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We left Amsterdam bound for

Germany’s Rhineland District.

Our coach driver was still driving on the wrong side

of the road…just like everyone else.


Trains were speeding by at speeds never seen in Australia.

And so close to the roadway.


I have to be honest I do not know if this shot was

taken as we left Amsterdam or

while on our Rhine River Cruise.


These houses a certainly situated on the banks

of the Rhine River.


Finally we arrived for our lunch break at the

Cuckoo Clock Factory which makes Cuckoo Clocks

from the Black Forest wood.



Jo’s Monday Walk




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Amsterdam-4, Netherlands

Still in Amsterdam and just…

had to post a picture of, what we were told

are called the ‘bicycle flats’ (background).

Thousands of bicycles are stored there each day.


Within close proximity to the bicycle flats is

the Amsterdam Railway Station a rather grand building I thought.

And While I was no closer than this image appears,

it is apparently in better repair the

Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station.

amsterdam_irish_0453During our wanderings up popped my (potential) relatives again.

An Irish Music Bar in Amsterdam.

 If anyone does know  could you let me know if there is

a large Irish heritage contingent in Amsterdam, please?

Or is this pub just a one-off thing?



Many businesses had this type of sign on exterior walls.

I don’t know what Fred’s trade is.

Is it a typewriter he is hunch over?

I thought the number my have referred to longitude.

Alas!  No!

Amsterdam is just under 5 degrees east.


 Many buildings had these hoists at the top.

Furniture is hoisted up via these hoists due to

limited space inside.



As our day drew to a close I spotted these tea cups in an  eatery.

Popped my head in and asked if I could take a photograph.


“Yes that’s okay. (pregnant pause) It will only cost 5 Euros!”

My heart nearly stopped until I saw a big wide beaming smile

and a twinkle in the eye of the girl who answered me.

Left below.

amsterdam-cheerful_0607We were footsore, or I was, so MGW and I spent

way more than 5 Euros in Illys, Amsterdam that day and

had a nice chat with friendly staff.

After the initial shock of ‘it will only cost 5 Euros‘ had worn off,

it was a really nice interlude knowing that hard-working staff

still had time for some fun with patrons.

I smile each time I see this photo and think how wonderful it would be

if the whole world was as friendly as these girls were.

A credit to Illy.



Jo’s Monday Walk




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Amsterdam-3, Netherlands

 amsterdam_0389Although I had been told in primary school that bicycles

were a major form of transport in The Netherlands,

I was not prepared for the speed at which cyclists

propelled their machines along the road.



We were soon no longer in the way of local cyclists…


opting for a canal cruise and…


all the sights so foreign to us.


And yet so wonderful to be able to view these places in person.


Finally the Leaning Houses of Amsterdam…or some of them, I hope.

Apparently subsidence has caused some buildings to

list sideways or back/forwards, hence the name.



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Amsterdam-2, Netherlands

Our first tourist stop was…


at Gasson’s diamond polishers.


A modest 0.5 carat diamond would have set us back

3,026Euros or $AUD4,289


Something in the 2.02 carat size…

42,000 Euros or $AUD 59,530 or $US 44,933


These were fake diamonds for visitors to handle

and to demonstrate how they were cut and polished.


 This, however, was the real deal…


as I suspect this was.

Apologies for the photos, no flash and ‘things’ popping

into the line of sight upset focus at times.

More of Amsterdam next week.



Jo’s Monday Walk




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Amsterdam-1, Netherlands

Up bright and early.

Thought this was supposed to be a holiday??

On our way to Amsterdam.


About and hour or so into our journey

we stopped for morning coffee and munchies at…


La Place…a road house making a Euro, or two,

from thirsty and hungry tourists   

La Place…sounds very French and yet we were

either in Belgium or the Netherlands.  

I found this very confusing.


Wherever we were there was oodles to munch on

with our morning coffee, if one so desired.  

Some of the munchies were good for the waistline…

others, I fear not so good.

coffee-break_0322To date, during our journey we had sighted many wind farm windmills.  

In Australia and other parts of the world these

are used to generate electricity.  

The wind farm near our farm still holds the title of

the largest in the Southern Hemisphere with

140 windmills spread over 5,500 Ha (13,591 acres or 21.24 square miles).  

With so many of these mills dotted along our way

I wondered if they were generating electricity

or drawing water from the ground.


This was the only traditional Dutch windmill sighted.  

Luckily we were on the ‘right’ side of the coach

to capture a shot or two as we passed by. 


We finally arrived in Amsterdam, which

could also be known as ‘bicycle city’.

I have never seen so many bicycles in one place

before…or after.

More next week.



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Brugge-4, Belgium


 Last week in Brugge.

One of the last photographs in Market Square were these horses,

carts and drivers catering for tourists wanting

a gentle ride around Brugge.


After we walked back to our hotel and freshened up

we returned for a Welcome Dinner which

provided opportunities for some twilight photography.


Belfort Tower in Brugge.

brugge_het-zand-fountain_0280The Het Zand fountain was one of the most

memorable sights of our trip, in my opinion.



Maybe it was that I had not seen a fountain…


illuminated like this before.


Or maybe it was just the atmosphere and camaraderie

which was beginning to form between all travelers.




Jo’s Monday Walk




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Brugge-3, Belgium


 Last week I showed this archway as seen from

the main Square in Brugge.


This view is from the canal side of the archway,


as we walked back into Market Square.


And if you happened to look up whilst in the arch

you will see this remarkable ceiling.


Through the arch and to the left is St Basil’s Basilica.


Upon entering St Basil’s I was immediately drawn 

to a life-like wooden statue of Jesus…

brugge-church-statue_0165which depicts him bound prior to Crucifixion.

brugge-church_0167In a central nave a bronze statue of a pelican stands.  

The pelican was/is a symbol for

Christ and the Eucharist.


 My final photo is of Pietà.  

In many Cathedral there are wardens/security staff

ensuring that visitors remain quiet.  

No such staff were on duty during my visit

and there was no need to ask anyone to be quiet.  

It is/was a very sombre atmosphere in the

Holy Blood Chapel of St Basil’s.

My source of information about some of these images is:


I cannot recall if flash photography was allowed

in the Holy Blood Chapel.  

My photos were taken using slow (1/30 sec) shutter speed,


I guess like many locals and tourists

I light a candle before leaving.

I know I said last week that this would be

my last post of Brugge walk.

I will try, again, to make next week’s my last Brugge post.



Jo’s Monday Walk