Tag Archives: Netherlands

Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 16, Part B (4/10) – “Trolls et Legendes” festival … Day 1

Part B


Trolls et Legendes

Friday, 10 April 2009
Mons, Belgium

Heading down to the Central Station, and getting a little turned around doing it, the adventurers finally found the info booth, and in half-english, half-french was directed round-a-bout to where they needed to find the C bus. Of course, none of the signs listed a “C” bus so they were quite confused as where to go. Just as frustration began to set in, a pan-like spirit came tromping through the square – harem pants and all – and obviously enroute to the Trolls et Legendes festival. He spoke some decent English and guided us to follow him. Sir Thomas Leaf, while his french is poor, could make out most conversations even though he lacked the confidence in his own usage of the language. He made out that some woman was making fun of the pan-like spirit’s harem pants saying they’d look better on her – Leaf doubted that much. Once at the Lotto Mons Expo center. Picking up tickets from the booth, they got into the lineup in the nick of time as it began to wrap around the block. Once in they stood in numerous lines to get the tickets, to get in, to get their troll coins, to get their drinks, and to get some food. Some fabulous bands went on with some cute Lord of the Ring parodie flicks (all in French). After a few shows, the fatigued travellers sought to find their way back to the hostel. At the bus stop they met some fellow travellers, originally from Russia, who spoke good English and was able to help guide them back to the Central Station. As the four of them realized that they missed the last bus, they all went for a hike roughly two miles away to get back to the station. Good times …. Turning in pretty much as they returned, the adventurers rested up for a long day tomorrow.

Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 16, Part B (4/10) – “Trolls et Legendes” festival … Day 1

Share

Naheulbeuk Night: Trolls et Legendes Festival in Mons, Belgium 4/10/09

Naheulbeuk Night
Trolls et Legendes Festival, Night 1, 4/10/2009 – Lotto Mons Expo Center, Mons, Belgium
Le Donjon de Naheulbeuk (France) presented the night with a role-playing parody that began originally as an audio saga. Apparently the group became immensely popular and diversified into a band, a series of comic books, novels, and soon a TV series. The first night of Trolls et Legendes presented concerts of Naheulbeuk and two side projects, Belyscendre and Maigh Tuireadh, as well as the screening of previously never released episodes of the TV series by the Mortal Fight Circus. All of the screenings and the musical talents were spectacular and thoroughly enjoyed. Humorous, full of frolick and joy, and at points mesmerizing … the stage captivated the audiences and sent them into fellowship, song, and dance. You can view the comics, animations, novels, TV clips, and musical talents at the following sites: http://www.penofchaos.com/warham/donjon-groupe.htm, http://www.myspace.com/maightuireadh, http://www.belyscendre.com/. The performances were very well done. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Continue reading Naheulbeuk Night: Trolls et Legendes Festival in Mons, Belgium 4/10/09

Share

Trolls et Legendes Festival – Day 1 – 4/10/09 (Mons, Belgium) – Naheulbeuk


Trolls et Legendes – Day 1

Trolls et Legendes Festival 2009 – Day 1
Lotto Mons Expo * Avenue Thomas Edison – 7000 Mons – Belgium * http://www.trolls-et-legendes.be/2009/index-en.htm
Day one of the infamous Trolls et Legendes festival at the Mons Expo center … evening only as they were to present some films and concerts from 6 pm until midnight. The bulk of the festival as we could peak through the black papered covered glass doors looked like the market and fairgrounds in the exposition center were nicely done. The theme of the evening however was “standing in lines”. We stood in line for the tickets, then we stood in lines to get in the doors, we stood in lines to use the toilette – which had a troll attached to it as do many toilettes in Europe where you had to pay .20 Euro to use it, then had to stand in line to convert our Euros over to these silly little plastic coins for which you could use to buy Troll Beer, Wine, drinks, and food. (CDs, t-shirts, and vendor stuff you used Euros). Then after getting the coins, you had to stand in line for beverages. If you wanted food, you had to stand in a separate line for that. So that was a downer for the festival’s opening night, plus the concert space was poorly organized other than a nice stage for the kids to stand and sit on so they could see. Once the performances came on however, much of these silly distractions didn’t seem to matter as some humorous parody films were presented and some good acts. The doors opened at 6:00 with projections beginning at 6:30, and at 7:00 the Maigh Tuireadh played. Another series of projections followed each act, at 8:15 – Belyscendre came on and Naheulbeuk ending the night. Group dances, festive frolick, and the wave were done by the audiences. The musical talents definitely got a 4 star, the projections a 3 star mainly because the screens were way too small, and the festival organization itself for the first night was a meager 2 star because of the lack of organization, the numerous lines, the silly coins, and the fact they didn’t hand out any programmes. We had to ask for them through the middle of the evening just so we could figure on who was going on next. Statistics stated over 4,000 attendees the first night. Overall first night 4/10/09: 2.5 stars out of 5. Continue reading Trolls et Legendes Festival – Day 1 – 4/10/09 (Mons, Belgium) – Naheulbeuk

