Blogs from North Holland, Netherlands, Europe - page 3

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Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 25th 2018

Cycles and canals. Such a cruisy start to day 1 in Amsterdam. No nonsense this time leaving the airport. We found the train then a taxi to the door of our hotel. We had been warned about the steep staircase but wow…. what a mountain to climb! Fortunately the guy at reception helped us lug our bags up and offered us bottled water. We left the bags in his capable hands and headed off for our first look-see at the canals of Amsterdam. We had an easy 3 minute stroll to the Westerkerk Protestant church which is located just alongside the Anne Frank house. One look at the crowds and we were pleased we hadn’t pre- booked a ticket. Even with a specific entry time those poor blighters were already heating up whilst waiting, waiting, waiting ... read more
Canal buildings
Canals Couples Coronas Cycles
Pancake breakfast

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 22nd 2018

Today was officially our first day in Amsterdam. We decided that since Amsterdam is an incredibly small city, and we’re only here for 3-4 days, and it’s our last city for the trip, that we would just take this time to chill out. Have a really nice relaxing few days in Amsterdam before heading home, and not pressure ourselves to do too much. Today was the perfect day to start that, since because of our late night last night we slept in until 10am! We left the bnb at 12 and headed straight to brunch- The Avocado Show. This is a restaurant that we have been so excited to go to since before we even added Amsterdam to our trip. It’s basically a restaurant based on avocado- every single item on the menu is avocado based. ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 22nd 2018

Had another big sleep in after another late night! This actually has more perks than disadvantages: we get enough sleep, we end up staying out later til it actually gets dark, and the bnb we’re in doesn’t have a kitchen so we have to eat all our food out, and by leaving the house at midday we only have to buy lunch and dinner! Another restaurant we’d been looking at for a while was Mook, a cute little pancake place. So we headed there and received breakfast at 12:45pm! My pancakes were topped with blueberries, strawberries, bananas and maple syrup, and Trudi’s with peanut butter, chocolate and blackberries. We then headed out to see what the markets of Amsterdam are like! We headed to Waterlooplein, where we got some more souvenirs and I bought some pants ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 22nd 2018

Today was our last full day of the trip. Once again we slept in and left the house at midday, but this time we headed straight to the grocery store instead of to a restaurant. We were off to have a picnic in Vondelpark! On the way we found a cute little doughnut shop so we got a few treats from here, then at the grocery store we filled the bags with rolls, cheese and biscuits, grapes, strawberries, water, chips, and stroopwafels (Dutch treats). We headed off to Vondelpark and had a lovely few hours eating and playing cards and experiencing all the sounds and smells of Vondelpark (pigeons cooing and marijuana, respectively). After this we headed to the iAmsterdam sign, where we climbed on top of it and got some awesome photos! It wasn’t very ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 20th 2018

Short blog here to let readers take a break from the massive ones recently. Had a great first day in Amsterdam! Well, the afternoon was great. We had another day of sitting in Maccas all morning waiting for check in. We left Brussels at 7:50am, on a train that took almost two hours to get to Amsterdam. Check in was at 2pm, and by the time we’d gotten off the train and walked all the way to a maccas close to the air bnb, it was only 10:30am. So, we played cards and watched some videos and gawked at the lady standing outside the toilet asking people for 50 cents to use it for almost three hours. We left at 1:30pm and were able to check in straight away. We spent about half an hour settling ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Volendam July 15th 2018

Our bus tour was due to start at 12.00; so we headed for Damrak, just after 11 o’clock. We managed to arrive at 26 Damrak, the bus tour company’s office at 11:45. The tour guide greeted us and gave each of us a purple colour ring to distinguish from other tour parties. At 11.55, we were asked to walk to the road facing to the Centraal Station and get on the double-decker bus. There were loads of people, approximately 60 people, joining the tour. The bus departed exactly at 12 o’clock. This bus tours to run for 7 hours and take us to several places – Zaanse schans Windmill Heritage Park; folk museum, cheese factory, Dutch Waffle bakery house in Vodendam; and Wooden clog shoe factory in Marken. The tour guide spoke three languages including English, ... read more
Windmills, Zaanse schans
Folk museum, Vodendam
Vodendam harbour

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 15th 2018

Canal Cruise – Amsterdam We’d purchased 48 hour Amsterdam Pass, which would allow us to have unlimited journeys on the public transport including the canal cruise and free entry to major museums – Rijkmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum. My parents found Amsterdam is a charming city with mixture of old and modern buildings. We got on an hour cruise departing from 10 o’clock. Our 48 hour Amsterdam Passes were validated from that time on 19 June. The cruise offered free audio guides in several languages including Japanese. The narrow boat went past a number of authentic historic buildings and museums, charming residential buildings festooned with flowers. We understood that many buildings retain hooks on the top front used to be warehouse in the past. We were also taken to the harbour around the station. ... read more
historic ship displayed in front of National Maritime Museum
Buildings along the canal
Olde Kerk

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 15th 2018

Rijksmuseum Our hotel was very close to Rijksmuseum – National Gallery of the Holland. I’d wanted to visit this museum for a long time. After getting off the canal cruise, we decided to look round Rijksmuseum. We showed our Amsterdam Passes at the start of the museum. Having looked at the floor map, we understood that Dutch paintings are displayed on the 1st and 2nd floor. We went up to the 2nd floor. We saw a huge variety of paintings and artworks – blue-and-white porcelain, sculptures, winter landscapes, Rembrandt’s portraits and his masterpieces, amazing still-life paintings. All the paintings and decorative arts had English commentaries. My parents admired massive collections of Rembrandt’s self-portraits and historic paintings with the commentary how he produced colours on the point reflecting of the sunlight in the ... read more
Van Gogh Museum
Stedelijk Museum
Fountains in the backyard garden of Rijksmuseum

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam June 20th 2018

Last day in Amsterdam and last day of this trip, as we leave tomorrow morning for home. Over breakfast, we decide what we want to do today. Violet is interested in a tulip museum and I was just reading about the area of Amsterdam known as Jordaan, close to the Anne Frank House. Serendipitously, that's where the tulip museum is, so that's our first destination for today. Alighting from the tram, we decide to explore Westerkerk, the huge church in the square near Anne Frank that we saw two days ago. To be truthful, I am lured in by beautiful organ music wafting out to the street. This is the largest Protestant church in the Netherlands, consecrated in 1631, and has the highest bell tower in the city. Inside it is very open and filled with ... read more
Jordaan
Tulip bulbs for sale
Another view of Jordaan

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam June 19th 2018

Up at 8 am. Decent buffet breakfast at the hotel. Now, last night we had made reservations at the Van Gogh Museum for 11:45. That museum is located in the same museum quarter we visited yesterday. We decide to make our way there early and see what else we can see. It's a dreary day, so museums seem a sensible choice. Single tram stop and some walking. A word about bicycles in Amsterdam. As I may have said earlier, there are not only more bicycles than cars in Amsterdam, there are more bicycles than people. And bicycles appear to have the right of way over both pedestrians and motorized vehicles. Major streets have a bicycle lane in the middle of the sidewalk. Pedestrians are supposed to walk on either side and leave the centre free. This ... read more
Diamond-encrusted gorilla skull in the Diamond Museum
Entrance to Van Gogh Museum
Royal Concertgebouw




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