Local Woods

As has been evidenced in a previous post, where we live now is rather green, and after staring at google maps the other day, I decided that there was a section I really wanted to explore with my camera. Thankfully, Himself is amenable to my whims, and off we set to explore the local woods! Having already spotted my first wild hedgehog just up the street from where we’re living, I thought I’d up my chances of finding another in the actual woods!

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Alas, it was not to be on this occasion. But there was still lots to see!

I love all the flora which is so different from what I’m used to.

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Though we were in the woods, it doesn’t stop there being streams and canals all over! This picturesque little bridge was the subject of quite a few photos!

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The bumble bees were out in force and hovering over the thistles and other pink flowers mostly. I still find the sight of actual bumble bees a thrill!

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Not only is there canals everywhere, but it had been raining. So everything was a little damp. But the water level never changes. This would be the difference between canals and creeks.

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Something that I had been told all my life but had never seen was that if lost in the woods, moss will always grow on the North side of trees. Well, have some ivy doing just that!

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I have mentioned before on twitter that I love all the natural long grasses that line all the canals and major roads. This is the perfect example of the vibrant splashes of red poppy that punctuate these grasses.

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Another bumble bee all laden down with pollen. (They’re so cute and fluffy!!!)

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And this Ladies and Gentlemen of the audience, is in my opinion, the cutest house in the village!

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Oh look! Another bike shop. I think I’ve spotted a theme …

Quiet week

Hi everyone. I’m sorry for the radio silence after last Friday’s post. I guess what happened was inevitable. Once we moved and things got a little bit quieter for the first time in months, we both came down with some vicious head colds. I’m still trying to throw off a horrendous lung crunching cough. At least you can’t catch it through the internet!

We did take a little time out to head into town last Tuesday though (where I coughed and snotted all over everyone I met. I’m sure they were very grateful!)

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It was on this excursion that for the first time I saw the cranes dredging the canals. It was quite mesmerising for a couple of minutes. I have yet to find a crane with a magnet hauling up all the bicycles that get dumped in the canals each day though!

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In a final piece of news for this week, and it has taken me a week to get around to posting this, Himself got a delivery in the post recently that wasn’t entirely expected!

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Knowing a Master Roaster as we do, it was wonderful to receive a birthday surprise of some of his wares in the post. We have been making good use of it too! It’s nice to be loved. 🙂

See you all after the weekend when hopefully things will have returned to normal!

Tourist Season

Now that we have begun to get our bearings and this beautiful adopted city is feeling more and more like home, we’ve had some guests come to visit! Showing them around has been a real experience!

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We took them on a canal cruise. The same canal cruise that we went on on our first weekend. It was an entirely different experience now that we actually knew where we were going, knew the buldings we were looking at from walking past them every day, and have a better idea of the city.

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This is a copy of a bridge in Fance, and is decorated in slave ships.

This is a place in the canal where you can look through seven bridges all at once. Though you have to be on the water to truly see the spectacle.

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This is a replica of a floating restaurant in China. Though theirs seats 2500, and ours only seats 700. You can see the city Bibliotheek in the background 🙂

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Being tourists, we then headed off to the Bloemenmarkt. I love that place so much, and showing it off is fun too!

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The number of bulbs is awe inspiring. All those sleeping little bulbs, just waiting to wake up and burst forth all that colour!

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As we wandered around, we realised something was on at the palace, though we didn’t figure out what. Though the spectacle of the roads being closed down to let the motorcade through was an experience!

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Finally on Sunday we headed up through the Red Light District. Now you’re not allowed to take photos of the girls in the windows, and I’ve seen people try, and the girls will just draw the curtains on you. I appreciate the fact that the girls are accorded respect, and there is a statue next to the Oude Kerk (that a lot of windows circle) that reminds tourists to respect the girls too.

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As our guests come back next weekend, I now have to think of a whole new set of adventures for them! Any suggestions?

Albert Cuypmarkt

Through the cold (12C) and the rain, I made my way via the number 24 tram to the Albert Cuypmarkt. As you get off the tram, it’s a fairly unassuming looking street.

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It was a wonderful market. They seem to have a little bit of everything. There’s the organic food, beginning with the ever present cheese.

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There were also stalls of every fruit and vegetable imaginable, and fish mongers.

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There were sweets too. Poffertjes and Stroopwafels.

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There were some delectable summer dresses which I would actually consider wearing!

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Though with the weather the way it was, I wasn’t tempted to try them on right then and there!

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And check out these gumboots with heels!

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It was nice to see flowers in pots and growing, not just cut for vases from florists.

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There really was a little bit of everything! (I want a blue one)

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And of course, being Amsterdam, there were several bicycle stalls!

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I can’t wait to start decorating and riding my bike!

Markets

We took the weekend off for the first time in what feels like months (and between packing and moving, probably has been) in order to head on up to the local market and check it out.

Locally we have both a farmers market full of fresh produce and an “antiques” market. Though I think they term antiques more liberally than I do …

Flowers are prevalent all over Amsterdam.

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They are also inexpensive and vibrant!

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More evidence of bicycles everywhere, and evidence of the customisation! I can’t wait to have my own bike and drape it in flowers and astro turf in the basket! (it’s looks better than it sounds. If you’re into that kind of thing of course)

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Being me, I found the yarn. Damn it was hard to walk away from alpaca at that price. But I have about a kilometre to go on the Evenstar Shawl. I must remain focused! Then the nice man told be he had a bricks and mortar store during the week! All was not lost!

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All this goes on in the shadow of the local castle. (No it’s not a castle, but just look at it!!!)

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I really wished I’d asked for the price of this set. Then I might not be pining over this photo. *pulls a sad face*

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Something that sets markets here apart from those in Australia is weapons on sale. Not only did we see these swords, but there were sai, and a slingshot!

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I loved these strap on ice skates! Made me wonder if they were still useable, or a big seller a few months ago when the big freeze was on and everyone was on the canals!

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There was a large hippie contingent of clothing stalls at which you could buy anything you’d find at Tree of Life or the Glebe Markets. Not inspiring to me, but handy to know.

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But there was so much stuff to fossick through! And it was a very enjoyable time just wandering and exploring.

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I also found a Baedeker! If it hadn’t been in French I would have bought it …