Favorite thing: The Beurs van Berlage used to be the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. I even remember a guided tour with school back in the 1970s, when the exchange was still in use. Today it is an exhibition hall and a popular venue for conferences. Beautiful architecture! Here you can see me second from right in the third row, together with other employees of Dutch libraries (among them H.K., G.J. and G.K.), attending the 'DARE 2 SHARE' conference, 25 January 2007.
Amsterdam is a crowded city with cobblestone pavement at certain places.
Lucky more and more improvements are made to aid visual handicapped people, like beeping traffic lights, guiding pavement and more.
The latest I saw where braille rails along the steps at the Central Station
Brouwerij de Molen, a brewery in Bodegraven, Netherlands, brews a fantastic beer called Vuur and Vlam, or Fire and Flame. Amber in color, the name matches the beer. The taste is slightly sweet, but very hoppy and bitter, as an IPA-style of beer should be. 6.2% alcohol by volume.
A very good beer by any standard. Also expensive.
Brouwerij de Molen is a small Dutch microbrewery established in 2004. Today the brewery is located in a historic windmill (or molen) that was constructed in 1697. The brewery also has a tasting room and restaurant. According to the internet beer rating site, Ratebeer.com, de Molen is one of the top 100 breweries in the world, and top 10 in the Netherlands.
I first had a de Molen beer in a small bar near Tokyo, where the price was steep, about 1,500 Yen per 333ml bottle (USD 15).
Address: Overtocht 43, 2411 BT Bodegraven
Web site: http://www.brouwerijdemolen.nl/
As early as 1975, the tortuous corridor between the Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht buildings became an art gallery, now with four exhibitions a year. The hotel estimates that over 300+ guests and visitors pass through per day, bisecting the garden, and checking out the offerings. On this visit, whimsy ( images 1-3) was the flavor of the calendar quarter, but over the years both Dutch and international painters have exhibited here.
The largest fixed work of art hangs in the Keizersgracht 238 restaurant, measing at least 20 feet long and six feet high. It was commissioned during a late 20th C renovation and created by the French artist Thierry de Cronieres. The title is "Hals' Brunch: Mirror of a rich past, but ready for the future " and offers a 20th C take on Franz Hals classic " The Last Supper ". Every passing reveals a new modern element appropriate to the 20th C - beer cans and soda bottles, cell phones, Marlboros, spray painted graffiti, video games on laptops, and even a Burger King Whopper. Many of the faces seem vaguely familiar as well - is Jesus really Tom Selleck? Is that Perrier, are those skateboards? Picture is worth the price of a meal ( images 4,5 ).
At the Voetboogstraat 29 (side street of the Heiligenweg to the Spui) there is a memorial for Joes Kloppenburg who was killed by pointless violence.
The memorial reads:
17 augustus 1996
Vier opgefokte dronken jongens komen hier in de Voetboogstraat ruzie zoeken.
Ze slaan acht mensen in elkaar: cafégangers die patat zitten te eten, een zwerver, omstanders die het geweld proberen te stoppen.
Joes Kloppenburg roept "kappen nou!"
Hij wordt doodgeslagen.
Hij is 26.
Het is vrijdagnacht, halfvijf.
August 17, 1996.
Four drunken ***ed up guys come here in the Voetboogstraat looking for a fight.
They beat up eight people: bar visitors eating fries, a homeless man, bystanders who try to end the violence.
Jos Kloppenburg shouts "Cut it out!"
He is beaten to the death.
He is 26.
It's Friday night, 4.30AM.
Above the spot is a display with the word HELP.
1. The name of the city comes from the combination of the river Amstel and the Dam that was built on it?
2. If global warming causes the sea levels to rise even a little Amsterdam will be one of the first cities to get flooded, because it’s actually well below sea level? Most of the country has been reclaimed from the sea so it is almost entirely flat and is 6.7 meters below sea level at its lowest point.
3. The number of bikes in Amsterdam is twice the number of cars people own?
4. 75% of the entire worlds flower bulb production comes from Netherland?
