Posts Tagged With: Canals

Christmas time? (Or: The first trees are already sold)

Christmas in October anyone? Our public broadcaster (NOS) is reporting that Christmas trees are beginning to sell: Kerstverkopen dit jaar niet pas ná Sinterklaas, eerste mensen halen al bomen (Christmas purchases this year not waiting until after Sinterklaas [December 5], first people already purchasing trees).

This is to be expected; people are working from home more often and most people won’t be going on holiday this year. I read somewhere that some people are purchasing multiple Christmas trees so that they have one for each room. The only rule I have is that we need to wait until November before we bring out the Christmas decorations. November 1st, that is…

Princess Amalia, and 100,000 other Dutch girls, get their call up papers from dutchnews.nl. Active military service was abolished in 1997, however the letters are still sent to 17 year olds to inform them about a possible career in the military. Letters were also sent to 17 year old girls (the law was changed back in 2018 to send to all, not just boys).

Amsterdam to use flowers to stop cyclists chaining bikes to bridges from theguardian.com. Like it or not, bikes do get in the way often. And one of the places you will always, always see bikes is chained to a canal bridge. The worst part? It doesn’t just spoil the view, it also leaves less room for pedestrians which means they are more likely to walk in the road.

Personally I don’t remember having this issue in Amsterdam but I did experience it in Utrecht. I felt like I was walking in the street at least half of the time, which definitely wasn’t fun.

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Sliding away… (Or: Collapsing canal wall in Amsterdam)

Here’s a strange news story from today:

The good news is that no one was hurt. And for those of us who like to see the destruction in action, there’s a 21 second video over at this nos.nl news article: Kademuur in centrum Amsterdam deels ingestort.

It’s Tuesday, so the Dutch public health institute has released the weekly Covid-19 numbers (from rivm.nl, in English). It’s actually good news, to a degree: we’re either stable in comparison to last week (number of infections) or doing slightly better (number of hospitalizations and deaths). Because there are more people getting tested, the number of positive tests has gone down as well. The only less than thrilling news is that The Hague has more infections than last week – 331 this week versus 278 last week.

There was also a press conference tonight, about six months after the first coronavirus patient was reported in the Netherlands. I can’t believe it’s been six months! The biggest update was that nightclubs and discotheques are not yet allowed to reopen, with no reopening date set at this time. The prime minister talked about how we are getting frustrated with the situation but we need to stay alert, especially as schools are reopening and people are coming back from vacation.

The Dutch corona app CoronaMelder (Corona reporter) will be delayed until about half September so that testing locations can be expanded first. It should have been in use nationally from today. It is currently in testing, and anyone who receives a notification from the test app can get tested without symptoms. However, at the moment the general country is being asked to only get tested if they have symptoms. These two policies obviously don’t match, hence the slight delay.

There’s more on the press conference over at nltimes.nl: Nightclubs to remain closed, frustration with Covid rules is understandable.

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Canals and bikes (Or: Outside the gardens)

You know what you find a lot of in The Hague? Canals. (Okay, less than you used to.)

And what else? Bikes. (THAT one is probably growing exponentially!)

The rule in The Netherlands is: if it fits, I sits. (Oh wait, that rule is for cats.) But if it fits, bikes will be placed!

For a lighter news article, let’s try Child-interrupted TV broadcasts ‘show reality for working parents’ from theguardian.com. I think it’s cute, and glad that people see it happen. It is definitely a reality a lot of workers face these days!

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Exploring Leiden (Or: Windmills and canals)

On Saturday Marco and I went to Leiden. It is a university city not far from The Hague (10-15 minutes by train). We first made a stop at the VVV office (tourist office) for a free city guide. Unfortunately it was pretty commercial in nature and it wasn’t quite as informative as the Dordrecht guide was (we paid €5 for that). However the Leiden guide did have three recommended walks in the back so we used that. You just need to keep in mind some of the streets it takes you down are store heavy…

My first picture was easily my favorite:

Leiden windmill and canal

See more pictures by clicking Read more.
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Dordrecht (Or: A walking tour of the city)

Marco and I took the day off on Friday and we decided to visit Dordrecht, a small town outside of Rotterdam (the credit goes to Marco for the idea of what to do).

partial map of the Netherlands

Dordrecht, just under the red “Zuid Holland”

It is about 35 to 40 minutes by train traveling from The Hague. We did a walking tour of the city (Rondje Dordt – page in Dutch) which was about 3km long and showed the sights of the city.

Here are some of the photographs that we took along the way:

Holland Spoor train station platform

Photograph of Holland Spoor, one of the two train stations in The Hague

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Canals and flowers (Or: Visiting Utrecht)

A few weeks ago Marco and I visited Utrecht. For various reasons it ended up not being quite what I expected but that can be chalked up to two things: the weather wasn’t that great and we went on a Monday, when a lot of things ended up being closed. We mostly stayed in the center of the city and looked at stores (board game stores, comic book stores and similar) rather than doing too many cultural things. I do wish we could have stayed until it got dark, though, as I would have been able to see the Trajectum Lumen. At night certain areas of the city are artistically lit, with guided tours provided on Saturdays.

I did get some good pictures, though. Here are a couple:

canal in Utrecht

Utrecht canal, typical Dutch bike in the photo frame

stairs down a canal in Utrecht

stares down to the canal level on Oudegracht (a main street in the central area). A lot of restaurants are at canal level, so you take the stairs down to reach them.

flowers in Utrecht

close up of some flowers in Utrecht

Its a present store in Utrecht

Items at “It’s a Present” gift store

It’s a present” was actually a pretty cool gift shop even though we didn’t buy anything. It had some really random items for sale, including what you see above. The only negative was that the shop was small, so they had to expand vertically – there’s technically three small floors, but sometimes the stairs can be a bit tricky to navigate.

Categories: Utrecht | Tags: , | 7 Comments

Chaos (Or: Feeding the birds)

A random shot of someone feeding the birds in a nearby canal in The Hague:

feeding the birds in The Hague

Picture about 4 times as many birds than shown – this was the close-up. There’s even some swans in there waiting to get fed (and of course due to their large size they get first choice at the food!).

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Wet newspapers (Or: Scenes from Delft)

Here are a few random pictures that I took while my family and I were walking through Delft on the way to the churches. I just could not pass up the lonely looking newspaper stuck in the canal…

paper in Delft canal

Nearby was a residence overlooking the water:

Delft canal scene

It was a nice day to walk through Delft – still jacket weather, but warm enough. Relaxing.

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Amsterdam (Or: View from the canal)

Here are some more pictures from the canal boat ride we took back in the summer of 2010 (“we” being Roger, Marco, Marco’s Mom and I).

Random family above.

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Amsterdam canals (Or: Living on the waves)

During the first summer that I spent in the Netherlands, we did the expected canal ride in Amsterdam. It’s sort of like being a first time tourist in NYC and visiting the Statue of Liberty. I’ve managed to avoid going up to the top of Rockefeller and the Empire State building… somehow.

But I was definitely looking forward to the 1 hour canal ride. I went with Marco, his mother, and our friend Roger (the die hard NY Rangers fan… Let’s go Rangers!). Luckily we managed to be one of the first ones on the boat, so we had the pick of what seats we wanted.

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