Tag Archives: Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM TO NAARDEN – a fine spring cycle

By the Amstel River. 'Amster-dam' = 'Dam on the Amstel', remember?

By the Amstel River. ‘Amster-dam’ = ‘Dam on the Amstel’, remember?

We’ve just arrived back in Holland, the breeze is gentle and the rain won’t be with us for two more days. So what better way to fight the jetlag than a ride through the Dutch countryside?

One of the most hit-on posts on this blog is my brief list of Holland’s Prettiest Villages. I decided I’d see how many of them I could manage to ride around in a day. My route took me through Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, Abcoude, Weesp, Naarden, Muiden and back to Amsterdam. A respectable 72kms, plus a few where I forgot to switch the computer back on.

If that seems a bit energetic for Day 1 in the saddle, let me confess up front that Mevrouw T kindly offered me use of her electric bike. I know, that’s cheating, but we thought the beast should be tested again, before we take it farther afield.

It was indeed a lovely ride, and the bike’s electric booster left me energy over for photography. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Holland


Why is everyone ignoring me?

Why is everyone ignoring me?

To celebrate the reopening of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the surrounding gardens are hosting a fabulous exhibition of Henry Moore’s sculpture.

We don’t expect to see a better collection of the work of the great British artist, not anywhere, not ever. And certainly not for free. Continue reading


Filed under Art, Holland


'Forever' by Ai Wei Wei

‘Forever’ by Ai Wei Wei

Ai Wei Wei may be China’s best known artist. I say that only because I know his work, from the Tate Modern in London and the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney.

I was very pleased to see him included in what’s become for us an unmissable biennial Amsterdam event, Art Zuid. Continue reading


Filed under Art, Holland


Prinsengracht, Amsterdam

Prinsengracht, Amsterdam

I’ve been playing around with the buttons on my iPhoto editing programme (Note intentional ye olde spelling of ‘programme’).

It’s all too easy and all too tempting. With the click of a mouse, I can take my images back a hundred years. I’m rather pleased with the results. Continue reading


Filed under Holland, travel photography


Mevrouw T’s bike was stolen last week.

Pouring rain, a dash into the supermarket, forgetting to fasten the lock, remembering too late, a dash out of the supermarket, a desperate search of the bike racks, questions to bystanders (who naturally saw nothing)…and a long walk home. In the rain.

It wasn’t only the bike she lost, and the just-purchased lunch of Hollandse Nieuwe herring she had in the saddlebag; self-respect and faith in humanity were stolen too. ‘How could I be so stupid?’ was closely followed by ‘How could anyone be so mean?’ and ‘What sort of sick town/society/world do we live in?’

Bicycle theft is falling from its highs in the early 2000s, but is still the most common crime in Amsterdam. I did some research on the figures. Sobering reading.
Continue reading


Filed under Cycling, Holland

MEALS ON (interesting) WHEELS

Sexy Vegetables (Groenten) and a happy caravan.

Sexy Vegetables (Groenten) and a happy caravan.

A festival of mobile food? I like the idea very much.

Amsterdam’s Rollende Keukens (Rolling Kitchens) weekend at the Westergasfabriek wasn’t blessed with good weather this year, but plenty of us turned out to sample it anyway.

Now we know what happened to all those VW Bongo vans and the baked bean-shaped caravans that mysteriously disappeared after the 70s – they were turned into mobile food outlets. And very charming they are too. Continue reading


Filed under Holland

FINE L-PLATE DINING, Hotelschool, Amsterdam

Smart and small - le Debut Restaurant at the Amsterdam Hotelschool.

Smart and small – le Debut Restaurant at the Amsterdam Hotelschool.

I’d think carefully before agreeing to have my appendix removed by a trainee surgeon, or letting a rookie dentist dig around in my mouth with sharp instruments.

But offer me a meal at a bargain price and I’m happy to be a guinea pig for apprentice masterchefs and waitpersons.

Hotelschool, The Hague, has just opened a new building for its branch in Amsterdam. Mevrouw T and I signed up to be early customers. Continue reading


Filed under Holland