Category: Netherlands

Minimal Amsterdam

Continuing my little foray into minimal photography whilst on city breaks and following Minimal Edinburgh and Minimal Glasgow I now present Minimal Amsterdam. OK – I admit all these pictures are not all that minimal – but still they aren’t the normal picture postcard views of a city. In my first blog about Amsterdam I quoted that the French philosopher René Descartes wrote in 1631 of the Dutch Republic: “Where else in the world can one enjoy all the comforts of life and all the interesting things that a person might wish to find? What other country is there...

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Impressions of Amsterdam

We have just returned from a five night family trip to Amsterdam.  This was not, therefore, a ‘Lost Weekend in a Hotel Amsterdam’ of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions variety  – ‘twenty-four gone years to conclude in tears’ – but a family orientated museums, canals, food and markets kind of trip.  That said there was a few lessons in life for my teenage daughters as various questions like “why do they call it a coffee-shop when it sells weed?” and “what exactly is that rubber suit in for?” needed to be answered as we passed the ‘special’ shops in...

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The Windmills of the Zaanse Schans

The Netherlands and windmills are inseparable. They are one of the most famous Dutch icons. With still over a 1000 windmills spread across the country, chances are that you will see one when visiting the Netherlands. The Zaanse Schans is one place where you can see and visit some unique well preserved working windmills. Around 250 years ago, well over 600 active windmills were cramped into this relatively small area. Together they formed the first industrial site in the world.  The heydays of the Zaan region all started with the invention of the crankshaft by Cornelis Corneliszoon van Uitgeest in 1594 which...

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Zaanse Schans – Bringing History to Life

While it was still glorious and sunny after my visit to the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, I took a short 10 min walk back to the Central Station. Of course when visiting the Netherlands you can’t miss out on taking in some of the real Dutch culture: historical houses and windmills… So time to head to the Zaanse Schans, which is only a stone’s throw away from Amsterdam. Zaanse Schans is really easy to reach, by bike, car, train or bus. As I’ve got my IAmsterdam CityCard, which gives me free access to public transport, I choose to hop on...

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Amsterdam – Treasures of the Maritime Museum

Amsterdam, with the highest density of museums in the world (over 60!), is definitely not a place where you would get bored easily. And with the Netherlands being so closely connected to the sea throughout history, a visit to the Maritime Museum is a must. The museum is housed in the former naval storehouse’s Lands Zeemagazijn, one of the major Golden Age buildings of Amsterdam. The arsenal was constructed in 1656 on one of the 3 artificial islands created in the Amsterdam harbor. After the Dutch lost the First Anglo-Dutch War there was an urgent need to professionalise the navy in order to protect the...

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A farewell day for the KLM MD-11

It was a day to head for a flight, but no ordinary flight. It was the day that KLM would be running the final passenger carrying flights of the MD-11. I was honoured, courtesy of KLM UK, to be taken out there from my KLM regional departure airport of Manchester. Ready to be on board this unique flight and to be part of this farewell passage at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. For many aviation enthusiasts the MD-11 was a special plane, ever since it replaced the DC-10s in the 90s. The unmistakable sight of its 3 engines, plus I have received so...

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