5. Amsterdam is built entirely on piles, huge stakes driven into the ground? Central Station is built on 6000 of them.
Fondest memory: It's definitely a memory I won't forget. On the day I was departing to Paris, it was raining outside and I badly need to get to the pharmacy. I was having a mild fever, bad cough and a running nose. Time was crucial, can't really wait for the rain to stop so I bought a nice black I Amsterdam umbrella at the hostel and walked quickly to the nearby pharmacy. A big bottle of cough syrup and something for my running nose, cost not more than 8 euro...I was amazed. The medicine, I took them to Paris where I finished them there and got back to my good health again :)
Just a few of the things that I saw while wandering the frozen streets of Amsterdam with Dila (Diana) in December 2010. It was so cold I was afraid my camera would freeze up also. The sun in the first photo, a plaque on a wall, was the ONLY sun I saw that December.
The second photo shows the oldest wooden building in Amsterdam, but sorry I could not remember just how old.
The last two photos were from a theatre, done in the art deco style. The lobby as you can see would steal the show.
Favorite thing: Wow, frozen Amsterdam. Trains were stopped, buses grounded, even the trams were freezing in their tracks, but when I wrote on VT that I was arriving in Amsterdam on business and would have a few hours free "would anyone like to meet up for some hot chocolate", Dila (Diana) was my angel. She made the trek (and yes with the transportation as it was in its frozen state, it WAS A TREK) from her home to central Amsterdam and showed me that even in this intense cold a warm smile and a will to show a friend around could thaw things out very quickly. If not for Diana I would have stayed in my hotel room just looking out at that snow. Anyway this is a big thanks to her and I will show a few of the places we visited that evening.
Favorite thing: Opened in 1896, the HOTEL DE L'EUROPE is a luxury boutique hotel owned by the Heineken Family. Located at Nieuwe Doelevstraat 2 - 14, the Hotel is on the banks of the Amstel, with the Dam Square a short walk away. The Renaissance-style facade of this century-old grand hotel, makes it one of the most beautiful buildings in Amsterdam and is sometimes called the second "Palace".
Favorite thing: Amsterdam electrical vehicles charge locations are spread over the city. There are chargers for mopeds, cars and boats. If you want to use one you need to a acquire a card in advance.
When planning a trip to Amsterdam, it is important to know what the weather will be like and if there are any events you would like to attend. .
I hope you never will need it.
In case on a mediacall emergency call: 112.
In less severe cases take tram 16 or 24 (if possible) and go to the VU Medical center.
For a family docter appointment call: 088 - 0030600.
Jordaan Apotheek - Westerstraat 180c
Business hours: Mo-Fr: 8.30AM - 6PM
MedicijnMan Apotheek - Utrechtsestraat 86
Business hours: Mo-Fr: 9AM - 6PM
DA apotheek Leidsestraat - Leidsestraat 74-76
Business hours: All week 8.30AM - 11PM (you need a family docter prescription!)
The biggest Amsterdam hospital: AMC at the Holendrecht Metro stop.
The following is taken from the Official Dutch Tourist Bureau website:
Effective July 1, 2004 the following health care rules apply to the EU and EEA countries. With an international health insurance pass, visitors to Holland are entitled to health care should this be needed during their stay in our country. The care provided, however, is related to the length of stay in Holland. The concept ‘should this be needed’ is, of course, quite vague. It means that all services covered by medical insurance will be reimbursed.
Treatment for which someone expressly travels to Holland is excepted. An E112 (Treatment Abroad Scheme) form is required for such treatment.
The UJ Klaren playground is the oldest Amsterdam children's playground. It's located at the 2e Weteringsplantsoen.
Playgrounds were uncommon in the 19th century Amsterdam, but the industrial revolution attracted many young families to the capital. Uilke Jans Klaren, born in Friesland, was one of a workers that moved in 1870 to Amsterdam to work at the shipyards. At the end of the century some playgrounds were constructed sponsered by the local upper class.
After much debate and opposition Klaren took the initiative to found the "Oosterspeeltuinvereeniging", a local playground society. This first social Oosterspeeltuin playground, located at the corner of 1e Coehoornstraat and the Cruquiuskade, close to the former Werkspoor factory, got many successors.
In 1932 a National society (NUSO) was founded.
In 1940 or plaquette of UJ Klaren was revealed in the Ooosterspeeltuin club house.
After WWII from 1947 till 1978 about 2000 playgrounds were constructed with a surpringly new design by Aldo van Eyck.
Nowadays only a few are left, due to ever increasing safety requirements and the need for parking space.
Amsterdam has many city quarters with their own counsils:
Bos en Lommer
After May 1, 2010 the number has been brought down to these seven:
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