This page has pictures from 3 different
trips to Holland, primarily Amsterdam. Why visit one city 3 times when
you only have a few years to live in Europe? Because its AMSTERDAM a truly
fun, vibrant, and friendly city that is unique in its structure and culture.
Aesthetically, with its beautiful bridges, canals and gardens, its a great
place to meander through the town. The Dutch people are amazingly fun
and friendly. Bicycles have the right of way. You can get any type of
food you want, and it all tastes good. What else could you want?
Considering the nearby Flanders
of Belgium that was leveled in WWI, that Amsterdam's historic city is
so well preserved is amazing. Its small enough so that you can see the
center all by foot or public transit. A curious oddity that I have noticed
every time upon visiting is that a 15 minute walk will easily take you
an hour as you'll need time to browse, take photos, or chit chat with
someone, grab a bite to eat or have a coffee. The la-te-da laid back pace
of the city is truly unique.
These separate picts are taken from my most
recent visit in April of 07 (timed to coincide with the flower blooms),
October 06, and May of 05.
This is a very typical street of apartment
houses found in the city center of Amsterdam. The arm jutting
out from the top of each house has a hook on the end and is used
for hoisting furniture to the upper floors and bringing it in
through the window. Being a city constructed on canals, property
involving dirt is very valuable so houses were traditionally extremely
narrow and staircases ridiculously tiny. More picts of that follow.
The first trip to Amsterdam happened in May
of 05, with some girlfriends from school. We happened to be gone
the weekend of the school's pub crawl (for teachers, not students)
- so we made one of our own called the "Budapest to Amsterdam
Pub crawl." It was quite a challenge. Pictured are Kasshawna,
me w/ my special Holland glasses, and Laurie.
Its a terrible picture, but I like the adaptation
of this bike. As there is something like a 200% tax on cars, everyone
bikes and you see lots of different varieties of bikes. A common
adaptation was to have a scoop in front like the above for carrying
kids, cargo, pets, ect.
This is Dale and I on his first trip to Amsterdam
which was a present celebrating his last birthday. Do you remember
which milestone birthday of his just passed?
Here's a picture taken by Laurie on the last trip to Amsterdam,
April 07. We were traveling as part of a photo class that was timed
to coincide with the tulip blooms of spring. The next few photos
were taken with my newest camera, so the resolution & quality
should be a bit better than the others. Hopefully, I learned a few
things from the class as well.
This picture was taken at Keukenhof gardens, outside of Amsterdam.
It is one of my favorite pictures of the trip as I found the colors
& different flowers made the place look like a fairy tale. Linked
is a larger, not so compressed version if you want another look
at it. I hated to reduce it to web settings....
Here are the bloomfields just outside the
gardens. The intensity of the color made for a almost surreal
Here's a zoom shot of the fields.
This is another section of the garden.
Kids with swans.
The colors of the garden...
This picture says it all about Amsterdam -
flowers, bikes, canals, bridges
A view of the street from our B&B
Notice you can't take a picture of any street
without a bicyclist in there somewhere. But its the stripes on
the buildings that caught my eye here.
Every Saturday, the Jordan area has a farmers
market with all sorts of things that you can't find in Hungary
Look at all of this yummy bread....
My new look (will this work in Alaska?)
Here's Kasshawna at a very orange shop. Not
every country could pull off having orange be its national color.
See that 3 story gray structure
in the left of the photo? That's all bike storage at one Amsterdam
train station. It is very common for commuters to own more than
one bike. A day "commute" in might be: 1. bike from
house to outlying train station & leave bike; 2. train in
to Amsterdam and pick up other bike; 3. bike from train station
to work. And then of course repeat the process going home. Instead
of a 2 cars for a family of 4, it might be more like 8-10 bikes
per household. That's a lot of bikes!
I thought this bike was very fancy. Not only
does it have the super-cargo front area, but it also boasts a
snazzy waterproof cover. Except that its a 1- speed, this would
even work in Alaska!
Not a very good picture of flowers,
boats, and houses
The flower market in Amsterdam
I like the shutters
on these homes.
Here's narrow to the extreme. Can you imagine
building a structure that is little wider than your average door?
And this place hosts a 3 story restaurant.
Of course, you can't have a page
about Holland without photos of what is typically contraband in
There are all sorts of goods to be found in
Amsterdam. As one tourist said on my last visit, "This has
been a real educational experience."