Tag Archives: Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM OFFERS FREE DINKS TO STRANGERS

No, I don’t mean ‘free drinks’ and I haven’t tried one myself.

‘Dinking’ was the old Aussie word for giving someone a lift on the your bike, back in the days when such things were legal.

It’s still a common way to get around in Amsterdam, though the idea of offering and/or accepting a ride from a stranger is probably (1) a cool marketing exercise for bike hire company Yellow Bikes and (2) likely to give a new meaning to the phrase ‘pick up’.

Anyone accepting a ‘Yellow Backie’ dink from an already wobbly rider like me would be taking their life in my hands. They’d need a stiff drink afterwards.

Look at the YouTube video above and see what you think of the idea.

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DUTCH CANALS, RIVERS AND LAKES – cycling the Vecht

The Vecht at Loenen.

The Vecht at Loenen.

It’s our last week in Amsterdam for this year. Time for one more bike ride, this one with my friend and guide Hans, down the Rhine Canal to Loenen, between the lakes to Ankeveen, along the winding River Vecht to Weesp, and home again.

The wonderful thing about cycling here is that even after years of exploring the area around Amsterdam on two wheels, there are still new routes for us to discover, all of them with quiet, safe, all-but-car-free cycle paths. Continue reading

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AMSTERDAM TO HAARLEM – with bike and smartphone

Bring it on! Trucks and planes are no bother.   I have my own cycle path.

Bring it on! Trucks and planes will not bother me. I have my own cycle path.

The joys of living in Amsterdam. It’s a fine day, I need some exercise and I have the afternoon free. One of the most beautiful small towns in the world is an hour away by bike.

I don’t need a helmet, I’m not wearing lycra and this time I’m not even taking a camera. The phone in my pocket will do the job. Continue reading

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AMSTERDAM’S BEST PARKS – my top five

Cycling in the Amsterdamse Bos. There are over 50km of paths to choose from.

Cycling in the Amsterdamse Bos. There are over 50km of paths to choose from.

Most visitors to Amsterdam discover the beautiful Vondelpark. It’s already several metres below sea level and sinking all the time, possibly under the weight of the 20 million feet that tramp through it each year.

It’s not the only park in town, and those who have time shouldn’t overlook some of the city’s other leafy and lively open spaces. Continue reading

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ARTZUID PHOTO TIP – take a lady in red with you

Our favourite for 2015 - Duma, by Barcelona artist Jaume Plensa

Our favourite for 2015 – Duma, by Barcelona artist Jaume Plensa


Mevrouw T and I are big fans of Amsterdam’s biennial sculpture exhibition ArtZuid.

The setting may not be quite as spectacular as that of Sydney’s wonderful Sculpture by the Sea, but the leafy gardens of the Apollolaan and Minervalaan in the Oud Zuid (Old South) district are lovely too. Continue reading

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ONE AMSTERDAM CANAL – FIVE SHOTS

I was rather pleased with this early morning shot. It got me thinking about how our lovely canal changes according to the light.

I was rather pleased with this early morning shot.

The balcony is our favourite part of our apartment, overlooking the Schinkel, Amsterdam’s busy working canal.

Taking the photo above reminded me of how extraordinarily different the Schinkel looks depending on the time of day, the season, the activity and the light. Continue reading

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AMSTERDAM AUTUMN – splashes of colour and colourful splashes

We'll be sorry to say 'Tot ziens'.

We’ll be sorry to say ‘Tot ziens’ to our Vondelpark.

We’re coming to the end of our European stay for the year. The days are getting shorter and chillier. Usually we’re well back in the swelter of a Sydney summer by now, so it’s been a bonus to be here to see the autumn in.

Amsterdam isn’t New England or Canada. There are few maple trees turning glorious red, so the prevailing autumn colours here are those of the elms, poplars and plane trees – yellow and brown, the prevailing Dutch drizzle soon turning fallen leaves to grey sludge on the paths.

But this year’s weather has been unusually mild, so taking the camera for a stroll through the Vondelpark is rewarded with a few colourful snaps… Continue reading

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