Two weeks off work have come and gone with us mainly hunkering down at home, preparing for autumn and generally not doing many blog-worthy things.
We did get away for two days to the beach in the Netherlands though.
Unfortunately the weather really didn’t cooperate and it rained pretty much the whole time we were there.
Now I’m usually pretty hardy when it comes to weather but while being soaked through once or twice is quite the adventure… by the time you lose count how many times you’ve gotten wet and everything is just dripping and cold it really stops being fun. We just tried to make the best of it.
And while we’re at this being a bit of a rant, I’ll say that the week after didn’t fare much better with me having headaches and a stomache-ache for most of it in addition to not being able to sit very well (old injury from a fall off the pony which decided to make itself known again), culminating in the worst, head-splitting headache yesterday. I’ll be so glad to see the end of this week. Sorry, just needed out today.
And I promise my next post will be more cheerful because I have some sewing to share as soon as I am recovered enough to take photos 🙂
Getting up at the crack of dawn, throwing on a few clothes and hurrying up the hidden stone steps through the dunes to watch the sunrise at the beach. Perfect.
Another weekend at the sea, very much needed and very much enjoyed. Came back rather late last night, so more photos coming whenever I get a chance to sort through them 🙂
Have a great week!
On to our last day in Amsterdam. We got up early on Sunday and packed up, because we wanted to leave right after a last visit to the city center, to get home reasonably early.
Amsterdam on a Sunday morning at 8.30am is a sight to see…it’s funny to see this vibrant city completely empty and asleep.
We’d passed the Anne Frank House Museum two days before and I really wanted to visit it, though I am not usually into museums much. It opens at 9am each day and who would believe it but there’s a line even sunday mornings at 8.45am!
I’d read the diary of Anne Frank as a teenager and of course everyone knows about her story (at least here in Germany) but still nothing can prepare you for visiting the very rooms in which she and her family were hiding during the Nazi regime. My friend and I were very much affected by the visit…it was a good thing we had nothing else planned that day except wander around the city for a bit. We didn’t talk to the other visitors (from the UK and Italy and Spain) but I believe it might be a little different for us Germans, because added to the incredible sadness and madness of it all there is also a feeling of shame, knowing that our very grandparents participated, knowingly or not, in that darkest part of german history.
That was it for our short trip to Amsterdam! We had lots of fun getting by on our tiny budget and are already planning our next adventure 🙂
The second day of our little tour was a Saturday and as Amsterdam was bound to be crowded we opted for spending the day at the beach. The beach town of Zandvoort is only 30 minutes from Amsterdam.
We got up early and bought some buns and marmelade and fruit and drove out to Zandvoort to have breakfeast in the dunes.
Afterwards we walked into town and found the prettiest little beach bar to have coffee and just sit for a while and read.
The beach was surprisingly empty, perhaps because the weather was supposed to be cloudy and cool. Instead, by midday the clouds had cleared completely and it was hot enough to swim in the North Sea!
We spent the day relaxing and treated ourselves to dinner at an italian restaurant in the evening (though we did walk around for an hour to find the least pricey one).
More on our last day in Amsterdam soon 🙂
After we had to cancel our plans made for an extended weekend unexpectedly, my friend and I quickly had to think of something else to do instead.
We found the perfect solution when a friend offered us the keys to her student housing apartment in Amsterdam, where she had been doing an internship for 6 months which was now finished.
Amsterdam is less than 3 hours away and we left very early on friday morning. We dropped our stuff off at the apartment and took the tram into the city center.
Our plan was simple: see much as much as possible and spend as little as possible. We did have to get typically dutch friet speziaal (fries with mayonnaise, ketchup and onions) for lunch though and some yummy dutch cheese.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city, green and full of flowers and beautiful canals. Despite the many people and an unusual number of cats about, it is one of the cleanest cities I have ever seen.
There are of course bikes in every variation and color and dozens of ‘coffee shops’ where people can legally buy small amounts of drugs.
We strolled around the main sights like the flowers market but also tried to find little treasures off the tourist routes.
When we got to Prinsengracht (a beautiful large canal), we found the prettiest house boats and I kept clicking away, with my friend having to shove me off the streets when I was threatened to be run over by cars and bikes.
All in all, our electronical counting thingy showed we’d walked a good 20km that day. No wonder our feet were killing us!
After a long day we had enough of the crowded city and went back to ‘our’ apartment and sat down at the canal in the warm evening light and had a perfect dinner with our delicious dutch cheese, some fresh baguette and grapes and a bottle of white wine.
