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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Weekend

Even though it appeared that I was only just back from holidays, the long Easter weekend was very much welcome! I was definitely happy to have 4 days off.

As I had been so busy planning my trip to Aspen I had totally forgotten to plan something for it, once I was back all flights for short breaks around Europe were already quite full and were already quite expensive so I decided that I would make the most out of the Netherlands.

Italo, one of my best friends who is currently living in Essex UK, came over for the weekend and we organised several really fun activities.

Friday: KEUKENHOF

Keukenhof is one of the world's most spectacular gardens. It's only opened about 6 weeks every year at the beginning of the spring, and it's a real delight for the senses.

Italo and me took a train to Leiden and then a beautiful bus ride among the flower fields all the way to the park.

The place is really stunning. A huge display of flowers, colours, nature. Something really worth seeing if you are ever in the Netherlands at around this time of the year...believe it or not...even though I'm over 4 years here, I had never been there before.

I think that I'll make use of the frase "one image speaks more than thousand words" and click here so you can see the photos!

You can also enjoy Keukenhof videos by clicking here and here!

Saturday: A boat tour in the A'dam canals

On Saturday we did "Saxy's 2007 maiden's tour" in the A'dam canals. Saxy is my good friend Joost's boat. He used this weekend to ensure that all was working ok, to put the engine back on after the winter and to ensure that Saxy is ready for 2007's season. Italo and me met Joost in the Princengracht prepared with wine and some snacks and we were ready for it.


Cruising Amsterdam canals is one of the nicest things to do on a sunny day. Even though I have done it numerous times, I will never get bored of it. You view the city from a total different perspective, you realise that most of the Amsterdam buildings are astonishing and that each one has a special characteristics. It's also nice to see that the other boat "captains" will always greet you when you cross their way- something totally unexpected in a busy city as Amsterdam.

Furthermore, as this was Italo's first time on a private boat...we decided to cruise around the Red Light District. Which gave us an interestinig advantage...I managed to photograph some of the "ladies on the windows" ;-) which is something that you are not allowed to do if you are wondering around the area.

Finally, at the end of the day, Italo and me were cycling back home and we passed along Museum Plein. The sun was out and it looked so pretty...we decided to sit in the field and enjoy the sunshine...and we also decided to take some nice touristy photos.

For photos of the whole day, includding the "ladies from the red light district" click here ;-)

For videos on the the canal ride click here and also here.

Saturday and Sunday: Park, Rembrandt Plein and National Park

Saturday was a really sunny day. Italo and me packed a chilled bottle of white wine and we met Stephie in the Vondelpark. We had a really nice time enjoying the sun. After 2.5 hours we decided to go to Rembrandtplein where Yamil joined us and we had some really decadent ice-creams and a beer.

On Sunday Joost, Geert Jan, Italo and me went all the way to Otterlo to the Hoge veluwe National Park. After parking the car, we walked about 2.5kms towards the centre of the park. There we decided to first visit to the "Kroller-Muller" museum which had an amazing Van Gogh collection and also some impressionists and post-impressionists (my favorites) and a rather impressive modern art from the 20th century collection. This was all in the inside, in the outside they had a quite particular exhibition of modern sculptures.

After the museum visit and after a small lunch we managed to get a hold of 4 of the white bikes which are meant to be for free for the visitors. We decided to go to St. Huber, a small castle, that used to be a lodge for hunters, we cycled about 20 kms to get there...which was rather nice to do in between the forest and the nice scenary which you'll be able to see in the photos. We reached St. Huber, we saw a little bit of it and we cycled back toward the entrance and then we drove back Amsterdam.

For photos of the visit to Hoge Veluwe click here.

For a short video of me trying to get the surroundings while cycling...click here ;-)

All in all a really nice long weekend with beautiful long and sunny days, spring is definitely here....and everybody is really happy!








2 comments:

Antonella said...

Probando, probando 1,2,3. I'm not sure if this will work but let's try... I want to to go to Kukenhof, it looks gorgeous. I guess I would need to plan a trip to Amsterdam around this time at some point. Love your blog, the way your write and the lovely photos of course ;) La verdad es q un toke extra├▒o charlarte en ingles. Un besito and keep on adding entries. Antonella

Italo Giudice said...

Hey!!! we had a great time there!!! Thanks for everything and see you in Queen's Day!!! Can't wait!!! Italo (Pit)