The Netherlands meets Australia in Canberra.
Our nation’s capital has a reputation for being cold. The cold makes it one of the few places in the Southern Hemisphere where tulips flourish, which means that for a few weeks each year, Canberra is in full bloom.
The Floriade Festival, on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin brings Canberra to life each spring. It’s a sort of unofficial Dutch event, so naturally Mevrouw T and I had to check it out. Continue reading
I’d seen them before, but I never get tired of them.
The Dutch countryside is nearly all beautiful. The nice thing about cycling out from Amsterdam is that you can ride in any direction with the wind at your back, then take the train back home.
I did just that today. I set out with no plans, and found myself blown inexorably towards the tulip fields. Continue reading
Riding through Amsterdam’s Vondelpark is pleasant in almost any season, however…
There’s nothing more miserable than an Amsterdam winter. Sure, there may be the odd crisp, clear day with merry skaters on the canals, but the fun never lasts.
Icy bike paths make for treacherous riding. Not my Vondelpark photo – it’s from de Volkskrant.
Grey sludge with drizzle becomes the default weather setting, with people heading to school and work in the gloom and not getting home till after dark.
Fortunately Mevrouw T and I are able to miss the worst of it and migrate like swallows to the sunny southern climes of Australia.
But it is always great to come back to The Netherlands just as people are getting excited again and the lovely Vondelpark across the canal from us comes to life. Continue reading
The Keukenhof Gardens – tulips by the million
Few people celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, but it coincided with us taking advantage of the cheaper Earlybird flights to Europe.
We booked our tickets back to Amsterdam this week, and will arrive there with the spring 2013. That’s something to be thankful for, and to celebrate with a few shots in this Weekly Photo Challenge.
We’re gratefully looking forward to… Continue reading
Corbett Gardens, Bowral. It may not be the Keukenhof, but it’s the best we can do.
Regular readers of RT’S LOTR may have noticed that Mevrouw T and I haven’t been getting out much lately. We’ve been restricted by a combination of paid writing work (good) and knee surgery (not so good, but it will be fine in the end).
We did however manage to squeeze in a day trip out of Sydney to the Southern Highlands, for a hobble through Bowral’s annual Tulip Time Festival. Continue reading
The barge, ‘Holland’, and its intrepid crew getting ready for a great day’s riding.
As I’m going to be chained to a desk and a computer for the next few weeks, I’ll take the chance to look back on some of the highlights of the travel year to date.
Our time in Holland started with a great little trip by barge and bike though the classic Dutch countryside…
For forty years, the grimy little barge Germa carried sand around Dutch canals. Then someone decided that carrying tourists would be more fun, and perhaps more lucrative too. So in the 1960s Germa was given a total makeover, with guest cabins built inside and a coat of cheerful paint outside. They changed Germa’s name too, to the more appealing Holland.
Now proud skipper John and cycling guide Marcel lead people on leisurely canal cruises, along the way taking their guests on bikes, to pedal round those Dutch icons – tulips, clogs, windmills and cheese. Continue reading