Archive For The “Netherlands” Category

The Hague

The Hague

James has long had an interest in the famous Dutch graphics artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, whose work features mathematical objects and optical illusions. As a teenager he had a poster of Escher’s Dragon on his wall and as an adult very much enjoyed reading Douglas Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach that explores the common themes between…

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February in Amsterdam

February in Amsterdam

In February we took advantage of unseasonably warm, calm and sunny weather for Amsterdam to make day trips to NDSM Wharf, Zaanse Schans, and Rotterdam. We also started stocking up for the summer trip to the Baltic; completed several boat maintance items and projects, such as replacing our unsatisfactory Jabsco 34600-0010 bilge pump; and did…

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Rotterdam

Rotterdam

Unlike historic Amsterdam, most of Rotterdam’s buildings were constructed after World War II German bombers destroyed the central core. The city was rebuilt in a very modern style and although the traditional buildings visible through much of the Netherlands are beautiful, Rotterdam’s contemporary and unusual architecture is quite appealing. Rotterdam also is full of statues…

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Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans, north of Amsterdam, is one of the oldest industrial areas in the world and was particularly important in the 18th and 19th centuries. Over 1,000 windmills were built in the area to help produce linseed oil, paint, snuff, mustard, paper and other products. Today many of Zaanse Schans’ remaining windmills are operating and…

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NDSM Wharf

NDSM Wharf

The NDSM wharf district in Amsterdam Noord was once home of the NDSM (Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij) shipyard until the 1980s. The area is in the process of revitalization, with a particular emphasis on companies in the creative sector, and is full of distinctive architecture and artwork. We took taking advantage of a warm…

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January in Amsterdam

January in Amsterdam

Our third month in Amsterdam, January, was a busy one. We visited local museums such as Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum, took in the Amsterdam Light Festival by tender, attended an Amsterdam Tigers ice hockey game, made day trips to Haarlem and Delft, hosted several visitors, completed a number of boat projects such as…

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Haarlem, NL

Haarlem, NL

Teyler’s Museum of Wonder in Haarlem, opened in 1784, is the oldest museum in the Netherlands. It was funded to foster an interest in arts and sciences both through research and sharing discoveries with the public. Much of the museum has been preserved intact and entering feels a bit like stepping back into the 18th…

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Amsterdam Tigers

Amsterdam Tigers

The Amsterdam Tigers are a semi-professional ice hockey team that play in Jaap Edenhal arena, a short train ride southeast of the city center. The complex is named after the famous Dutch speed skater Jaap Eden and includes the largest skating rink in the Netherlands, with a 1312ft (400m) lane. We hadn’t seen a live…

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Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival

“The Medium is the Message“, the famous quote by Canadian scientist Marshall McLuhan, is the theme of the 7th edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival. The displays are mostly along the interior canals and designed to be viewed from the water as well as the shore. We’d seen several of the displays while walking through…

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Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum art and history museum was founded in 1800 in the Hague and moved to the current Amsterdam location in 1885. It’s the largest and most visited museum in the Netherlands and annually sees over 2 million visitors. We spent much of our time there viewing the museum’s treasures, including Golden Age masterpieces by…

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Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for 25 months in a secret annex behind a 17th-century Amsterdam canal house. They eventually were captured and only Anne’s father survived the concentration camps, but her story lives on through the diary she kept that has been translated to over 60 languages. At the excellent…

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December in Amsterdam

December in Amsterdam

After a whirlwind trip to the UAE and the US in late November, we spent December closer to Dirona in Amsterdam. Over a relaxing holiday season, we explored the city, completed some projects, and met with old friends and new, ending the month and year with a fabulous city-wide New Year’s celebration. Below are trip…

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Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam

Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam

Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) on DAM square in Amsterdam dates back to 1408. That may seem pretty old, but it’s a century newer than Oude Kerk (Old Church). Nieuwe Kerk’s spectacular 17th-century choir screen was the first to be made entirely of brass and its panelled main organ, lavishly decorated with gilding, paintings and statuary,…

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Ice Festival Amsterdam

Ice Festival Amsterdam

Christmas Markets, selling decorations, gifts, food, and drink, originated in Middle Ages Germany but now are common throughout Europe. A number of major markets are held in the Netherlands during the holiday season. Ice Village Amsterdam combines a market with another popular Dutch winter tradition, ice skating. An enjoyable 40-minute walking tour through central Amsterdam…

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Amsterdam Canal Tour

Amsterdam Canal Tour

Amsterdam has 165 canals, more than Venice at about 150, with a total length of 31 miles (50km). The city also has three times as many bridges over these canals than Venice, 1201 compared to 409. Amsterdam’s canals were built in the 16th and 17th centuries as swampland was drained, a practice typical throughout the…

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Amsterdam Fireworks

Amsterdam Fireworks

The Dutch LOVE their fireworks. The city literally erupted for several hours before and after midnight on New Year’s Eve. The main show didn’t exceed others we’ve seen, but the breadth of the displays was absolutely unrivaled. The entire sky was ablaze as seemingly every resident was setting off fireworks. We had a fabulous evening…

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