Posts Tagged With: Netherlands

Adventuring in the Netherlands – Mistakes are O.K.

Day 4 of 8-ish, I say “ish” to account for travel days.

Mistake #1: getting a late start. An earlier start would’ve gotten me to amsterdam sooner, which in turn would’ve allowed me to arrive at the Anne Frank house earlier, which would’ve likely meant a shorter line. The line was long:
From the back-

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Near the front looking back-

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I’ve waited at least as long to ride a roller coaster that turned out to be lame, so the wait wasn’t that bad. Besides while waiting I noticed we were near a home of another noteworthy person

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And there was a film crew working on a documentary that was fun to watch

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Anne Frank’s house from the outside looks like this

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I can’t show you the inside because no photos were allowed. I can say that it is fairly minimal, but impactful. For me the wall showing where the growth of the children had been kept was moving as was seeing Anne’s actual diary. Well worth the wait. Afterward I had a savory pancake (basically a crepe with ham and cheese inside) at a cafe along a canal.

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Mistake #2: missing the drop off point on the canal tour. I had meant to get off at the Van Gough museum stop which was the closest to my intended destination

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(There’s no way I could do Anne Franks house, Van Gough AND Heineken in the same day! I got a late start after all; and my getting off in the wrong spot translated to a 40 minute walk.) Anyway, the Heineken tour is beer Disneyland and really fun, especially since the price includes 3 beers and there was this cool horse

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Mistake #3: upon returning to the Utrecht Centraal station I turned left when I should’ve turned right, or visa versa I forget now, and took an inadvertent stroll through a not so nice part of town and wound up right back at the station!
All’s good, I saw history, had beer and made it back safe n’ sound. Van Gough tomorrow; barring any mistakes….

Categories: Amsterdam, anne frank, beer, Geography, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Adventuring in the Netherlands – Impressions, Observations, and Photos

Itinerary to date: (for context)
28 June, arrival, walking tour of Utrecht with brother, ending with beer, then Afghan food with brother and his colleague.
29 June, brief walking tour of Amsterdam guided by brother, wandered solo around Utrecht
30 June, baby sat nieces for 6 hours or so, remainder of day was spent lazily with brother and nieces at amazing local park that had some play structures that would fail safety inspections in the States.

Random thoughts from the first three days:
1. The Dutch seem really nice.
2. Wow. That is a LOT of bikes.
3. Why can’t we have affordable clean public transportation?
4. Dutch people are tall.
5. Wow. More bikes.
6. “……they flip the fuck out if you walk in the bike lane,” says my brother, “I thought they were just being dramatic, then I started riding a bike.”
7. I’m going to need to carry a stool around for these damn urinals. (Refer to #4)
8.Ha! The “Americaans” section at the local supermarket is junk food!

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9. Europeans smoke a lot.
10. Man, I’m sleepy.
11. Hey, guy in the costume that makes it look like you’re riding on someone’s shoulders; the fake guys head is awkwardly placed.
12. This fried cheese is good….
13. …so is this beer
14. The Dude abides

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15. Fried eggs on top of cheese on top of prosciutto on top of giant slabs of bread? Yes please.
16. There are few things more funny than you’re two and a half year old niece saying, “I just farted.”
17. The Dutch seem to not be fond of Nazis

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18. They also apparently frown on wasting food (I don’t think it’s related to #17)

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19. I think this sign is helpful

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20. Uh oh, think I’ll be taking too many pictures of doors again.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Geography, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Pre Flight – SFO

June 27:
Sometimes I just want to write shit down. It’s faster, or at least it seems to be. Sure it’s messy and perhaps not as cool or sexy as tapping it out on my iPad or iPhone, but it does seem faster; in most cases.
To use an electronic device just to jot down some quick ideas or a note I have to turn it on, enter a passcode, open the app I want to use, then start typing. While tapping away I get distracted by auto correct, tapping the incorrect keys, and generally get frustrated that I can’t get my ideas out fast enough. Sometimes I even lose the ideas because of the afore mentioned distractions. So generally old school pen and paper work better for me, except when I don’t have either; like today for example.
Waiting at SFO for my flight to Amsterdam I had several impulses to write, but I didn’t want to hassle with my electronic device to do so and I lacked the necessary old school tools. I wanted to write about the passengers on BART that I surmised had just been released from jail. One got on and repeated, “FUCKIN’ great day!” loudly. She also had what appears to be a change of clothes in her hand, which she left on the train when she got off at Fruitvale. Another followed her on board shortly after and he carried a large clear plastic bag half full of paperbacks. I didn’t realize he was part of the possible jailbird contingent until the other two got on board, I just wondered why he had a bag of books.
The last two of the jailbird group got on, one of them carrying a brown paper sack which contained a couple of burritos and a 40.

“Burritos and beer at 9:30 a.m. on a Thursday? What is this, Chico?” I wondered.

The one not carrying the burrito sack recognized Book Bag Dude, who had previously been happily greeted by “FUCKIN’ great day!” girl, and took a seat next to him. I was looking out the window trying not to listen to “FUCKIN’ great day!” girl (she was talking a LOT and was very happy and energetic) and pondering the clues that linked these four seemingly unlikely people together.
Two of the group Burrito Bag Dude and Sackless Guy were people of color and appeared to be late 20’s/early 30’s, “FUCKIN’ great day!” girl, also a person of color, looked to be early 20’s, and Book Bag Dude was a person of no color, maybe in his 40’s and a bit hefty.
The last clues that this group was somehow linked were that Book Bag Guy had to tell Sackless Dude how to lace, not tie, but lace, the shoes he had on his feet, “FUCKIN’ great day!” girl remind them all where to transfer trains, and Burrito Bag Guy gave Sackless Dude the 40. Maybe they weren’t jailbirds but they were an odd group.
I also wanted to write about how interesting it is to wait in an international terminal, hearing announcements in Chinese and how people have different names for the same things. For example, I bought a sandwich at a little deli and sat outside to eat it where I observed other people deciding where to eat.

“Well, here’s a little cafe.” said one person passing the deli.

“Oh, it’s a luncheonette.” claimed another. (Though I cannot swear that the word used was in fact luncheonette b/c at the moment I was eating I…

a) did not want to hassle with my iPhone
b) lacked old school tools.)
After the sandwich I ventured to the snack/news shop and bought an oversized (think 3rd grade pencil) Giants novelty pen and a Moleskine notebook. Now, I have tons of both pens and Moleskine notebooks at home, I just didn’t happen to grab any….because I had my iPad. Oh the conundrum.

Categories: Geography, Original post, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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