Share

Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 16, Part A (4/10) -Leaving Amsterdam for Mons, Belgium to the “Trolls et Legendes” festival …

Part A


Hunting for the hostel in Mons

Friday, 10 April 2009
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Mons, Belgium

The adventurers had a pretty interesting night partying in Amsterdam with the pub crawl. Awaking early with a hangover was not the best start to the day that Sir Thomas Leaf could have. Onwards to check out from the Zeesburg hostel after a good night rest. Princess Breanna took advantage of the free breakfast and chatting with friends before their departure, Sir Thomas Leaf was certainly too groggy and needed to catch up on winks. A short bus ride from the hostel to the Zeesburg park-n-ride, the party was soon into their rental auto-carriage and off on the road to Belgium – the land of chocolate and fries. The roads getting out of Amsterdam were pretty congested and a headache, but once into Belgium, the traffic alleviated somewhat. It was afterall Easter weekend and since European’s are big on travel and vacations, one would be sure to run into crowds hitting the roads for their Easter vacation plans. The party drove through Brussels, but didn’t stop, as they wanted to get to Mons to find their hostel and the festival center so they could see the opening acts at http://www.trolls-et-legendes.be/. Sir Thomas Leaf has 6 years of French under his belt so was quite excited to try it out – unfortunately he sucks at comprehension and pronunciation, so it was no better that he knew French as he was still stuck with English. It however was much easier for him to manage in Belgium than Germany and other countries he felt. The roads in the historic section of Mons were an absolute nightmare. Cobbled roads all one way, roads the GPS was saying existed either didn’t or were blocked off, the frustrated duo, arguing over directions, finally two hours of driving around in circles parked and hoofed it on foot dragging their luggage. They weren’t too far off as the looming castle of a hostel was right in front of them the whole time, it was just shut off from driving to it because of road constructions and restorations. Checking in, they were blessed with their own private room, as the apparently “full” hostel on the web, wasn’t so full in person. One could spot a few of the festival goers in their outfits that were staying at the hostel as well. Unfortunately, the duo really struggled getting around because no one knew English and with Sir Thomas Leaf’s poor french, it was a struggle finding out where to go. The woman at the hostel desk knew decent English so was able to guide them to the Central station so they could catch a bus to the festival center.

Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 16, Part A (4/10) -Leaving Amsterdam for Mons, Belgium to the “Trolls et Legendes” festival …

Share

Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 15, Part C (4/9) -Amsterdam Pub Crawl

