Tag Archives: Holland

WHERE DUTCH ARCHITECTURE IS A JOKE

The gable of the Zaandam Stadhuis (Town Hall) enters into the playful spirit of things.

The gable of the Zaandam Stadhuis (Town Hall) enters into the playful spirit of things.



Dutch architects have been hard at work in and around Amsterdam, inserting colourful humour into some very public buildings, and it’s remarkable that, in the Zaanstreek, local planning authorities have been happily going along with the joke.
Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Cycling, Holland

A TOP CITY FOR EXPATS – who don’t need friends

Millions want to visit, so why wouldn't you want to live here?

Millions want to visit; why wouldn’t you want to live here?


According to an article on the BBC website, I’m living in the one of the best places in the world to be a foreign resident.

But on delving further into an HSBC survey comparing countries’ liveability for expats, I was disconcerted to see that while the Netherlands scored well on things like job opportunities, health services, ease of transport, culture, language (meaning widely-spoken English) and good schools for expat children, it was near the bottom of the list on various social criteria.

The country rated very low for expats in ‘making local friends’, ‘social life’ and ‘integrating into the community’. China and Germany scored much higher in these categories. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Holland

BIKES ON DYKES – planning a Dutch cycling tour

Cycling in Holland is a family affair.

Cycling in Holland is a family affair.



We’ll be back cycling in The Netherlands in less than a fortnight, so we’re planning some interesting routes.

Coincidentally, my correspondent Lianne just sent me a few questions (with attached compliments – flattery will get you everywhere!) about how to arrange a cycling holiday there.

So here it is – info on bike hire, route planning, weather, all the essentials to get started on planning a bike trip through Nederland. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Holland

HENRY MOORE IN AMSTERDAM – Rijksmuseum

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

5 Comments

Filed under Art, Holland

OLD AMSTERDAM IN SEPIA

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

7 Comments

Filed under Holland, travel photography

YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE – Alkmaar’s Festival of the Foot

No surf on the Dutch beach, but plenty of action.

No surf on the Dutch beach, but plenty of action.

The mass walk is a peculiarly Dutch activity, one that I’d avoided until now. That’s surprising, given how much I enjoy hiking.

But yesterday I tagged along with my friend Anita and 6,800 of her Dutch walking mates on the ‘Plus Wandel4Daagse Alkmaar‘, for a brisk stroll through North Holland. Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Hiking, Holland

TEXEL – up close and personal

'Brandweer ' - Texel's mini fire brigade. I noticed the key was hanging in the ignition, ready for any emergency.

‘Brandweer ‘ – Texel’s miniature fire engine. I noticed the key was hanging in the ignition, ready for any emergency. May all their fires be small fires.

Excuse me for harking back to last weekend’s cycling trip to Texel Island. There were a few little things worth mentioning that I missed in my previous post.

What makes Texel so attractive to Dutch people and to a handful of knowledgeable German visitors is its small scale and its olde worlde charm. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Holland