Header photo – Amsterdam harbor on the IJ looking east past the cruise port / Border photo – Stuðlaberg, columnar basalt, Iceland
“Travel teaches toleration.” – Benjamin Disraeli
Category Archives: BeNeLux
The old paper tickets are obsolete on Dutch trains. Now you need a smart card, called the OV-chipkaart. Similar to NYC’s Metro card or the London Oyster and Travel cards, these can be bought as either single use or multi-use, … Continue reading
A bunch of items from Dutch News. Though some of the articles came out several weeks ago, the news is still valid as far as I can find. Mopeds, helmets and bike lanes. A surprising find during restoration of a … Continue reading
In 2013, the annual celebration of Queen Beatrix’s birthday at the end of April became a joint Queen’s/King’s Day all over the Netherlands. It was to be the last Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) and the first of many King’s Days (Koningsdag), … Continue reading
From Dutch News. Paper train tickets are being phased out this summer. Time to look into the alternatives. The chipkaart sounds similar to NYC’s Metro Cards and London’s Oyster card and should be easy to get. The tricky part may … Continue reading
From London Independent – Matisse at the Tate Modern thru early September 2014. More Matisse at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris and a Matisse trail in Collioure in French Languedoc (aka French Catalunya). This last one sounds intriguing – see info at … Continue reading
The best spring garden show in the world, Keukenhof, has just opened in Lisse, Netherlands and runs through mid-May. If you’ve never been and you love flowers and gardens and springtime, you’ll love this annual event. Keukenhof is turning into my … Continue reading
From several sources a couple of weeks ago. Unexploded munitions from both World Wars lurk, barely buried, particularly in northern regions of Europe. Sadly, this is not a rare occurrence even a century after that first conflict. The reason I … Continue reading
Here are a couple of stories from Dutch news from last month… The Hermitage’s Amsterdam location is now home to thirty Golden Age paintings by Rembrandt et al., similar to his masterpiece The Night Watch, which lives at the Rijksmuseum … Continue reading
King’s Day / Queen’s Day in Amsterdam in 2013 was a once-in-a-lifetime combination affair – the reigning queen stepped down and her son became king. Two for the price of one. Despite having no vested interest in the ceremonies, I … Continue reading
From Dutch News. A road dating from Roman times has been dug up in central Utrecht while building work was being carried out. Ancient Roman ruins don’t immediately come to mind as elements of Dutch history, which makes the news … Continue reading
From Dutch News. The giant yellow timetable signboards have been a hallmark of Dutch rail stations for ages. Nowadays, with so many passengers checking the up-to-the-minute digital signs or using online apps for trip planning, the yellow timetables have been … Continue reading
From Deutsche Welle. The Napoleonic Battle of Leipzig, aka the Battle of Nations, was fought again 200 years after the first go-round. It was the bloodiest battle prior to WWI, with almost one-sixth of those fighting being killed. Although this battle … Continue reading
From DutchNews. 2013 looks to be a good year for Dutch winemakers. The Dutch make some great cheese. Who knew the Dutch made wine?? Great combination, though.
From France 24. Sunset at Montmajour by Van Gogh has been found, authenticated and unveiled at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. You should go.
From Dutch News. A short video celebrating Amsterdam’s canals and the fun to be had on them. More than just sightseeing boats; my favorite clip? ice skating on the frozen canal!
Haaj. Hola. Hello! Coming to the end of the first week on vaca. Wi-fi has been spotty to say the least. The hotel in London only had access in the lobby, a real pain. The place I stayed in Alkmaar … Continue reading
From France 24. The Gates of Hell have been dug up in Turkey (not a government building – it’s an archaeological site). From London Independent. This event was linked to in a previous blog post. Ruminations on the reopening of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum … Continue reading
Last year was my third visit to Brussels and my fourth trip to Belgium. FINALLY, I found time for a bucket of moules (mussels) for dinner. Sadly, I didn’t think to snap a picture. I did get a foto of … Continue reading
From Dutch News and BBC. Two big art museums in Amsterdam are sue to reopen after long closures. One is the Rijksmuseum, home of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, among many other masterpieces. It will reopen on 13 April. Also, the … Continue reading
From DutchNews. This year will be the last time Netherlands celebrates Queen Beatrix’s birthday (April 30). Next year, they’ll have a king, Willem-Alexander, so the date will move to April 27 and become King’s Day. Still, if you’re anywhere in … Continue reading
Just an interesting tidbit from DutchNews. I know almost nothing about the monarchies and monarchs of continental Europe, possibly because they are so low-key. The only time we hear anything about them is if one of them dies or one … Continue reading
From Dutch news. The Belgian rail safety office has suspended FYRA high-speed rail service until it can be shown the service is reliable. This has been a continual problem since the service went up and some regular – and less … Continue reading
From France 24. A new museum devoted to the Holocaust has opened in Mechelen, Belgium on the site of a Nazi transfer camp that had been the last stop before Auschwitz-Birkenau.
From DutchNews. A heads-up if you are planning a trip soon which includes taking the train between Rotterdam and Antwerp – the only train beginning on 9 December will be the (expensive) high-speed Fyra train. Budget accordingly.
High speed rail services between A’dam and Brussels will boost prices by almost 30%. Yikes! From DutchNews. US tourists would do well to double-check prices from RailEurope in case there are savings to be had there. Then there is the … Continue reading
Pasted from Deutsche Welle Culture page… I had a plateful of these yummy little pancakes sitting at an open-air cafe on the main square in Haarlem, Netherlands almost 15 years ago. I still remember that snack and the late evening … Continue reading
From DutchNews. The last day of August is the date for the Hague Masquerade, a big fancy dress (costumed) dance party. From what I can find, this is the second more-or-less annual edition of this fascinating event. Another intriguing non-touristy … Continue reading
Memorial Day is Monday, May 28th, 2012. It’s a uniquely American holiday and this will be the 144th such observance since the first one in 1865, after our Civil War ended. A friend emailed me about a recent visit to … Continue reading
Floriade, the Netherland’s big horticultural expo, only shows up once every ten years. 2012 is the year. Plants and trees, new growing methods, environmental improvements and more. It runs from 5 April thru 7 October. Click on the link for … Continue reading
Here’s an idea for something you might do next time you’re in Amsterdam