Part C


Ultimate Party Pub Crawl

Thursday, 9 April 2009
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

After an afternoon’s rest, Sir Thomas Leaf and Princess Brea were ready to hit the bars and clubs – partying all night long. They hopped the bus to the meeting place at News Cafe on Korte Leidse dwarsstraat. With some time to spare, the duo grabbed some gelato, watched the dj in the H&S, and wandered the streets where Breanna bought some souvenirs at the 5 Euro shop. As the doors to the News Cafe opened, they paid their 14 Euro and got their bracelets. Entering the News Cafe, they were doused with unlimited cranberry and vodka shots – well essentially captured a bottle for themselves and boozed up. Then met a dozen of new cool friends who they partied with as the pub crawl wandered from bar to bar, club to club – with free drinks at each of the 6 clubs, vodka shots on the road between the clubs, cover charges covered, and numerous drink specials. Princess Brea wore out earlier than Sir Thomas Leaf and braved the route back to the hostel – as she said she was taking the bus, she wound up deciding to walk on her own for a couple of hours until a cab was nice enough to give her essentially a free ride. Sir Thomas Leaf was not impressed that she didn’t come back for him when the bus was not a choice. He left an hour later – and a couple of bars later, to find the same situation, making his way by foot across Amsterdam trying to find Centraal Station for the ride home. Both made it back to the hostel safely but it had its moments. Incredible fun time was had …

Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 15, Part C (4/9) -Amsterdam Pub Crawl

Share

Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 15, Part B (4/9) – The New Amsterdam Free Tour, pt. 2 – Begijnhof, Amsterdam Miracle, Dutch Courtyards & Paintings, Multatuli, The Bird

Part B


Entering the Begijnhof

Thursday, 9 April 2009
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sir Thomas Leaf was inspired by the healing energies of the plaza that was mythologically known for its healing and the bread that doesn’t burn. From the crazy wild partying city of Amsterdam – a walk through a door to another dimension – into a Dutch square where it was sacred, quiet, and tranquil. Intriguing thoughts about the key swarmed Leaf’s mind. He realized he is closer yet to discovering the ‘key of life’. After the tranquility, Kevin led the band to oogle over the Dutch masterpiece painting and learning about the seals and marks of Amsterdam. The tour ended at Anne Frank’s house where the story of “tolerant” Amsterdam stood up against the Nazis and the tragedies befell that struggle. Hungry for Thai food, Sir Thomas Leaf and Princess Brea headed over to the Asian District to try out the highly recommended “Bird Thai” restaurant which they quite enjoyed. Wandering back to the hostel for a nap and down time before exploring the nightlife with the New Amsterdam Tour’s Pub Crawl.

Read my telling and review about the Amsterdam Miracle and the Begijnhof / Chapel here …

Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 15, Part B (4/9) – The New Amsterdam Free Tour, pt. 2 – Begijnhof, Amsterdam Miracle, Dutch Courtyards & Paintings, Multatuli, The Bird

Share

Old Masters of Amsterdam Exhibit (Holland)

Old Masters of Amsterdam
Amsterdams Historisch Museum Exhibition: Old Masters of Amsterdam 6 March9 August 2009 Amsterdams Historisch Museum (AHM) (Amsterdam Historical Museum)
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 359 * 1012 RM AMSTERDAM * 020-5231822 * info@ahm.amsterdam.nl * www.ahm.nl
Amsterdam, Holland

This special exhibit tells the fascinating stories about the formation and growth of the rich collection of paintings owned by the city of Amsterdam. With over a thousand works painted before 1800, the city of Amsterdam has one of the worlds finest collections of Old Masters. It includes some of the best works by famous artists such as Rembrandt, Ferdinand Bol, Jacob van Ruisdael and Govert Flinck. This exhibition tells the story of the different ways in which the city acquired these paintings. These paintings exemplify Dutch Golden Age artistry. During the Dutch Golden Age the painters received monetary compensation for painting their subjects. Where the subject would appear was based on how much they paid. If someone paid a high price, they would be “front and center” in the painting, and often depicted in a favorable pose and in high-status clothing. If they didn’t pay enough they would be in the background, hidden, or only a half face or with a silly grin drinking a pint of beer. The exhibit was fabulous. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Continue reading Old Masters of Amsterdam Exhibit (Holland)

