
Saskia Rembrandt's grave




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