Blog: November 2006

Amsterdam 4: Food, Language, Coffeeshops, Transportation, etc.

Posted on November 29, 2006 by Holly Hayes
For the final post on our trip to Amsterdam, here's a random jumble of all the leftovers - food, the coffeeshops, the Red Light District, our flight, Van Gogh, the language, etc. Food in Amsterdam The Netherlands is not generally known for its food, but there are some local specialties. One of these is herring, which we saw no need to try...

Amsterdam 3: Anne Frank and Jewish Amsterdam

Posted on November 29, 2006 by Holly Hayes
Anne Frank House One of the coolest sights in Amsterdam is the Anne Frank House, where the famous young girl lived in hiding and wrote her diary during the Nazi occupation. My guidebook says it's the most popular attraction in the city and I believe it - even in the middle of winter, there was about a 15-minute wait in line. It has been a long time since I've read Anne Frank's Diary, but the museum posted relevant quotes from it in the various rooms, in both Dutch and English...

Amsterdam 2: Churches

Posted on November 28, 2006 by Holly Hayes
Unlike most European cities, Amsterdam does not have a great cathedral or an impressive array of churches. This in part because the city officially adopted Calvinism soon after the Reformation in 1578, and Calvinists are not fans of fancy religious art or architecture. So after the Reformation, Amsterdam's existing churches were stripped down to their bare essentials, and those built later are quite plain and utilitarian...

Amsterdam 1: Canals, architecture, bicycles

Posted on November 26, 2006 by Holly Hayes
We had such fun exploring Amsterdam for David's birthday trip. It is quite a beautiful city, especially with all the canals and the lovely houses that line them. Neither of us realized just how many canals there are - it nearly rivals Venice! The canal houses of Amsterdam are almost universally picturesque - tall and thin and squashed together in a variety of harmonious colors, shapes and sizes...

Cerne Abbas

Posted on November 15, 2006 by Holly Hayes
On our way back home from Weymouth on Sunday, we stopped at Cerne Abbas, a village in the county of Dorset with a population of just over 700. It's delightful. But it's best known for the giant chalk drawing on a hillside just outside of town, known as the Cerne Abbas Giant or "Rude Man." You can probably guess how he got his nickname. {ph12279} Like the Uffington White Horse that we visited about a year ago, this figure was drawn by cutting into the white chalk layer of the hill...

Sherborne

Posted on November 14, 2006 by Holly Hayes
Saturday evening after Glastonbury we headed for Sherborne, for no other reason than they had a big, nice church and it was on the way to Weymouth. I had written an article on Sherborne Abbey Church for Sacred Destinations, so I thought it would be nice to check it out and get some pics. Alas, the church was closed. But we looked at the outside and had a nice walk through town...

Remembrance Day in Weymouth

Posted on November 14, 2006 by Holly Hayes
Weymouth is on a little peninsula on the southern coast of England (i.e. on the English Channel part of the Atlantic). We chose Weymouth because one of David's co-workers recommended it as the best beach in the area and it's pretty handy from Oxford, but it also turned out to be a wonderfully historic place to celebrate Remembrance Day. On our way from Glastonbury to Sherborne, I had called a B&B in Weymouth and booked a room for the night...

A Weekend Trip South

Posted on November 13, 2006 by Holly Hayes
Since Wilma (that's our old Saab for any new readers) is now running very well thanks to all of David's recent work, we decided to take a longish trip south for the weekend. We did a lot of walking, driving and sightseeing, and had a wonderful time. On the right is one of my rudimentary maps showing our route and main stops. On Saturday we toured Glastonbury Abbey and its quirky, New-Agey town; walked around the pretty Dorset town of Sherborne at dusk; then went for a night walk along the pier in Weymouth, where we stayed the night at a B&B...