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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 » South Holland » Keukenhof March 24th 2022

Tulips may not have originated in Holland, but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming one of Holland’s main exports and one of the things it’s most well-known for. It was in the 16th century that tulips were imported to Holland from the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey). Just a few years after arriving in Holland, tulips became the most sought-after commodity in the entire Netherlands, after Carolus Clusius wrote what’s considered the first major book about the flower. At the time, tulip bulbs were worth more than gold and were sold for 10 times what a commoner made in a year. Needless to say, the time period was appropriately named “tulip mania.” Though they certainly don’t outweigh gold anymore, the Netherlands is still one of the largest exporters of tulips in the world. Today, roughly 60% of ... read more

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 February 12th 2022

The Netherlands is a beautiful country with much to offer tourists. From the vibrant city of Amsterdam to the peaceful countryside, there is something for everyone. If you're looking for a vacation destination that offers a little bit of everything, the Netherlands should be at the top of your list! In this blog post, we will discuss 7 amazing places to visit in the Netherlands. Amsterdam The most popular destination in the Netherlands is Amsterdam. It's a city with more than one identity: it's both the capital of The Netherlands and also its party center, attracting tourists with an endless array of attractions. The best way to explore this beautiful city is just walking around, taking in all that it has to offer. There are narrow streets, cute little houses with beautiful gardens, cozy cafes, and ... read more
Keukenhof gardens
Giethoorn village, Netherlands

Europe » Netherlands » South Holland » Rotterdam February 6th 2022

Six months after my first trip out of Berlin in eighteen months, I was now ready to take my first trip out of Germany in more than two years. There is perhaps, simply no more fitting a way for this old traveller to celebrate four decades of being on Earth than by breaking out of the country to see a little bit more of it. Since my trip to Dresden, the new Omicron variant saw the number of Covid cases rapidly increase worldwide in the lead-up to Christmas, which put the brakes on any travel plans I may have had. I was hoping to be able to get back to New Zealand to see friends and family after almost two years of pandemic, but Omicron ensured that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern kept the gates ... read more
Rijnhaven
Delfshaven
Erasmusburg

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 » Hoorn November 14th 2021

***Second visit March 2022 photos added.*** The heyday of Hoorn was in the 17th century, when it was one of the most important Dutch East India Company centres. Founded about 1300 and chartered in 1357, it was the capital of medieval of West Friesland. Its horn-shaped harbour (for which it is named) was one of the principal ports of the Netherlands. The first great net for herring fishing was made in Hoorn in 1416. Willemstad Schouten who discovered the passage around Cape Horn andwere born in Hoorn. The Waag is a stunning building in the historic center of Hoorn was built in 1609. It was used historically as a weigh-house where goods bought and sold could be assessed for its value. It’s now a cozy cafe. WestfrIes Museum - The building itself is a Rijksmonument building ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Muiden November 6th 2021

Muiden is an ancient village with rich history, it took Mark 45 minutes to cycle there from Amsterdam The small streets of the medieval town designed for horses with carriages felt like we were travelling back in time. Muiden is on the shores of the IJmeer, at the mouth of the Vecht river. The major attraction is the Muiderslot which is known as Mark tells an interesting story about the history of the Netherlands and how the castle was once part of important water defense lines, such as the Defence Line of Amsterdam and the New Waterline. The Muiderslot was one of the fortifications on these historical defense lines. We heard how the Netherlands had planned to flood certain areas of land as a defense mechanism for hostile armies. A most interesting tour with Mark whilst ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » Gelderland » Gaanderen November 5th 2021

I just discovered it's been slightly more then a year (2 days to be exact), that I wrote my last blog. Embarrassing! It also means I haven't really travelled for two years, not counting my visits to Germany. And that Covid-19 is still a thing. So this is another Intermezzo blog, which is strange. An Intermezzo blog, following on a year old Intermezzo blog! But these are weird times we are living in. On the up side, my carbon footprint is probably the lowest it's been in years. No flying to far flung destinations, a few train trips with trains running on green energy (so they claim), and there you go. My contribution to COP26! During this year a lot has happened. A Christmas and New Year in Switzerland with my sister, a surprising late snow-stormy ... read more
Schwaebish Hall
Schwaebish Hall
Schwaebish Hall

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland November 1st 2021

“The windmill doesn’t care for the wind that’s gone past”- Dutch proverb We were very happy the rain stopped today! Apparently it’s not common for it to rain so much and so hard here in Amsterdam. Our B&B host Katrien said how unusual it was and how it might be related to climate change. But today was a lovely sunny (though quite windy and cool) day. We had a leisurely morning in our B&B, enjoying our breakfast, and then we headed out for our 1/2 day tour to Zaanse Schans. We walked to Centraal Station (I can’t believe how close it is now that we’ve figured out the direct route), then took the ferry over to Buiksloterweg. This free ferry makes frequent trips and only takes a few minutes to make the crossing. We walked a ... read more
A sunny view today!
On the walk to Centraal Station
Centraal Station




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