Legends, lore, and little hidden gems of Amsterdam

Will travel for tulips – All the days – Keeping Amsterdam Weird Like I said before, I used the I AMsterdam card like I was mad at it. I would recoup my Euros even if my legs gave out trying to get to yet another location where the card meant I could get in for free. Amsterdam…

Tiptoe through the tulips

Will travel for tulips – Day 5 – How to spend a day in the land of tulips I thought I’d only spend a half-day at the Keukenhof. It’s only tulips, I thought, and how can I spend an entire day just looking at tulips? Easily, it seems. It was the most relaxing, happy, contented, non stressful…

Then I paint my dreams

Will travel for tulips – Days 4 & 7 combined – SO. Much. Art. I dream of painting, and then I paint my dreams – Van Gogh The Rijksmuseum and Museumplein were so easily accessible by tram. In fact, you could stay most places in the city and be within reach of a tram line. Many…

A wander in the Western Canal Ring

Will travel for tulips – Day 3 – On to Amsterdam and the Western Canal Ring After only a quick two days in Brussels, I was heading back to Amsterdam for the bulk of my spring holiday. I was here for tulips, and Amsterdam it, I would see tulips. I made the mistake of waiting…

In Flanders Fields

Will travel for tulips – Day 2 – WWI Tour of Northern Belgium In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn,…

A hustle through Brussels

My only full day in Brussels started out less than promisingly, with a spitting cold rain pelting me as I left the city’s central station and tried to sort out where I could go before getting soaked. I had no map, no real plan – only a short list of things to see and do…

Churches and squares everywhere 

Chinese New Year in Macau – Day 2 – A tour of old colonial Macau If you don’t go to Macau to gamble or shop, you go to Macau for history. I’m not a gambler – and I’d probably be a poor one even if I tried – and I don’t particularly go in for…

When you need a little (or a lotta) Christmas

A German Christmas story – Berlin – Christmas markets It is difficult to explain how a German Christmas market smells. A bit of a heady combination of spiced red wine, cinnamon, cookie batter, sizzling sausages, damp earth from a recent rain, and baking bread – it is all of these things and more. My first market…

Signal lost. Turn right.

Chinese New Year in Macau – Day 1 – Arrival by ferry crossing We were very tired, we were very merry— We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry; And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear, From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere; And the sky went…

A hobble around Museum Island

A German Christmas Story – Day 5, Berlin – Museum Island Despite a very swollen and rather stiff ankle, I wrapped it up with sport tape and an ankle support sock and set out for Museum Island, a UNESCO heritage site on the River Spree known for its architecture and concentration of art and artifacts….

The long shadows of war and wall

A German Christmas story – Berlin, Day 4 – Berlin Wall Memorial & Jewish History Museum It was hard to drag myself out of the hotel the next day after staying up half the night watching news footage about the Berlin Christmas market terrorist attack. The hope that it had been only an accident quickly faded away…

The landscape of terror has not been forgotten

A German Christmas Story – Berlin, Day 3 – Topography of Terror (afternoon) Germany is very upfront about the Holocaust. The Topography of Terror Documentation Center stands near a long stretch of the Berlin Wall on the former site of the Gestapo and SS headquarters. It is a low, modern building which seeks to lay…