Netherlands · 80 Days · 20 Moments · August 2015


Europe August 2015

26 October 2015

24 Oct. - Canterbury with Jamie Went to Canterbury Cathedral, went on a punt boat ride in the city centre. The A2 ran over Britain's oldest road bridge until it was diverted in 1970. Canterbury Cathedral was nice, but not as nice as Yorkminster or Cologne. Took the Audio guide. Went to a Belgian bar, Weatherspoon's and a microbrewery. Probably drank too much. Had some good chats with Jamie. Took the Southeastern high speed there and back. Bit of a ripoff at £30. They won't accept Oyster Travelcards either. This was a problem in 2010.
26 Oct - London - Visited the National Gallery. Didn't get very far through the collection. Currently attending a lecture by Fredrik Reinfeldt, former PM of Sweden.

19 October 2015

19 Oct - Brussels - Visited Brussels today. Tried to tour the European Parliament chamber but arrived too late due to a SNBF strike. The Parliamentium museum was fantastic. Spent three hours and would visit again. Toured around the Upper Town, which is gorgeous. I think the Grand Place is the most beautiful town square in Europe. It was fantastically lit at night. Stopped by the Little Delirium Red Café and sampled their beers. Delirium Red (9%) is their best. Had to take the 20:49 train back to Rotterdam because it is the last of the night. Brussels is a fantastic city and I would definitely go back for three days.

6 October 2015

6 Oct. - Salzburg, AU Went to Salzburg's old town today. Used Rick Steve's guidebook tour, which was excellent. Saw a "Horse Wash", like an old car wash. Will try and stay here another day. Grabbed Happy Hour at a local cafe and that worked out quite well with a free beer. Tried to buy beer from a brewery but the closed early. Bus connections a little sparse at night.

5 October 2015

4 Oct. - Berchtesgaden - Stayed at a hostel managed by a Burger King. It was clean but the staff tended to be overloaded. Took the Eagle's Nest Tour. It was expensive but good. We first toured the sites of the various buildings. Then we rushed through the Documentation Centre and its bunkers. Next was the bus up to the Eagle's Nest itself. The road up there has never seen a collision though private traffic is banned and it's closed in winter. The tea house was built as a 50th birthday present for Hitler by bonner. He only officially visited 14 times but there may have been unofficial visits. The view up there was nice.

25 September 2015

25 Sep. - On my way from Leipzig to Frankfurt/Main I stopped at Halle (Salle). The main walkway from the Hbf to the town goes underneath a roundabout. It was the best such treatment that I have seen, with nice concrete and glass storefronts. It even felt airy. Shops under there were still struggling despite the high passenger volume. Only small convenience stores have managed to survive.

24 September 2015

24 Sep. - Leipzig - went to the GDR and Stasi museum today. Not many English signs. The Stasi employed 91,000 people in the end. 600,000 were informers (about 120,000 at a time). Didn't head out to bars. Having difficulty securing accommodation in Nuremberg because Airbnb people are so flaky.
13-20 Sept. I spent a week in Berlin. I rented an apartment in Wedding, which is in the northwest on Osteler Str. It was an immigrant community in West Berlin. Nearby I discovered that the Bornholmer Str. bridge was the first border checkpoint to open in 1989. The site of the DDR buildings/checkpoint is today a Lidl. The German History Museum was excellent and enormous. I only made it to 1815 but I saw Napoleon's hat. By biking around I got a much better feel for the layout of the city. It is quit large though. It would often take an hour to cycle anywhere. I rented an orange bike from a charity that supports playgrounds or something. It rained a lot too. The cycling infrastructure was not up to par, given the width of the streets. They should get the Danish, the Dutch or myself to fix it. Some complaints: the cycle path on the footpath doesn't work and the network is missing critical links. There is vno parking enforcement. Cyclists don't like to follow the cumbersome rules.
Copenhagen is an absolutely fantastic city. I love everything about it--the biking, the history, the architecture. I ended up staying there for two weeks. I stopped by the excellent military museum twice. It features every war that Denmark has ever fought going back centuries. There was also an exhibit of a Danish military camp in Haldemand, Afghanistan. It has a vehicle that hit an IED in 2010. In the end all of the political parties are asked their stance on the war in Afghanistan.

6 September 2015

31 Aug - Train ticket included transport to local metro station. Went for a walk and discovered the palace around the corner. Guards still there. It's awkward to wonde around there alone with them. Like one of them is fully concentrating on me. Do they actually put on that show when nobody's there?

31 August 2015

29 Aug - Art Museum. There was a classic American car show outside. They were driving around all weekend. Also there was an Oktoberfest tent, a skateboard race and a concert in the park.
28 Aug - Used the Paris-style bike sharing system. Really cheap at 25 Kr for three days. Only 75 Kr for the season. Went to the City Museum. The city was laid out by the Dutch so it features canals and wide streets. There is an excellent biking infrastructure and cars can't really drive through the centre. Public transport use is consequently quite high. Surprisingly bike traffic is not as heavy as I would have thought. I think this is because a collection of new towns were laid out as commuter suburbs, teachable by public transport. The ticketing system is excellent.
26 Aug - Took cruise in Fjord. Kind of boring. U.S. better looking.

24 August 2015

23 Aug - Oslo - Went to the National Gallery. It's got an impressive but small collection. Should try to get as much information about the pieces as I can. Sat in the park and planned my trip to Flåm. Snagged the last remaining seat reservation. Decided to skip Stavanger and Lysefjord because it is 12 hours out of my way. Also hard to get around without a car.
21 Aug - Oslo - Visited the Nobel Peace Center. Interesting stories of the laureates. Museum not as impressive as it could be. Tried to visit City Hall but it was closed due to a local election. Walked down the main pedestrian street, Karl Gate.

20 August 2015

Arrived in Oslo. Felt optimistic.
20 Aug - Used first leg of my rail pass. Enjoyed 1st class lounge. Taking train to Norway. - Rode east to royal parkland on City Bike. - Staying at hostel in suburbs to save money.

14 August 2015

13 Aug. - Took free Tallinn tour which was quite good - Visited Occupations museum, which I liked - Nice pancakes in evening with cherry beer

11 August 2015

Den Haag Peace Palace Delft Kabob in

8 August 2015

Flew in yesterday. Flight OK.