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Posts from the ‘Netherlands’ Category

National Take A Hike Day 2017 A Hike Below Sea Level

Bonus.  With this hike, you don’t even have to be in fantastic shape. With the exception of a few bridges over the dikes, its pretty darn flat. The paths are great and hey, this walk is under sea level, so altitude sickness. won't be a problem. 

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AmsterDAM I Love This City-U.N.E.S.C.O. Bucket List-Bonus!

Like any big city, I could live there for a lifetime and not see everything that I want to see. For me, just walking around this place was a bucket list dream fulfilled. I am 100% sure that I will return to this DAMN fine city.   I had oodles of fun and aside from huge crowds, I can’t wait to get back! This is my DAMN story!  See my MEGaview!

MEGaview

MEGaview

I stayed out of town and parking and traffic basically sucked but the cars were cool.  I ended up taking the damn train anyway.

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Grand Entrance!

Grand Entrance!

Beautiful train station and entrance to a fine city.

I remember feeling so excited to be here and catch a glimpse of Amsterdam.  What a damn stupid pole in my second photo.

This is a walking city. It is also a biking city and I love biking. BIKE ON Netherlands!

Bike ON!

Bike ON!

Holy Bikes!

Holy Bikes!

Wow, pretty as a picture!

Wow, pretty as a picture!

Bike parking in this amazing spot!

Bike parking in this amazing spot!

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Holy Bikes, I love this city!

One of my favorite photos-

Bikes Bikes Bikes!

Bikes Bikes Bikes!

There are lots of squares where people gather.

So, I made the photo of myself very small because IDK what was going on with my Damn hair. The lion looks great however.  This city is ALIVE!

Street Performer's

Street Performer’s

Amsterdam is known for the canals.  Built for trade, there are 165 of them.

Take a canal tour even if it is raining.

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GREAT way to see the city and Canal Ring!

GREAT way to see the city and Canal Ring!

In 2010, the canal ring was made a U.NE.S.C.O. Heritage Site. Since I “collect” these sites, this tour was a winner before it began. The 400 year old series of canals connects this wonderful city.

The tour start just happened to be across from an Irish Pub, I collect these too!

Irish On in Amsterdam

Irish On in Amsterdam

Here are some amazing sights that I saw along the way!

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How cool are these houseboats *Dream House!

People having fun on the canal.

People having fun on the canal.

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Seriously,, You cant make this up! I loved enjoying the different styles of buildings. I began to straighten a few of my photos but remembered the buildings are leaning!

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The Museums here are top notch. They are crowded for sure. See my MEGatips for advice.

The Rijksmuseum is one of Amsterdam’s grandest museums, the construction has now finished.

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Anne Frank Haus

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DAMN!

DAMN!

DELFT

DELFT

Delft Museum

FLOWER MARKET

FLOWER MARKET

Had to see the Flower Market. You can have bulbs sent home.  It’s in a place with lots of shops.  There is a cheese store nearby where I had a tasting.  I love to try me some street food and eating herring was on my Amsterdam Bucket List

YUM

YUM

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That was fun.  And to get your drink on

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Watching other people watch stuff. There is more than one way to see a city. This was one of the oldest pubs in Amsterdam. Heineken!

One of the oldest Tap houses in Amsterdam

One of the oldest Tap houses in Amsterdam

What can I say? AmsterDAM I love you!

MEGastars 5 of 5 ***** DUH!

MEGatips

  1. I get that a canal tour might be a touristy thing to do but it is a fantastic way to see the canals and the city. I give this 5 MEGastars ***** Better yet, have a lot of cash? Rent your own damn boat and a boat house to boot
  2. . There are a million ways to tour the canal. I would think one of the specialty tours would be fun! And, I think I will rent a paddleboat next time I am in town. Whatever way you choose, Do NOT miss the canal ring.
  3. Check out the I Amsterdam Card. The discounts may well worth the card. Plus, you can book ahead and pick up at The Visitor Center’s including one in Schiphol Airport. It includes a canal cruise and several of the City Museums including the Van Gogh Museum.Get all of your tickets ahead of thime. The long lines basically suck.
  4. Eat Sardines from a street cart.
  5. Visit the Rijksmuseum. Buy your tickets AHEAD of time. There will still be lines of people but you do not have to go to ticket counter.
  6. You can take the train in from the airport and if you travel light, you can carry your luggage to your hotel. Avoiding car rental altogether. This is a walking and bike city. No problem.
  7. Next time that I go, I am going to use Haarlem as a bounce off spot. The trains were so easy to take. I drove into Amsterdam and parking basically sucked at the time that I went AND I ended up taking the train anyway.
  8. Check out my Instagram for more photos.

de Ark is de Best! Lekker! Tasty-Tuesday In Haarlem, Netherlands.

