Three hours in Amsterdam

A few days ago I had the opportunity to see a bit of Amsterdam after a trip to the US consulate. Although the weather was more on the greyscale side of things I saw some interesting things:

On top of the entrance to the Madame Tussaud’s museum.

 

Loes admiring what I can only think is the bike of Getafix (Panoramix) the druid.

 

A social sofa. I found it doubly inviting: it was really colorful and it was surrounded by movement.

 

A curved door. I have recently learnt the value of lateral thinking and breaking assumptions. It looks like dutchmen learned about that long ago.

 

A boat with a floating garden around it. Why not?

 

A clothes store that also provides HIV tests. I can come up with several explanations for this but they all sound just wrong.

 

A tractor with a water hose to clean the streets. At this point my mind took any remaining assumptions I had and carefully put them on a shelf.

 

I can only assume this is the Asian district. At one point I thought there was also an Argentinian district but it would have covered the Asian district and 3 other districts so I dismissed the idea.

 

Bikes, bikes everywhere. Japan also had bikes but this was different, here bikes aren’t ridden by nice Japanese, here they are ridden by 2 meters tall blonde nordic demons sprouting Dutch swear words if you dare stay on the bicycle lanes for too long.

 

At first sight this looks like a block of houses. But when you look more closely you can see the bucket of buildings behind it. Dutchmen seem to like their buildings old no matter how straight they are. The earliest one we was was from 1644.

 

Besides ladies with few clothes in the doors in the red light district we could also see plenty of hemp and marihuana shops. I think so much marihuana is the real reason behind so many slanted buildings.

 

“Me fun, you fun, we fun.”

Amsterdam felt like a mix between chaotic Indian cities and the stylish streets of Osaka or Tokyo. To some extent it reminds me of Ankh-Morpork but without the bad smell. Bicycles are everywhere and after a few hours crossing streets I learnt to develop respect for them.

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Back from Lanzarote

Yesterday we came back from a week of holidays in Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands.

We finished our trip by a visiting Cesar Manrique’s house. The house has rooms above and below ground. The underground rooms were carved out by lava and Cesar made rooms out of them like this one and the one in the next photo.

After several months in Dublin with its lack of sunlight it was a very nice change that reminded us of the energy that full days of sun have.