May 9, 2012
Every year on April 30th the country of the Netherlands celebrates Queens Day in honor of Queen Juliana who is the predecessor to the current Queen Beatrix. Queen Beatrix’s birthday is on January 31st but to keep with the tradition of celebrating Queen’s Day outdoors in the springtime when the weather is nice, Queen Beatrix elected to begin celebrating her birthday on the day of her mother’s birth, April 30th.
My friend moved to Amsterdam approximately one and a half years ago to start a business and this year was his second Queen’s Day celebration. He sent me these photos and gave me permission to post them:
Also, I found this video on YouTube:
Links about Queen’s Day:
www.timeanddate.com informative website
May 15, 2011
Courtesy: I Amsterdam via facebook images
May 14, 2011
Today and tomorrow is National Windmall Day in Holland where windmills around the country open their doors to the public. Out of the approximately 1,000 windmills left in Holland, about 600 of them participate. The ones flying a blue pennant welcome visitors.
Unfortunately the official website for National Windmill Day is only in Dutch but from what I gather, most of the windmills that participate have some sort of festivities going on as well such as music or special exhibits.
There are only eight windmills in the city of Amsterdam because most of them are built outside city walls. If there are buildings too close then the windmill isn’t able to be as effective. But for visitors to Amsterdam, this is a great chance to get outside of the city as this website points out. When I visited Holland last weekend I was lucky to get the chance to bicycle outside of the city. My friends lived about 8 miles outside of the center of Amsterdam and one of the days instead of taking the Metro to the suburbs, I decided to bicycle.
Pretty much the whole weekend in Amsterdam I had no idea of any sense of direction. On the last day, of course, I started to get the hang of things but on my third day there I rented a bike for the day to ride around the city center. In order to get back to my friends’ house that I was staying with, I needed to get on the Metro and it is about a 40 minute ride. Even though I had a map I wasn’t able to get the hang of things this day and the map didn’t include the suburb area that my friend lived in. But nonetheless, I knew he lived THAT way which is south of the city and I started biking to where I thought I needed to go.
The only real indicator I had was that I knew I needed to be west of the Amstel River but as I rode along the river it started veering further and further from where I needed to be. Eventually I was out in the middle of nowhere in the beautiful countryside riding along the river. There were a bunch of farms that looked to be around five to ten acres large each. Some of them had sheep, chickens, lamb and many other types of farm animals and crops. Also, situated in this part of the countryside was a windmill which really caught my attention.
May 10, 2011
Walking along one street, I decided to try to get some photos of the different stores and buildings that were on the block. The next photos are all one after another on the block I happened to be on…
May 9, 2011
Yesterday was a bit of a lazy day for me which I screwed up a little bit. It was an amazingly nice day and today ended up being rainy and overcast. But nonetheless, I rented a bicycle today in City Center and rode around quite a bit. It was raining when I picked up my bike so I quickly tried to find a restaurant to eat at because I was also really hungry.
After eating and riding around the main part of Amsterdam, I started to try to make my way towards my friend’s house in the suburbs. I wasn’t sure where to go exactly but I felt like I was heading in the right direction. I ended up riding my bike through some amazing country land and along a really nice river and saw a lot of rural farm land.
May 7, 2011
About a week ago, on a whim I decided to spend this weekend in Amsterdam because a friend of mine recently moved here. The flight was the cheapest it’ll be all year and the dates worked well so I decided to book it.
I left NYC at 4:05pm on Friday afternoon and arrived in Amsterdam at 8:30am Saturday morning. I didn’t sleep too well on the flight and was tired but I knew it was best to start my day and try to stay up as long as possible. I came back to my friend’s house and we made a tentative idea of where we’d be going.
We took the Metro into the Centrum and walked around for a few hours. We started in the Red Light District and walked through Dam Square and Harlaamrstraat. We had burgers for lunch at a good restaurant called Barney’s Uptown. After lunch we walked around for a few hours, no where in particular, and I took a bunch of photos which I’ve posted below.
So far, all in all Amsterdam is great. The architecture is amazing, dating back to the 1600’s and earlier in some areas. It’s really cool how the canals intersect through the city center and there’s a ton of people walking around and on bicycles. I love how there aren’t 1000’s of cars everywhere with traffic jams all over the place like in NYC.
Tomorrow I’m going to wake up early and make a plan to see the Ann Frank Museum and the Van Gogh Museum. I’d also like to take the Heineken tour so I’m going to try to make sure to do those three things. Monday we’re renting a car and driving to Paris and Brussels. We’ll park in Paris and spend a few hours walking around and then we’ll stop in Brussels on the way back because it’s on the way. I’m really looking forward to the drive because in my opinion, it’s the best way to see a place. We’ll drive through the countryside and I’ll see all of Belgium and France along the way.