First, here is a photo of a statue on the side of the building. I know it is somewhere in the city centre, and somewhere in the Chinatown part of the city, but I can’t quite make out the street name on the photo. Nevertheless, it is an interesting piece of art:
And here is a fountain near the main entrance of Vondelpark:
Unfortunately this weekend trip we took already feels like it was a few months ago, even though it was only last month. Oh well – on to the next trip!
Last year it was a huge decision to let the oliebollen stands open a month earlier, on 1 October, due to missed income (no festivals were being held, etc.). This year they also opened a month earlier, from yesterday. But this was more of a surprise as it wasn’t splashed everywhere on the news. The stands are usually allowed to be open between 1 November and mid-to-late January as oliebollen is a treat for Christmas and New Years.
But it is good news to see that the stand is back in the city centre, at the end of the Grote Markt shopping street (across from the public library). And perhaps they will be allowed to stay here; they moved to this spot some years back due to the construction around the Amare building. But construction of the Amare building is complete (previous blog post) so that is a good sign for the oliebollen stand.
When Marco and I arrived this weekend in Amsterdam, we decided to have coffee and lunch at a Bagels & Beans not far from the hotel. The location was on the river IJ, which meant beautiful views.
The empty seat in the photo would soon be filled by a father and his young daughter, though they hadn’t arrived yet. She was super cute (although at the age where she knew exactly what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to say it). One of things she wanted to do was blow bubbles in her juice, no matter what her father said. Unfortunately that fun stopped when she accidentally knocked the glass on the ground, shattering it. She was fine, not even crying, but she definitely quieted down after that.
On the way to Bagels & Beans we saw a plane flying past in the distance. Imagine my surprise when I saw the message:
“Stop the Corona hoax!”. Crazy. I suspect this is quite normal for Amsterdam, though. Maybe The Hague would have the same, but planes don’t fly over due to the government buildings.
On Saturday we visited Vondelpark (English Wikipedia). I had never been there, knowing it only as the park that was frequently closed during the corona crisis due to it being way too busy. It was definitely busy on the day we went, although there was enough room for everyone.
(Of course I found the greenest, most landscape-y part of the park to take a photo.)
Marco and I celebrated our wedding anniversary over the weekend. We booked two nights at the hotel Jakarta in Amsterdam:
It is a lovely 4 star hotel a few kilometers from Central Station. It is walkable, although after the initial walk we decided to take tram 26 back and forth (2 stops). As you can tell, most rooms had a balcony, which was definitely one of the highlights for me. I sunned outside for almost an hour the first day. Even the floor was nice and warm. It turned out to be a good choice, since there was definitely less sun on the second day.
In the distance you can see the Jan Schaeferbrug (bridge). It has quite an interesting design. You can read about it over on Wikipedia in Dutch (link). It has stairs on either side of the bridge and either side of the river, and a sloped ramp for pedestrians and cyclists on 3 out of the 4 sides. The 4th side doesn’t have a ramp, only stairs, since the construction literally goes through an old monument building, the Pakhuis de Zwijger (Dutch Wikipedia). You can also see more photos at bruggenvanamsterdam.nl (Bridges of Amsterdam).
Here is the bridge at night. The photo credit goes to Marco. His night photos are always better than mine! Although the photo makes the lighting look even more gorgeous than it was in real life.
This weekend was an open house at The Hague’s newest building, the Amare cultural complex (Amare.nl, in English). It was part of the UIT Festival (uitfestivaldenhaag.nl, in English), a festival which kicks off the 2021-22 cultural season in The Hague. Some of the events are in person, some of the events are virtual. The first events at Amare are planned for later this month, including events by Nederland dans theater’s “Skin of the mind” (ndt.nl, in English).
They have planted new (temporary) plants in front of the complex, opening up the space a bit for the opening day and removed part of the gates. It is so nice to have more space in this area again! The construction zone was taking up a lot of it (and still is, on the left side of the building).
Last week Marco took a few photos of the plants being added:
Side note: it is getting way too easy to use the British spelling for some phrases, like “centre” instead of “center”. Hmmm.
Below is a photo of the tourist tram riding through the centre (!) of the city. The Grote Kerk (literally “Big Church”) is off to the left, just out of the photo. I’ve posted a picture of this area a few times after its renovation a few years back. It looks a lot better with the greenery and stone walkways than it used to look.
Here is a photo of the church from the air (pre-renovation), from monumentenzorgdenhaag.nl. And here is information on the tourist tram, from denhaag.nl in English. Unfortunately it is a bit overpriced, but for tourists it could be nice.