Share

The Miracle of Amsterdam, Begijnhof and Chapel (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Begijnhof and Chapel
*Zandvoorterweg 78 * 2111 GZ Aerdenhout * Tel. 023-5246229 * Fax. 023-5440081 * info: info@stille-omgang.nl * website: www.stille-omgang.nl
Amsterdam, Holland
http://www.begijnhofamsterdam.nl/
It was here, at the Begijnhof that a few days before Palm Sunday on March 15, 1345 a sick man in the Kalverstraat took the Sacrament of the sick from the local priest. The man vomited up the host, which was caught in a basin and thrown on the fire where it “appeared” to “float above the flames”. It was an amazing miracle. A woman then stretched out her hand into the flames to seize the host from the fire and put it in a case. She remained unburnt and unharmed from putting her hand in the fire when touching the host. The priest, who was from the Oude Kerkwas sent for and took the host back to the “Old Church”. The next day a woman in the house in the Kalverstraat opened the case and saw that the host had magically transported back. She sent for the priest again, and again he took the magic host back to the Old Church. The next day for a third time, the host transported back to the case in the sick man’s room. The miracle of the bread that didn’t burn and wouldn’t leave the house became known widespread. Again, the priest took the host, but this time returning to the Old Church with a solemn procession. The next year the Bishop Jan van Arkel declared this host to be a genuine miracle. Two years later, a church was built on the very spot where the miracle took place. As people joined a procession to take the holy sacrement through the streets of Amsterdam in mid-march to celebrate the Miracle. The Holy Stead Chapel (The Ter Heylighen Stede) was consecrated by the vicar-general of Bishop Jan van Arkel, the Bishop of Utrecht in 1347.

Continue reading The Miracle of Amsterdam, Begijnhof and Chapel (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Share

New Amsterdam Free Tour (Amsterdam, Holland)


New Amsterdam free tour meeting place at the monument in De Dam square

New Amsterdam Free Walking Tour
Rain or shine this tour meets every day at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm in front of Centraal Station, and Starts at 11:15 am and 1:15 pm at Dam Square in front of the National Monument. It is Free.
Again, I’m not a big fan of tours, but this tour is spectacular and quite informative – best yet it’s free. This is one of best orientations you could take of the city. Our tour guide was Kevin, a humorously fun and knowledgable man who guided us on a three-hour free walking tour through the history of Amsterdam, from its beginnings as a muddy village on the Amstel River to the prosperous industry it is now. He told the tales, the legends, the lore, and many tales that most won’t tell you about prostitution, drug decriminalization, Anne Frank and the Nazi occupation, the Old Church (including the sour occupants), the Red Light District, The Jewish Quarter, the Royal Palace, the Jordaan District, the Anne Frank House, the Dutch East India Company, The Begijnhof Convent, Masterpieces of Dutch Art, the Widest bridge and the narrowest house to name just a few of the sites we saw. We were blessed with a fantastic guide, Kevin, who was the perfect match for our crowd. According to the New AMsterdam site: “Kevin is originally from Boston, MA in the States. There, he went to the University of Massachusetts and began studying psychology. While studying abroad at the University of Amsterdam, he fell in love with the city and began working as a tour guide. Now, he still works as a tour guide, still goes to school in Amsterdam, and is eventually hoping to marry in to the European Union.” Excellent Job Kevin! Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Continue reading New Amsterdam Free Tour (Amsterdam, Holland)

Share

Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 15, Part A (4/9) – The New Amsterdam Free Tour

Part A


The Dam Monument

Thursday, 9 April 2009
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sir Thomas Leaf awoke shortly after Princess Brea disappeared down to the dining hall. Slowly rustling out of bed, Sir Thomas Leaf headed downstairs to join her and their new friend from Ireland, James for a pretty delicious continental breakfast and good conversation. Princess Brea had been worried a little bit with Sir Thomas Leaf disappearing off with the two girls they had just met – but was glad he was safe and sound. Sir Thomas Leaf was a bit hungover from clubbing with Kristien and Karolien. As 10:00 rolled around, Princess Brea and Sir Thomas Leaf met in the lobby the New Amsterdam (free) tour guide who took the crew of them on the bus and down to Centraal Station. There they were led to the De Dam square to meet at the monument. A New Amsterdam tour guide named Kevin who took them on a few hour foot trek around Amsterdam showing the sights and explaining the history of everything under the sun. The duet definitely felt it was a fabulous tour. Meeting a handful of Canadians, new friends were also made as the explorers all tromped around the streets, canals, and alleys of Amsterdam. Continue reading Lady of the Rhine, Sect 2: Chapter 15, Part A (4/9) – The New Amsterdam Free Tour