I’ll have day 2 (at the beach) and day 3 (Amsterdam on a quiet sunday morning) up as soon as possible 🙂
Okay, I vaguely remember promising sunset photos 😉 So here comes the third installment of Ameland photos.
First of all, some wildlife: there are thousands of birds on the island, mostly sea-gulls. Large areas of the island serve as nature reserve and are pretty much left alone.
While the days were sunny, the dew in the morning made for some nice photos too (this one was taken with my Macro Snap-on lens Raynox DCR-250):
The island was so deserted that we hardly met any people at all. It is amazing how fast you get used to this quiet. When we even went to a beach cafe where there were people and especially on the way home on the highway it was a total culture shock!
This buddy lived at the place where we were staying (highly recommendable by the way) and made it very clear he was used to coming inside and treated like a Prince. This is his ‘Are you thick? Go on open the door’ look.
Ok, here’s the sunset photos at last! I took so many and it was hard to narrow them down. I still cannot decide which of these two would be better for the shop? I’d love to hear your suggestions on that!
or number 2?
The technical data for these are: Canon 450d, 50mm 1.4, f22, ISO100, manual metering, shutter speed between 1.3 and 2 seconds and I used a tripod (obviously).
After the sunset we hurried up to the dunes to photograph the lighthouse. It actually gets dark very quickly once the sun has set and when you’re standing on an empty beach all alone and the lights on your bike don’t work it’s kinda creepy. We pretty much hurried home after a few shots.
And here’s the last one, another sunset on a different day and a different beach. We almost stayed home because it was cloudy and we were tired and it was freezing…but boy, was it worth it!
You can’t see it in this photo but there was a seal swimming and hunting mere meters away from us in the water! We’d see his head popping up now and then, he was probably wondering what the two girls were doing, just standing there for 45mins in the cold on a deserted beach 😉
Ok, here’s the second installment of Ameland photos. These are from our second day here, enjoy!
We went to the village Nes and booked a tour to see the seals which live between the Wadden Sea and the North Sea.
These little dutch villages are full of pretty old houses and typical dutch decor.
Onboard the boat
On our way to see the seals we saw many small fishing boats like these. They were being followed by hundreds of sea-gulls, hoping for fish.
The seals live in the water near the islands. At high tide they swim and hunt but at low tide sand banks appear where they lie down in the sun and rest.
There are lots of sheep on the island as well and at every turn you can see the cutest little lambs jumping and running about.
I’ll close with another beach shot. We’re leaving for home tomorrow but there’ll be at least 2 more installments with pretty pictures over the next few days. We had an amazing sunset yesterday and shot some pretty awesome photos, but hey, gotta save the best for last right?
Hi everyone! Just a short hello from Ameland, a beautiful little island in the Netherlands, which separates the Wadden Sea from the North Sea.
We (my friend Dana and I) left on Monday at 5am and arrived at the harbour in time to catch the 9.30am ferry. The ferry takes about 30-45mins to Ameland and then another 15min bus ride to the little village where we are staying.
We’ve had lots of sunshine, great food and lots to see so far and are enjoying every minute of our stay!
Here are some impressions of our first day:
The lighthouse, the islands most impressive landmark. We will be trying to get a good night shot of this (Dana brought a tripod, yay).
The beach at low tide (this is the North Sea side. We haven’t yet been to the Wadden Sea on foot but it’s on the agenda today). I have until now resisted the temptation of buying a pair of brighty chequered wellis, though I did splurge on some souvenirs.
I just like the colors in this one. See the amazing blue sky we had the first day!
Say cheese! We visited a cheesemaker and asked if we could see their workrooms. We are here out of season, so there is literally no one on the island except the inhabitants and so they allowed it!
I can’t even begin to describe how delicious these homemade cheeses are! We bought different types and are feasting like kings!
We left the car on the mainland and are getting around on bikes here (everyone in Holland owns a bike). Lots of fun, but we rode around so much that first day that we were really sore and had to take a break from the bikes yesterday. ‘Fietspad’ means bike path and in the background you can see the grass dunes which lie before the sand dunes on the beach.
Enjoying the evening light at the beach.
Sunset at the beach. We had originally planned to photograph until the sun really went down, but with the wind picking up and the sun losing its strength it was just freezing and we had to head home earlier. We’re hoping for another beautiful clear sunset tonight.
Hope you enjoyed these and stay tuned for pictures of quaint dutch houses, fishing boats and seals coming soon!