Near our place in Amsterdam West there was a carnival being held so we dropped by on a Sunny Sunday. It was okay. We didn’t go on any rides because even though it was sunny it was also windy and chilly.
Some Random Amsterdam History.
This is the highest point in Amsterdam. That bridge. I believe it is 1.8 meters about the sea level. Shows you how flat Amsterdam is and how much of the Netherlands is below the sea level.
The building in the middle is a former hidden Catholic church. Even though the Dutch strongly push for tolerance, somehow this didn’t really apply to Catholics a couple of centuries ago. So people of the Catholic faith created their own churches in their houses. This one looked pretty well hidden but when they installed the second largest organ in the Netherlands in the attic for their services the “hidden” part was kinda forgotten.
This was the site of a former female prison. This was situated reasonably close to the red light district. Some of the head honchos of the various religious groups in that time weren’t happy with how Amsterdam allowed such a large amount of activity in the red light district. To appease these fellows they created this prison, once in a while they would pick up a random unlucky hooker and have her locked up and whipped. For a certain amount of money you could visit and watch the ladies get whipped. Families could bring their children to see what would happen if they did not listen and follow the rules.
This was an anonymous piece of art somebody created and installed in the red light district. At one point the city removed it but people asked for it to be put back and it was. Nobody figured out who the artist was or whose breast is was based on.
At the end of the Lindenmarkt we came across the Noordermarkt. It was focussed on bio-friendly produced wares. There was some items there. One vendor explained what made their cheese so special was that the cows were in Austria eating only one specific type of grass which in turn made their milk and then the cheese so much more flavourful. One lady at the mushroom stand was giving all different types of recipes for the various mushrooms she was selling. Interesting place.
It was international pillow fight day and we headed out to the dam to catch a glimpse. I considered participating, but my lack of having my own pillow and any fighting skills prevented me from doing so. We followed a group of people carrying their own pillow and found a big group trying to knock each other out with their favourite sleeping aid.
We were surprised how long people seemed to be able to go on with the non-painful violence. Like they warned on the International Pillow Fight Day website, most pillows did seem to get broken and feathers, foam and other popular pillow fillings flowed out into the streets. About an hour later after we did some shopping we passed by the Dam and saw some of the participants sweeping up the pillow remains.
Graffiti, stencilling, stickering always has fascinated me so you can always except a good amount of photo’s of them on this site. My favorite is the Colonel Sanders capitalism/consume piece.
We visited the 9-11 memorial. We got our tickets online, joined the queue and got searched by security. The site was pretty impressive. The foundations of the two towers were transformed into massive waterfalls with the names of the victims etched into the side. It’s was good to see how international the names were showing it wasn’t just an attack on the US but the whole world.
South Street Seaport
It was filled to the brim with tourists but still maintained an authentic feeling of a an old classic deli. We had the beef brisket with gravy on rye bread.
McSorely’s Old Ale House
After eating at NYC’s oldest deli, we grabbed some beers at NYC’s oldest bar. I liked that there are only 2 types of beers on tap ( light and dark) and with amazing prices for NYC ($5 for 2 beers). It really is old and so is allot of the decoration. You can feel the stories and history in the walls. Plus the beer is good.
Even though it can be annoyingly busy and touristy. I think it is my favorite people watching spot in the world. So many different types of people all gathering in this one place blasting your senses into an overload of lights and sounds.
Prosperity Dumplings and Chinatown
I visited this place a couple of years back and remember they had some fantastic dumplings. You can see 3 ladies in the back making the dumplings by hand and you can really taste the freshness. I got a bit greedy and ordered 10 fried dumplings and 10 steamed ones ($1 for 5 dumplings, amazing deal) and somehow miraculously we managed to finish them all.
St Patricks Day Parade
All Over the City
These are some of themes across South America. First up is Heejung presenting things. She doesn’t always manage to present the things correctly on her hand.
Heejung presenting a waterfall near Banos. Doesn’t quite look right.
Heejung presenting the Ecuator. Well kind of.
Heejung presenting a tourists head. Or it may be the statue in the background in the middle of Old Town Quito.
Heejung presenting another waterfall in Puerto Quito (Cascada Azul)
Next up is My Blurry Tourist theme.
High up on a mountain with Quito in the background
Cascada Azul in the background.
And finally is Heejung’s frustrated face “How come I never visited here before?”
“How come I never ventured into the Jungle before?”
“How come this is my first time to the Equator?”
“How come I never went into the highest cable car before to look down on Quito before?”
“How come I didnt know about this town called Banos before”?”
Please watch this in HD, it will be a much nicer experience.
I shot this around the island of Aruba, always marvelling at the many fast moving clouds.
Song is by moby licensed through ww.mobygratis.com
As soon as we got to the largest city in Bolivia we checked in and went to the Zoo. Lonely planet said they had sloths roaming around the zoo. I like sloths, I would even put them on my top five awesome animals list. Within 5 minutes of arriving at the Zoo we saw the Sloth, climbing down a tree onto the roof of a birdcage. He tried to get down but wasn’t able to and had to get back into the tree. That whole process took a full twenty minutes. That was the highlight of the zoo visit.