Posts Tagged With: photography

Netherlands Post Visit – Canals

What recounting of a trip to the Netherlands would be complete without mentioning canals?

I have some photos from adventuring in California on my main blog for anyone interested http://geowoodward.wordpress.com/

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

Netherlands Post Visit – Cafe Culture

Why don’t we have a cafe culture in the U.S.?  Sure there’s a bar culture and a coffee shop culture, but it’s not the same as the cafe culture in many European countries. Cafe culture is just so casual, and relaxing. It is so enjoyable to have a seat, preferably outside, order a beer with some snacks or lunch, and lazily watch the world go by.

Categories: beer, food, Geography, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Netherlands Post Visit – Doors

What is it about doors?

Categories: Amsterdam, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

Netherlands Post Visit – Schema Check

Some of the most fun I have travelling is interpreting signs.  I enjoy seeing how other countries convey basic traffic rules, how they advertise their products, and really get a kick out of seeing how American products are portrayed. Here is an especially Dutch traffic sign:

Schema39

Very helpful, but there was another one for cars and pedestrians and sometimes they would not all be green at the same time even for people waiting to go the same direction.  Here’s one that made me chuckle a little

20130630-213218.jpg

He’s very focused and purposeful.  This one confused me until I used Google Translate

Schema0029

I thought it meant no bikes or scooters, but it actually means do not enter “except” for bikes or scooters.  Clearly there are cars in the “except” area though, so I’m still a little confused, maybe it’s one way for cars?

This one I appreciated for the sentiment on the bottom, which I think was added by locals.

Schema0014

“Non-violent zone”

Near this sign was this one on the ground which speaks to the sentiment I am trying to convey

Schema0017

I found it amusing, or maybe ironic not sure which, that this was in a small square next to this

Schema0016

Schema0015

But sometimes, you don’t need things translated especially if you’re hungry

Schema0018

Though the offerings might confuse you.

Schema0020

The translations can also make  you grin

Mc Drive?

Mc Drive?

Perhaps you’d like more choices? No problem

Schema0030

No doubt Tony Stark would be pleased. How about some Vietnamese?

Schema0011

Mexican?

Schema0010

Schema0033

How about Chinese?

Schema0031

Chicken and ribs?  No problem

Schema0012

Now, if you need a caffeine fix and you know nothing about Amsterdam except that it’s located in the Netherlands you’re going to be confused if you go here

Schema0013

Because they don’t specialize in coffee, they specialize in another plant.  (I originally took this photo because the mascot of the school I work for is a Bulldog, didn’t notice the ‘coffee shop until later.) If you want caffeine you can always go to a kaffe shop or look for the ever ubiquitous shop in this photo

Schema0017a

Sometimes eating at restaurants in other countries can be risky, unless they have this claim

Schema0025

At first I thought this advertisement was clever because it was suggesting having a Coke with the artists

Schema0021

Later in a supermarket I saw Coke bottles with common Dutch names on them; what a great idea, you could buy a Coke with your friends name on it!  While sharing a Coke with your friend you could shop here

Schema0028

Though shopping at America Today you might run into this

Sad, and embarrassing

Sad, and embarrassing, though I’m glad it’s on a toilet.

I also got a kick out of graffiti, posters and stickers on poles

20130630-212851.jpg

That's a little harsh

That’s a little harsh

Arrrrrrrrr.......

Arrrrrrrrr…….

Schema0038

I agree.  I’ll end with this one that made me laugh.

20130704-225430.jpg

In context

Schema0036

 

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

Netherlands – Post Visit – Attitudes

One of the things I enjoy most about the countries I’ve been to in Europe is their seemingly relaxed attitudes toward a great deal of things that would bend a lot of Americans out of shape. I happened to arrive in the Netherlands for Pride Weekend.  All over Utrecht there were preparations for events that weekend including rainbow flags on the main cathedral

Utrecht0001

As well as cafes

Utrecht0016

I started to think about what preparations were happening in my hometown for Pride Weekend; not much.  On the ride back from the airport my dad asked me what the Dutch thought about our Supreme Courts rulings regarding same sex marriage.  I said, they didn’t seem to have much of an opinion one way or the other. To which he replied, “Yeah they tolerate a great many things because they’ve been around a lot longer.” Which reminded me of the Italian couple who sat across from me on my canal tour of Amsterdam with their bull terrier.  I mean, I just watched this couple bring their dog onto the boat, it wasn’t a working dog, it was just their dog.  I thought, “Awesome.”  Then I thought, “Would this happen in the States?”  Probably not, at least not without some sort of waiver, or muzzle, or something like that. Which made me think of all the ‘window pets’ I had been noticing.  (This post seems to become increasingly random.)  So I took photos of a few

Pet0007

Pet0006

Pet0005

Pet0004

Pet0003

Pet0002

Pet0001

 

I just really enjoyed randomly coming across critters in windows and store fronts.  Very generally speaking I remembered the same thing about Spain and Italy that people seemed to take their pets, mostly dogs, with them everywhere and often in places where we would not take them here in the US like restaurants, grocery stores and even museums.  Maybe this happens here and I just don’t notice it as much.  Again I just really appreciate the generally tolerant attitudes I’ve observed in the countries I’ve visited in Europe.

