19 May 2011

Holland (11-14/04/11)

Margaret and I found really cheap flights to and from the Netherlands. We flew into Eindhoven and trained up to Amsterdam. (Photos are in no particular order.)

Anne Frank Statue
We also went to the Anne Frank House -
we saw the bookcase concealing the entrance
to the annex where the Frank family lived.
We went through their living quarters and
even saw the original diary that Anne wrote in.

Lots and lots of bikes in Amsterdam.

You can buy cannabis seeds and grow your own plants.
There is some limit to the number of plants you can own.
Might be five.

Pretty canal.

I liked the illustration telling you to
press the button to cross.

Heineken. Apparently one of the top tourist destinations in
Amsterdam. Having been to a whisky distillery and the
Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen, we skipped it. Plus it's a
good 15 euros.


The floating bulb market where you can buy tulip bulbs
(among others).

That's pretty cheap.

Sitting in a large clog in Amsterdam.

There was a cat at our hostel. He liked the fish pond in the courtyard.

The big I amsterdam letters are a big tourist attraction.
We went in the evening when there was no one else there.

They're a big difficult to get onto - especially if you're not fearless.

Margaret had fun photographing me
figuring out how to get down.

I amsterdam. In front of the Rijks Museum. The museums in
Amsterdam are all really expensive, so this is the only one
we went to. Lots of Dutch paintings, including Rembrandt's
Night Watch.

Margaret on the m.

I had fun photographing Margaret figuring out how to get down.

The letters are over six feet tall.

In the e.

In the d.

In the d.

On the a.

I am amsterdam.
As we were leaving there was a guy who (by jumping and
doing a pretty intense pull-up) got on top of the I.

Me and Margaret. Taken by a German.

Canal at night.

We took a daytrip to Zaanse Schans - a very small, very
touristy town, complete with windmills, a clog factory, and
a cheese farm.

Me and windmills.

The bridge lifts up to let boats under.

We got Dutch pancakes (delicious) and Heineken (also
delicious) here.

There were ducklings. I was delighted.

This bird knew the deal - after people leave, he gets the leftovers.


Inside a windmill, crushing stuff to make paint pigment.

Entirely at my own risk.

Stuff spinning inside the windmill.

From the platform of the windmill.

The windmill we went in was called 'de Kat.'

Holland is very flat.


Me on the windmill.

Me and windmills. These windmills are still in operation -
producing various goods.

Bike, canal. In Amsterdam.

The Palace. Apparently the Queen came to visit while we
were in the city.

The Old Church. In the middle of the
Red Light District.

Little sculpture of a hand on a breast. Like the rest of
Amsterdam, it's anonymous and non-judgmental.

Crooked building. A number of buildings lean sideways
because they're built on swampy lands. Every so often, they
level out the floors.

In the Jewish quarter.

In a little hidden garden.

The resident cat at this coffeeshop. Apparently there's a bit
of a rat problem, which explains the prevalence of cats.

Some buildings lean forward - that's intentional. Merchants
used to haul goods up to the upper floors with a rope hung
through a hook at the top of the building. To prevent the
goods from hitting the building, they tilted the building
forward. Later on they figured out they could just extend
the hook farther out.

Here you can see the hooks extending from the tops of the buildings.

One man wanted canal front property
(for trading) but didn't want to spend
much for it. The red building in the
middle was his.

Our only photo of the red light district.
You can't take photos of the prostitutes - it's
disrespectful and they will come out and smash
your camera. And the police won't do anything
to help you ('cause you shouldn't have been
taking a photo of them in the first place).
The prostitutes wear neon, glow-in-the-dark
lingerie at night, so they're lit up by the red lights.
During the day, they wear ordinary lingerie.
They rent out rooms along a few streets and
then stand in the windowed door waiting for a
customer. You can get a tour of the red light
district given by an ex-prostitute, but unfortunately
it's only offered Saturday evenings, which we
weren't there for. Would have been super interesting.

Me in a large clog in Zaanse Schans. 

Standing in large clogs at the clog factory
in Zaanse Schans.

Me trying on a pair of actual clogs in the clog
factory. They were actually pretty comfortable.
They have really nice arch support. Unfortunately
they were 40 euros.

Me at a canal in Amsterdam.

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