Tag Archives: Amsterdam

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocused

Amsterdam Near Miss!

It is estimated that there are about 465,000 bicycles and four hundred kilometres of bike paths in Amsterdam. That is roughly one bike for every two people and how the cyclists must curse the visitors who are unfamiliar with the sort of bike culture that exists in the Netherlands and are forever getting in the way.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

Bicycle and Railings, Amsterdam…

It is estimated that there are about 465,000 bicycles and four hundred kilometres of bike paths in Amsterdam. That is roughly one bike for every two people and how the cyclists must curse the visitors who are unfamiliar with the sort of bike culture that exists in the Netherlands and are forever getting in the way.

Theft of bikes is a problem in Amsterdam and those that are not in use are usually attached to metal railings with a strong padlock and chain.

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Tulips to Amsterdam, A Walking Tour of the Canals

Amsterdam yhe Netherlands Reflection Canal

It was ten o’clock by the time we had finished our leisurely breakfast and checked out of the hotel and stepped out into the sunny but chilly streets for a second day in Amsterdam.  We followed Prins Hendrikkade but with the Maritime Museum in site and those among us who do not like museums beginning to tremble we turned right back towards the centre and more or less followed the route of the canal boat ride of yesterday but this time on foot.

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Tulips to Amsterdam, Heritage Visits and Museums

Volendam postcard

Early next morning I was woken by the rumble of a passing freight train seven floors below which in my half sleep sounded like my next door neighbour putting the wheelie bin out and for a moment I was transported back home and had forgotten to put the refuse out and in an unnecessary panic this woke me completely.

I lay for a while reflecting on the first day in Amsterdam and planning the second and I began to regret that we hadn’t booked a second night in the city because we didn’t have enough time to do all of the things that we would have liked to.

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Tulips to Amsterdam, The Red Light District and an Argentinean Steak Restaurant

Amsterdam the Netherlands

The weather just kept on improving and when we left the Anne Frank house there was a clear sky and bright sunshine so we continued our ponderous stroll along the canals working our way south and east as we followed the canal ring and looped around the southern end of the old town.  Eventually the girls declared that they had seen enough water for one day and they might like to see some shops instead so reluctantly (I’m not much of a shopper myself) I plotted a route back towards Dam Square through a busy shopping area.

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Tulips to Amsterdam, Canal Cruise and the Anne Frank House

Amsterdam by Delft

The coach driver ran through a well rehearsed list of do’s and don’ts peppered with little quips – my favourite being an instruction not to stand up in the on-board toilet when taking a pee as this results in a waterlogged cubicle and then he settled down for the two hour drive to Amsterdam.

When we arrived he ran through some useful information and he had plenty of time for this because there was a huge traffic jam all along the main roads of Rokin and Damrak and progress was slow to our drop off point at the central railway station.  Before we got off the bus he reminded us that traffic drives on the right hand side of the road in the Netherlands and to be careful getting off or else instead of sightseeing in Amsterdam we would be in hospital instead.

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Tulips to Amsterdam, P&O Mini Cruise and the Humber Estuary

P&O Pride of Rotterdam

For just over ten years between 2000 and 2011 I worked for South Holland District Council and if ever I went away to a meeting or a conference and introduced myself I almost always had to explain to at least one person that this was in Lincolnshire in the UK and not in the Netherlands.  It seemed appropriate therefore that a year after leaving employment there that I and my regular travelling companions (also all ex-South Holland) should visit the country after which our region was named and whose symbol is the tulip.

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Little Venice

Little Venice

Little Venice is one of the most attractive and picturesque parts of Mykonos Town and one of the prettiest places in the Cyclades.  Its charming two and three storey houses with colourful balconies, windows and doors; built precariously right on the sea, form a unique picture.  It is almost as iconic an image of the Cyclades as are Santorini’s sugar cubed houses and blue domed churches and is among the most photographed tourist destinations in the whole of Greece.

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