Share

The Amsterdam Waag

The Amsterdam Waag
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

In the heart of Amsterdam lies a remnant of the former city walls known as the “Amsterdam Waag”. The walls were constructed here between 1481 and 1494. The Waag was constructed in 1488 and originally housed one of the city gates known as the “Sint Anthoniespoort”. The lower part of another gate also exists here called the Regulierspoort (“Munttoren”) and a defense tower known as the Schreierstoren. As the city wall disappeared, the New Market (Nieuwmarkt) began and the building housed the weighing scales. It became the predominant weigh house in Amsterdam. Weigh houses are buildings where scales are set up to weigh goods and levy taxes on goods transported through the area. From 1550-1690 those accused of witchcraft were sometimes brought here to be subjected to a “witch test” where if the person was found to be lighter than a set weight, s/he was deemed guilty. During the Spanish Inquisition, public executions took place here and to the left of this building you can find an inclined alleyway called the “Bloedstraat” (Blood street) where the blood from executions drained down. “Waag” means “scale” and his how the place got its name. In the late 16th century, as the city expanded, the wall was torn down and the gate lost its function. The defensive canal and palissade was turned into the market square, raising the ground, and filling in the canal. The upper floors housed four guilds – the smiths, the painters, the masons, and the surgeons. Each had its own entrance tower. This is the famous spot where in 1632 Rembrandt van Rijn was commissioned to paint the surgeons at work which is how the Anatomical Lesson of Dr. Tulp made his name. They added a theatrum anatomicum in 1691 so that paying members of the public could witness human dissections. the guilds were dissolved in 1795 leading to many different uses of the building, including a fire brigade and two museums before being taken over by a foundation in 1990. This foundation originally planned to partly destroy the building and build an addition designed by Philippe Starck but because the foundation went bankrupt they were unable to accomplish this feat. The local neighbourhood, historians, and the Amsterdam city council worked to restore it keeping its medieval background. In 1996 the Waag Society became the principal tenant. The Waag Society is the ICT research foundation that is working in the social and cultural domain of Amsterdam, and is a responsible group, according to locals, for its part in shutting down the Red Light district and cafes. The building also houses a very expensive cafe/restaurant on the ground floor that most locals recommend to avoid.


Amsterdam Waag

Share

Zeeburg Amsterdam StayOK Hostel


Amsterdam Zeeburg Hostelling International StayOK Hostel Dining Hall

Zeeburg Hostelling International StayOK Hostel
* Timorplein 21 * 1094 CC Amsterdam * Netherlands * Tel. +31 (0)20 551 31 90 * Fax. +31 (0)20 623 49 86 * zeeburg@stayokay.com *
http://www.hihostels.com/dba/hostel040050.en.htm?linkid=985020
Facebook Stay page

A very spacious hotel-like Hostelling International public-transit accessible to the heart of Amsterdam’s city center in Zeeburg, one of Amsterdam’s typical neighbourhoods. Roughly 20 Euros a night beds you in a decent sized dorm room with private key access, own shower, bathroom, and storage shelves for your luggage. Pay per hour (.20/Euro) storage lockers located down in the lobby in a secure room by front desk. Internet and information room with plenty of computers to check email at. Humungous dining hall with decent meals – breakfast comes with each night stay. There is a lounge with happy hour – didn’t have a chance to check it out as we were busy with the pub crawl (highly recommended). Lots of stuff to do and only 15 minutes transit ride to the city center. The hostel is in a former school building that dates from around 1900. Shares the building with a cinema and shopping facilities. The hostel rooms were designed by the famous Dutch designer Edward van Vliet. For those driving to Amsterdam, the hostel is a skip and a jump from the Zeeburg Park and Ride. Staff friendly and extremely helpful. Great social location. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.


Amsterdam Zeeburg Hostelling International Easy Stay Hostel

Share