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    • Day 3

      Art Fun

      April 20, 2022 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      Gee wiz, Where to begin with today’s adventure’s!!?
      With a gentle start to our morning, we had a canal tour in which we saw some secret gems around Amsterdam city. We then walked through the artist Rembrandt’s Rijn house and saw where his masterpiece’s were created. We then stumbled along Gassan Diamond’s factory in which we needed to take a quick tour! Who knew how many types of diamonds there are… not to mention the 4 C’s of each in-particular diamond (Carat, Cut, Clarity, Colour).
      We then visited Straat - an awesome warehouse filled with huge street art works. The work and detail these artists put into their pieces is incredible.
      We ended our afternoon with a total ‘Insta pic’ worthy experience. Wondr! A 15 room; walk through of colourful, fun and interactive props.

      Finally, our night finished with an Amsterdam famous experience.. Red Light District. Not much to say on this, as I’m sure you can all imagine this as it is 🫣
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    • Day 110

      117ème étape ~ Amsterdam (jour 3)

      November 20, 2022 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌧 3 °C

      Journée pluvieuse = journée des musées.
      On commence par Madame Tussauds, on y découvre les statues de cire aussi impressionnantes que d’habitude.
      Puis nous visitons le musée du cannabis, on nous offre une tasse de thé (au CBD, sans THC).
      Ensuite c’est la visite du musée de l’érotisme, les commentaires ne sont pas nécessaires. 😂
      Et pour finir nous visitons la maison d’Anne Franck, nous y écoutons son histoire, ses peurs, ses joies, sa vie, sa fin.
      Nous finissons par un repas traditionnel dans un cadre très chaleureux. 🥰
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    • Day 6

      Barrio judio

      August 9, 2023 in the Netherlands ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Tu historia se encuentra entrelazada con las historias de vida de miles de personas que sufrieron las barbaridades de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Pudimos recorrer las calles del Barrio Judío y recorrer los sitios más icónicos de este lugar. Desde su casa Ana Frank escribió su diario, el cual representó algo muy importante. Escribiendo, Anne Frank ayudó al mundo a entender que los 6 millones de Judíos asesinados en el Holocausto tenían caras, vidas, y personalidades. Ayudó a ver la "cara humana del Holocausto".
      Recorrimos tus calles y tu historia.
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    • Day 8

      Amsterdam 1

      October 1, 2018 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      This is called Amsterdam 1 because I expect I'll have more than one post about this amazing city. For this one, the first pic is a view over Amsterdam from the balcony of the Airbnb where I'm staying. Then the red light district in daytime. Then a Royal palace and an ancient tower. Some of the old houses with their tilting. And an example of the Dutch school of architecture at the harbor building.Read more

    • Day 1

      Die Tausende Brücken Stadt

      August 22, 2020 in the Netherlands ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Nach einer kurzen Pause im Hotel um uns zu orientieren ging es denn direkt los. Unser Hotel Die Port van cleve liegt direkt im Stadtzentrum und ist also der ideale Startpunkt um die Altstadt zu Fuß zu erkunden.Read more

    • Day 11

      Ken Cooks the Raisins

      September 4, 2016 in the Netherlands ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

      Sunday September 4th
      In Which Ken Illegally Cooks the Raisins

      One of the lovely features of the Wiechmann Hotel is the beautiful little breakfast room, right on the corner of the ground floor. It is a joy to enjoy breakfast each morning while watching the hundreds of bicycles pass by just a couple of metres away on the other side of the window.

      Maggie and I had a slight sleep in and were a little late arriving for breakfast. We found the rest of the team were already there, thoroughly enjoying their first meal of the day. The array of foods includes a large toasting machine and an array of breads and other condiments. The only restriction, written in large BOLD PRINT above the toaster is "DO NOT TOAST RAISIN BREAD IN THIS TOASTER". I had visions of melting raisins falling into the insides of the machine and causing irreparable damage. Although it looked pretty clear to me, you could understand my surprise when I found Ken Lister merrily tucking into a large stack of freshly toasted raisin bread.

      He looked slightly guilty when I mentioned that he had broken the first commandment of the breakfast room.

      Since we had already had enough of crowds, Maggie and I decided to walk away from the centre of town to the Vondelpark. This is a huge area of parkland, bike paths, shady trees and tea rooms. We had spent time here on our previous visit to Amsterdam and loved the relative quietness of the area. We watched the numerous joggers, walkers and cyclists while we enjoyed a coffee and cake and then walked back towards the nearby Museum Complex. When I saw the huge lines of people waiting for entry, it took all of about 3 seconds to make the decision that I was not that interested in going inside. When I see hundreds of people all heading the same direction, something inside me always makes me want to go in the exact opposite direction. I have never been one to do something, just because everyone else was doing it.

      I heard some music coming from nearby and decided to follow that instead. It led me to a blind accordionist who was playing with exquisite skill. It was hard to believe that he was only playing an accordion and not a church organ. This also gave me the ideal chance to empty my wallet of all the coins that had been accumulating there over the past week.

      I emptied the entire contents into his tray, pleased that I could now close the flap on my coin compartment.

      Near the Rijk Museum is the diamond centre of Amsterdam. The impressive cluster of buildings that constitutes the Coster Diamond Conglomerate is probably a regular visiting location for the rich and famous, but it is also an interesting place to watch diamond cutters actually doing their craft. Another attraction is that it is free to enter (and it is never crowded).

      Maggie and I entered through the secure checkpoint and spent some time watching the workers inside. Unfortunately, because it was Sunday, it was a little quiet inside. A snappily dressed salesman sidled up to us and started to do his well rehearsed spiel about the value of diamonds. I nodded my head sagely as he explained colour and facets and gave me a loupe to examine a huge shining diamond. I tried to squint through the thing but couldn't see a thing. "It's beautiful", I lied. "It is for sale", he explained."I only like the larger ones", I answered. He didn't believe me, but proceeded to usher us through the various parts of the sales rooms, past huge glittering showcases full of overpriced stones.

      Somehow I was not really surprised when he quickly lost interest in us and directed us towards the cubic zirconium cheap copies at about 40 Euros each.

      Maggie tried on a few rings but quickly discovered that the sizes were only made for very small fingers. It was obvious that the main customers were cashed up Chinese visitors.

      It was only when we were out of the building that I noticed that there was a large stain down the front of my trousers from an unfortunate accident that had happened while eating a pizza the previous night. I guessed that probably gave a good indicator that we would not be in the market for any 500,000 Euro sparklers anytime soon.

      By this time we were starting to wilt so decided to start to make our way back towards the hotel. We had not gone far before I noticed a well dressed young woman leaning up the side of a doorway. There was something not right about her. She seemed unaware of her surroundings and was simply staring blankly into space. As I watched she slowly slid down the wall and slumped to the ground, surrounded by a puddle of her own vomit. Although some might try to paint a rosy image of legal drug taking and excessive drinking, I think that the reality is less than perfect. I really didn't know how to respond to this unfortunate young girl, but judging from the indifferent attitudes of the other passers by, I got the impression that such sights are common here.

      I was glad to back at the hotel and some quiet time in our room to think about the events of the day. There is no doubt that Amsterdam is a captivating city with some amazing characteristics, but I was ready to move on. I could not help but feel that I wanted to be back on the bike, exploring some quiet bike path, far away from the jostling, selfie taking crowds.

      Tomorrow we will be back on bike, but not the type that require pedalling. We have arranged to hire a bunch of Vespa Scooters to explore the countryside on the outskirts of the city.Although none of us have ever ridden a scooter before, we have seen pretty silly looking people riding them, so it can't be too hard. I will let you know how we go.
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