Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holiday Time

Having had a few days off and then several days of catching up it's now time to reflect on the past week. The blog will catch up over the course of a few days I fear.
On Thursday morning we flew (yes I know - Carbon Footprint!) out to Amsterdam from Durham Tees Valley (aka Teesside) Airport. The reasons for flying were complex and not to be gone into here. I know that carbon offsetting isn't the best answer to global climate chaos but in my opinion it's better than doing nothing.
Amsterdam is a city neither of us had visited before other than to fly through the airport or in Denis' case to go to meetings at an office block on the outskirts. This was an opportunity to see something of the city itself. It's not a large city and the main parts of it can be walked round in a day. Visiting some of the interesting buildings and taking time out to stand and stare meant that we could fill 4 days quite nicely.
The journey from the airport to the city was very easy - ticket machines which took cash, easy to read direction signs (thank goodness the Dutch use English as their second language) and regular express trains which per kilometre work out a lot cheaper than the trams which provide the public transport in the city centre.
Amsterdam obviously subscibes to the school of doing things early - the Christmas lights were on, the skating rink in full swing in the Liedseplein and the shops were full of encouragements to buy presents.
I found the number of Irish pubs interesting. Are there a lot of ex-pat Irish people there or are the Dutch exceptionally fond of Guinness? Who knows? I do know that one of them was very conveniently situated to allow a cosy drink enjoying the music from the skating rink before going back to the hotel for the night.

1 comment:

thribble said...

All cities are required to have a number of Irish pubs completely disproportional to the number of Irish living there. These pubs are required to have at least one Oscar Wilde quotation on the premises and preferably to show rugby union when it's on. They should have dark wood interiors and pictures of the guinness pelican :)