Browsing Tag

Holland

Travel Advice

Travel Photo Wednesday – Amsterdam

October 5, 2016 • By

Carisa and I were taking a leisurely stroll in Amsterdam, Holland, a couple of years ago.  We didn’t really have that much time there, only 24 hours.  However, we couldn’t help but notice these lovely shutters on random row houses as we passed by.

We didn’t understand its utility; it seemed more of a hassle than simply using curtains.  You would have to step outside on a practically non-existent balcony and then reach out on either side with the skill of a high wire artist to close them shut.

Then again, perhaps, that is the point.  It’s not supposed to be easy to close.  As I understand it, the Dutch aren’t shy types and prefer the freedom of using these out-stretched shutters instead of curtains that deprive them of precious sunlight.  However,   I could see that some residents were using Dutch lace in some of the windows.READ MORE


Travel Advice

Candid Photos I’ve Taken On Trips That Have Inspired, Surprised And Puzzled Me

March 13, 2013 • By

 

candid photos

Beautiful art figures from the First Nations People at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

I’ve noticed that one of the things that I tend to do while I travel is to snap photos for no good reason.  Usually, I am on a tour bus or casually walking along a city street that I decide to immortalize my surroundings by capturing random scenes through my camera lens.

It doesn’t have to be something massive or particularly significant; I’m usually moved to do so because of how I am feeling at the moment.  I’m usually overwhelmed by the people, a particular circumstance, an unusual building….something that captures my attention that compels me to document it.

Of course, those pictures usually turn out to be a blurry mess and sometimes in rarer moments, they become unforgettable treasures.  I decided to share a few with you dear reader in the hopes that you could appreciate the method to my madness: “Sometimes the best photos are the unplanned ones”.

candid photos

We were on a tour bus that departed Santiago, Chile, destined for Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. It was early in the day and I thought I was seeing things but took the pic anyway. It looked like a cardboard house sitting on the hillside with a distinctive Mondrian palette. I have no explanation for this. This is not…..I repeat….this is not photoshopped and I am glad that I was able to capture it as the tour bus whizzed by.

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Europe, Travel Advice

A Review of My Overnight Accommodations On Megabus UK

January 3, 2013 • By

megabus1

I’m always up for any alternatives to expensive airline or rail tickets.  Earlier, I’d written about the Chinese bus companies that had cropped up to go into head to head competition with the transportation stalwart, Greyhound.   Roughly six years ago, another company begin to make waves in the U.S. by offering newer, comfortable luxury buses with free wi-fi service (though not available on every bus) and a small but functional restroom in the rear.  For the longest time, their service was limited to the northeastern U.S., fortunately, they began to service the southeast by offering $1.00 introductory fares and the rest is history.  Megabus USA is experiencing phenomenal success, much like its parent company in the UK which launched in 2003.  

As I was planning my recent trip to Paris, I thought it would be nice to use Megabus UK to visit either London or Amsterdam while I was there.  We opted to go with Amsterdam since the trip time was considerably less (by two hours) as was the cost (by £8 each way).  Our fare for our trip to Amsterdam was a grand total of £20.50 roundtrip ( £10 per person plus a 50 pence booking fee which is charged for all reservations) and the trip time was a little over 7 hours.  Since our departure time was at 11:30 pm this worked to our advantage since we would be able to sleep overnight and wake up refreshed in Amsterdam the next morning.

The Megabus station is located at the Porte Maillot Coach park which is right across the street from the Palais des Congrès de Paris on Boulevard Pershing.  It is easily reached by the Metro on line 1 (Direction La Defense).   Simply go up the stairs and exit right outside the metro station.  The Palais des Congrès de Paris will be straight ahead and the coach park will be right beyond it.READ MORE


Europe, Reviews

The Top Five Things to Do in Amsterdam in 24 Hours

December 20, 2012 • By

Amsterdam

I have to admit, before my visit in November, my impression of Amsterdam was that it was a party town, a place to score mary jane and watch lots of live porn. Mind you, this was coming from a very uninformed point of view. The Amsterdam that I actually witnessed is the polar opposite. In fact, it struck me as being very family friendly, cultural, progressive, stylish and a historical bulwark of days gone by.

We’d decided that we wanted to take a day-trip while we were in Paris. My motto is if I am going to cross an ocean, I’m going to make it worth my while. So, what better way to maximize our experience than to visit a city that I had long wondered about after seeing so many beautiful pictures posted on various social media by my travel blogger friends. Maybe I should give the city a try despite the questionable reputation that preceded it?READ MORE