Nonviolent zone

Nonviolent zone

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

Adventuring in the Netherlands – Last Post from in Country

I was one of the kids who couldn’t wear regular pants; I had to shop the ‘Husky’ section. I’m not sure how that word was intended to make one feel but it made me feel fat. (At least that’s better than the ‘pretty plus’ area they had in the girls section when I worked at Sears; that just begs the question, plus what?) I didn’t feel any less fat with my mom helping me pick my ‘Husky’ pants. “The regular cut are just too tight dear, let me get you some Huskies.”
The terminology got a little better by the time I was in 8th grade. I remember being fitted for a suit and the tailor told my dad, “We’ll have to let out the coat a bit, he’s got an athletic build.”
“Now we’re talkin’,” I thought. “Wait, what kind of athlete? Sumo wrestler? Football player? Weight lifter?”
Actually what ‘athletic build’ translated to is T-shirts don’t fit me. Sure there are worse problems to have, but when you’re squandering Euros on sweet T-shirts you want to be sure they’ll fit for a while. Meh, I’ll just continue to enjoy my beer, the view and this cafe on my last afternoon in Utrecht.
The day started with a bike ride out to my brothers office/data center that he is setting up here. Along the way I took these:

20130704-224702.jpg What the?

20130704-224807.jpg Oh, a net for garbage so you don’t have to stop! Awesome! (I was going a little too fast to get the whole thing, sorry)

20130704-225026.jpg Ooooo! A tower!

20130704-225120.jpg McDrive? Hee-Hee.

20130704-225243.jpg This cat joined us for lunch.

20130704-225430.jpg What th….Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha {gasp} hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

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

Adventuring in the Netherlands – Did I Mention…..

…the bikes?

20130703-204007.jpg

20130703-204030.jpg

20130703-204121.jpg

20130703-204154.jpg

20130703-204300.jpg

20130703-204334.jpg

Categories: Amsterdam, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Adventuring in The Netherlands – Go Somewhere

I love the world. Sure it has it’s issues but it’s also where you can find the best meal of your life in an unexpected place. I have never had Indonesian food and I certainly did not expect to find a great Indonesian restaurant in the Netherlands…though historically and geographically it should have been obvious. Sure the whole colonization thing was maybe not the best for everyone involved, but the lasting results worked out really well for me this evening.
My brother took my to Restaurant Blauw, which he said was the best Indonesian place in a country that has lots of them; a result of that colonization thing. I thought, “Yeah, whatever, I’ll give it a shot.” I didn’t know what the food would be like, maybe a mix of Filipino, Indian and Thai or something; not even close. I cannot even begin to describe the culinary experience I had, though I now have a new appreciation for what Anthony Bourdain and Guy Feiri do (hope I didn’t butcher their names too badly there.) I’ll just say that each bite I took required me to wait for all the subtleties locked in the food to emerge and entertain my taste buds. We ordered, for lack of a better term, a sampler that arrived looking like this

20130702-213208.jpg

20130702-213239.jpg
And wound up looking like this

20130702-213546.jpg

20130702-213623.jpg
Not only did I have a fantastic meal today I also went here

20130702-214658.jpg
and saw this

20130702-214825.jpg
Saw some cool architecture (pay attention to the grassy slope on the left)

20130702-215208.jpg
Yes, that grassy slope is the roof of a supermarket.

20130702-215451.jpg
And found another cool door.

20130702-215841.jpg
Now, why I do love the world n’ all, this concerns me:

20130702-220207.jpg

Categories: Amsterdam, food, Geography, netherlands, Original post, photography, Travel, Utrecht | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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-

20130701-225410.jpg
Near the front looking back-

20130701-225535.jpg
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

20130701-225859.jpg
And there was a film crew working on a documentary that was fun to watch

20130701-230035.jpg
Anne Frank’s house from the outside looks like this

20130701-230144.jpg
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.

20130701-230601.jpg

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

20130701-230810.jpg
(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

20130701-231140.jpg

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!

20130630-211908.jpg

20130630-211952.jpg
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

20130630-212359.jpg
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

20130630-212851.jpg
18. They also apparently frown on wasting food (I don’t think it’s related to #17)

20130630-213107.jpg
19. I think this sign is helpful

20130630-213218.jpg
20. Uh oh, think I’ll be taking too many pictures of doors again.

20130630-213448.jpg

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

Blog at WordPress.com.