I found this town by accident when the Concierge at my hotel, located in a neighboring town, recommended a restaurant in Haarlem because it was a bit past dinner hour and all of the local restaurants were closed. Haarlem, Netherlands is a charming medieval town located about 10miles from both Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport, on the banks of the Sparne River. It is also 10 miles from Leiden and the cheese market Alkmaar.  A great jumping off point with train access. 

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I wished that I had stayed in Haarlem for at least several days. The Huffington Post recently listed this town as “10 Secret European Spots you want to visit STAT.” Great old buildings, boats and lots of style. Dating back to gothic times, Haarlem is older. Who knew?

The surrounding area is gorgeous!

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Even the buses are colorful

Even the buses are colorful

Known as the capital of North Holland and the center of the Dutch flower-growing district. The main export point for flower bulbs, there is great history here. It is a great jumping off point to Keukenhof and Amsterdam. Honestly, I would have LOVED to just drive around in the countryside and towns. The train is so easy to take into Amsterdam without the hassle and cost of parking-which I did experience.

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Love the houses!  But these fields are quite a sight!

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 Now, about Tasty-Tuesday. Close to the do not miss Frans Hales Museum, and near the canal is a restaurant that I loved. Located in a three story building off the beaten main path, with a cool pub below. After the fact, I checked Trip Advisor and it wasn’t rated in the very top of many restaurants in Haarlem. I loved it so that just means there is great food in Haarlem ready when I return. The pub is super chill and has many choices of great beers. It is totally my style. Upstairs is a dining area though I saw people eating downstairs.

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The staff was super friendly and accommodating, even at a later hour there were many diners. They ran up and down some pretty darn steep stairs for my food. The menu, available in other languages, includes daily specials with choices for everyone, without being too overwhelming. Interesting meats, poultry and vegetarian dishes.

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FEAST!

I guess I was hungry, check out this table.  Steak with herb butter. Mounds of French fries. Warm bread with garlic herb butter. I had the best greens, beet , fruit and cheese salad. Especially loved the toasts with warm goat cheese and honey-LEKKER! Oh, and did I mention, the awesome bier/beer selection?

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It was night time when I visited Haarlem. My photo ops were limited.

MEGastars 5 ***** of 5!

MEGatips:

  1. Consider staying in Haarlem and exploring this fantastic town. Great boutique shopping, museums, and awesome sights.
  2. Use the train that takes you to Amsterdam without the hassle of parking.
  3. Visit de Ark. It is a great pub with some great “real food.” I need this when I roadtrip. There is a self pay parking lot nearby.
  4. Lekker in this instance means “good, tasty, nice..”
  5. For more photos, check out my Instagram and my prior blog about Keukenhof.

Meg Tip Toe’d Through The Tulips-Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands.

Far Away Friday.  Keukenhof  was  #1 on my garden visit bucket list. Thanks Tiny Tim for inspiring me to tip-toe through the tulips. i did it!

I'm not kidding, I actually DID tiptoe in some ricking boots

I’m not kidding, I actually DID tiptoe in some ricking boots

So one day in May, My dream became a reality.

Welcome to Keukenhof

Welcome to Keukenhof

It’s difficult to pick my favorite photos. I took 586 photos at this garden and kept a few hundred. I only had my Droid phone and a lil Canon point and shoot. The gardens are colorful,quiet,inspiring and out of this world beautiful. Check out my Instagram soon for more photos.

I learned that there are 7 million bulbs and 800 varieties of tulips. And, they are donated by growers for the rights to be “exclusive” and planted by volunteers.  This is genius and what makes this place the best spring garden in the world. Way to go Netherlands!

Paths

Paths

When you walk onto the grounds you noticed paths lined with beds of tulips in every color and in every direction.

Beds

Beds

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Some are straight and some curve like a river-bed

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or a sea!

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The color is so vivid.

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And yet, I love seeing some of my photos in black and white

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There are many varieties of tulips.

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And of course many other bulbs and flowers.

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With every great garden, there is great art. Of course, it is the Netherlands and the bikes represent. I took this pic with my phone and it is one of m y favorites.

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My personal favorite

My personal favorite

And the unconventional which includes blood and bondage. IDK but there is inspiration for every gardener.

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There are also fountains

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Each year there are exhibits both inside and outside. Made me respect how much work goes into this garden each and every year since 1949.

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I absolutely LOVED this grill area.

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The camping area

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I would love to replicate this outdoor room. Check out the walls made of river rock and wire mesh type walls-Awesome!

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A windmill is incorporated into this Dutch garden. Gorgeous!

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One can tour the tulip fields in a silent boat.  I did not do this so it is my #1 MEGatip -Do this!

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Beautiful and inspiring. I wish all of you  gardener ‘s a visit to Keukenhof. We have some mighty big shoes  to fill! Thanks Keukenhof!

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MEGastars I give this garden 5***** stars. It is a world premier garden and I am so happy that I made this mecca.

MEGatips

  1. Take the boat tour of the tulip fields.
  2. GO to this garden and walk around.
  3. There is food on the grounds. Spend the day!
  4. Visit the indoor exhibits.
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