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Netherlands

Amsterdam Syndrome
Netherlands

Amsterdam Syndrome

On the last day in Amsterdam, our paths have split again. Partly because Ben, with his mum, was preparing for an early start while I was still recovering from a cold and needed some sleep. Also, partly because, as a chronically independent wanderer, I desired to learn this new city at first on my own. In addition to being a chronically independent wanderer, I am also chronically chaotic and so my becoming closer to Amsterdam was rich in experiences from the very beginning – in fact, from the moment I entered a tram. I looked excitedly from the window at the famous Amsterdam canals. The lady sitting by me noticed my enthusiasm and spoke to me. We managed to go over the beauties of Amsterdam, assets of cities we were from (the lady was from Copenhagen although she lived in Amsterdam), the communist era, rights of sexual minorities, and that I should have a better plan on what I want to see. (Yes, I know. While I am an obsessive collector of information in advance, on the spot, I usually throw half of my plans to the wind, burst somewhere into the streets and lanes, and let whatever catches my […]

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Tulips of many colors
Netherlands

Keukenhof – a Tulip Dream

I had a dream. A dream of spring. A dream of tulip fields in bloom below trees green with newleaves. A dream of a flower haven where you can walk on paths in the midst of beauty which takesyour breath away. A dream of waking spring in the midst of explosion of colour. A dream of myself, alone with magnificent nature. I wanted to visit Keukenhof. And now we are here. In a massive carpark where buses spit out crowds of visitors. An endless queuestretches to the gates and behind them there is some awful circus music being played. It’s socrowded that you cannot move. Is this what I dreamed about? We quickly slip inside because we cleverly bought tickets in advance on the internet. Due to thecrowds I feel slightly dazed. This is not my spring dream! This is overcrowded chaos! I feel cheated. Keukenhof. The biggest spring garden in the whole of Europe. In the 15th century there used to bethe kitchen garden of the Teylingen Castle. The foundation of the park was laid down in 1857 bygarden architects Jan David Zocher and his son Luis Paul Zocher, when they designed the currentEnglish style garden. The current Keukenhof […]

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Netherlands

A Doll’s House and Hordes of Black-Eyed Rabbits

Amsterdam, five am, just before daybreak. I have no idea what made me run out here after waking up suddenly. I am standing outside with stockinged feet, listening to the bird song. The whole quarter is still asleep, and the air smells of adventure. We are staying in a doll’s house. It is pieced together from modules that look like several transport containers stuck together. There is a small garden with a wildly blossoming magnolia. In the draw of my bedside table, I was welcomed by a real Amsterdam joint, a little something from the landlords? ‘Our quarter’ seems to be inhabited mainly by Indians. On our walk, we found that nearly every garden has a statue of Buddha. In a local supermarket full of Indian specialties, we bought some flat cakes stuffed with cheese. I don’t know what they are called, but they were truly delicious. The doll’s house is a small hotel. It has three rooms. We rented two of them – one for Ben and me and one for his mum. Have I mentioned yet that we went to the Netherlands with Ben’s mum? It was by a complete coincidence. I desperately wanted to see Keukenhof in […]

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