Finding Value in Volendam

The Village of Volendam Volendam seems, from anecdotes I heard while talking to Dutch friends in Amsterdam, sort of like the Netherlands’ version of the South. Lots of stereotypes about inbreeding, hillbilly sensibilities, and just general backwardness. The butt of the national joke, if you will. (There’s even a degenerative brain disease named after the … Continue reading »

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Taking a Ride on the MuseumPlein

Amsterdam’s MuseumPlein Every good city should have a thriving green heart, an outdoor space were people can gather and frolic and maybe even pretend for a moment that they’re surrounded by trees. Amsterdam, to its immense credit, has these in spades. East Park and West Park and the Amsterdam Forest and seemingly a hundred more. … Continue reading »

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Bussing Through Beemster

After the preponderance of windmills in the rest of the country and the Dutch pride for the polder system of reclaimed land salvaged from the seas, it was with some trepidation that I set out for the heartland of Dutch Polder Fever: Beemster. I was on a bus tour to the village of Alkmaar and … Continue reading »

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Diamonds Museum Amsterdam – Where the Tour Lasts Longer Than the Diamonds

Diamonds Museum Amsterdam Of all the touristy things I did during my several weeks in Amsterdam, I remember one as being the obvious standout lowlight. Coster Diamonds and the Amsterdam Diamond Museum. Some people really like this stuff, I suppose, and these places (just across the street from Museumplein) always seemed to have tourists hanging … Continue reading »

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Going a little too Dutch!

Windmills of Zaanse Schaans You know what gets me about the Netherlands? They’re just SO DUTCH! Take the windmills thing, for example. Ok guys, we get. You’re master engineers, able to raise the polders out of the very seas themselves and convert them into useable land. There’re what, 24 main polders across the country? That’s … Continue reading »

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Celebrating the Start of Summer… with fire and samba!

Perhaps this has been mentioned before, but Amsterdam is kind of a strange place. It really is a lovely city, and the longer I stayed (about 3 weeks, total!) the more I could see how one could show up for three days and end up staying for thirty years. But the massive number of bikes, strange … Continue reading »

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