Recently, I’ve been dreaming – literally – of being back in The Netherlands. The UK (while it lasts) is so fucking shitty at the moment, what with ugly Brexiteers and repulsive Scot Nats making everything confrontational and unpleasant, that I felt the need to get away from it all. Of course I realise that The Netherlands is also riven, with Geert Wilders strutting about causing trouble and the Turks adding to the strife. However, being abroad and in lovely Utrecht, will still be a tonic (with gin) and cause for rejoicing.

This visit I’ll be using the centrally located city as a jumping off spot to travel to a couple of other places. East is Arnhem. West is Rotterdam and Delft. North is Amsterdam. Far north is Groeningen or possibly Leiden. I’ll be on the trains for a while but as most places are only an hour from each other, it will be entirely enjoyable!

Both my flights and hotel have been booked, so the countdown has started.

Veel plezier!

The Goldfinch

The Mauritshuis in Den Haag have just launched a brilliantly well designed and fun website all about The Goldfinch, the tiny, world famous painting by Carel Fabritius.
If you like a) art b) Dutch art from the Golden Age c) a really clever web site, d) birds including goldfinches – I like all of those – you could do worse than spend a relaxing 10 mins at http://puttertje.mauritshuis.nl/en/

Veel plezier!


Amsterdam 2016

I had a great time in The Netherlands again and managed to revisit much of Amsterdam, Den Haag and Delft. Sadly a chest infection and some bad blisters on my feet put paid to some other planned trips. My consolation was and will be two-fold, First I had to take it easy, for the latter part of my trip, in the many canal-side cafes and bars of Amsterdam. Second,  I will have to revisit the country to see the places I missed out on this time.

Please click on the photo to see some shots of the fantastic places in the glorious sunshine I visited.



Well with remarkable (although entirely unplanned) timing, I’m just off to Amsterdam and Beyond for a week and spotted that I’ve been learning Dutch for a year on Duolingo. Now I should put it in practice. Pity the Dutch ears!


Amsterdam, hier ik kom

The Netherlands, Holland, Amsterdam, Aerial

In a fit of rash impetuousness, without any forethought, I bought a KLM ticket to Amsterdam. I was then compelled to book a hotel.  £700 and 20 minutes later, I have my first holiday of the year booked. I’m in The Bridge Hotel, or as we fluent Dutch speakers say De Brug Hotel, so named as it’s adjacent to the famous Magere Brug or skinny bridge over the Amstel which you can see in the bottom right of the picture above.

Plans for this trip are:

  • Speak Dutch to a Dutch person without embarrassment
  • Understand as much Dutch as I can
  • Visit the Anne Frank Huis which I missed on my last visit
  • Pay an inquisitive (non-purchasing) visit to the red light area, which I also missed the last time
  • Revisit Den Haag and the Mauritshuis to see the Veermeers, including my special friend Het meisje met parel
  • Nip down to Delft or Leiden
  • Go somewhere else maybe Den Helder, Arnhem or Groningen
  • Smoke a whole spliff not chicken out at the namby-pamby half way stage
  • Visit some nice Rolex shops

Early May cannot come soon enough.