Monday, January 3, 2011


Despite spending most of my life (to date) only a few hours from a wide selection of European cities, I seemed to mostly visit the furthest away and least obvious of them. On our trip to the UK for Christmas, we saw the chance to see somewhere new. Amsterdam seems to be known by UK university students (of which I was one once) only for the easy availability of certain specialist herbs, and the chance to walk along the street looking at ladies advertising the oldest profession in the world. It turns out there's a lot more to this small city than the UK students realize.

We were looked after fantastically by friends Adriaan and Bronwyn who are living in Amsterdam for a while. They gave us a place to sleep, cooked food to eat, and shared their bicycles and knowledge of the city with us. Thank you! Alongside riding funny Dutch bikes around frozen streets, one of the highlights was eating at OT301, an old school (we think) building, which has become a squat for a community who support themselves by running a vegan restaurant. An amazing place.

Cycling, Amsterdam-style

The best bike-parking in the world? Amsterdam central station.

Beer drinking, Amsterdam-style
A duck standing on a frozen canal... Amsterdam-style (?)
To fit in with our theme of awkward travel arrangements, our flight back to the UK was cancelled. To cut a long story short, we managed to get back... and to catch our flight to Vancouver in time for New Year skiing around Cayoosh, but in the meantime we had to entertain ourselves by visiting the tourist hotspots of Schiphol Airport.

Tourist Hotspot #1
Tourist Hotspot #2

Possibly not a tourist hotspot
 Back in Canada... tired and jetlagged, we met up with the Vancouver gang to enjoy some of this sort of thing...

My brain may not have been in the same timezone, but it was great anyway (Paul's photo)