travel

Amsterdam as Seen by my iPhone

iPhoneography Amsterdam:

Canals Centraal Station Amsterdam

My first glimpse of Amsterdam, leaving Centraal Station.

Royal Palace Amsterdam

The Royal Palace Amsterdam (Dutch: Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam), built in the 17th century, located in Dam Square.

Dinner Amsterdam Canal

Having dinner alongside the canals.

Canals Amsterdam

A boat-lined canal, just your everyday thing here in Amsterdam.

I amsterdam sign Begijnhof

Just your typical touristy photo in front of the “I amsterdam” sign in the Begijnhof.

Begijnhof Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s Begijnhof, similar to the one I talked about in Belgium.

Flowers Begijnhof Amsterdam

Bloemenmarkt Amsterdam Flower Market

The Bloemenmarkt, Amsterdam’s floating flower market

Bloemenmarkt Amsterdam Flower Market

Canals Church Amsterdam

Canals Boat Flowers Amsterdam

There’s no photos of the notorious Red-Light District or the numerous “coffeeshops,” but you’ll have to make do for now.

What would you most like to do or see in Amsterdam?

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Throwback Thursday—Granada

El Mirador de San Nicolás is the place to go if you want a panoramic view of the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada. Located at the highest point of the Albayzín, the district of Granada that still retains the narrow winding streets of its Moorish past, this lookout is the place to go if you want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view! Don’t be daunted by the climb, as it’s the best place to recuperate after a long day of walking around in Granada’s summer heat.

Mirador de San Nicolas

Have you ever sat where I’m sitting in this picture?

I’m off to Amsterdam tomorrow morning! I’ll be back Monday with pictures and hopefully lots of stories! Don’t worry, Dad, I’ll be on the lookout for some wooden shoes for you!

Next Destination: Amsterdam

I am happy to report that, come Friday, I’ll be setting foot on Dutch soil for the very first time!

Amsterdam

[Source: AP]

I don’t know if Amsterdam has as many “must-visit” sites as a place like Paris, but I’m quite looking forward to the general ambiance: canals, bikes, tall people like me (you know, the usual).

Amsterdam Bikes

What are your Amsterdam recommendations?

The Begijnhof, Bruges’ Benedictine Convent

For those of you still curious about yesterday’s post, the photo is from … (drum roll please):

De Wijngaard (The Vineyard) Begijnhof / Béguinage in Bruges, Belgium!

Guessed correctly by  blogger Den Nation.

Begijnhof Béguinage 2011

 

The béguinage  (French) or begijnhof (Dutch/Flemish) is technically a collection of small buildings, but it was in these places that medieval religious women would live. They wanted to serve God, but didn’t want to withdraw from the world completely, as beguines were not cloistered and lifelong celibacy did not figure into the rules. Each community had its set of norms and rules

The first béguinages were set up in the 12th century in now-French-speaking Belgium. This particular one was founded in 1245 by the Countess of Flanders, Margaretha of Constantinopel. (Her father, Count Baldwin, conquered Constantinopel in a crusade.)

Begijnhof Béguinage 2011

The entrance gate says 1776, but most of the houses are from 17th and 18th centuries.

In 1937, this béguinage became a monastery for the approximately 25 Benedictine sisters who still live there. Apparently it’s quite lovely to visit in spring when the daffodils are blooming.

Have you ever visited this iconic béguinage in Bruges? Have you visited any other such places?