Sunday, November 2, 2008
Been to A'dam yesterday...
All Saints yesterday and we visited our eldest son working out of Amsterdam (A'dam for insiders). Has been three months ago I was there and not much had changed. Nevertheless, it is remarkable how much more an advanced country this is, as it appears to us from the south, with all the pluses that this brings about. From the quality of their highway asphalt decks to their bookshops in the middle of towns; from their planning of residential areas to their buses and trams. Things seem to work simply and effectively. Only negative spot of the visit... the hordes of weekend hooligans from England coming here to enjoy some grass in coffee shops and have a go at the hundreds of sex clubs stack inch by inch at the city's red district. Oh, yes... the weather was miserable too... drizzly rain all day long.
Anyways, the two hour drive was quickly forgotten once we got there and met our sibling. He's got a nice apartment that he shares with two colleagues, in the North area of the City... a district that I believe was built from scratch in the waters of the Ij, a kinda gulf (or is it a lake?) that expands north of old A'dam. It's cool to look at the organized way they built residential areas at this part of the town. Use Google maps to navigate to the area and see what I mean.
On our way by bus to the Central Station we passed by the Maritime Museum with a hundreds of years old armada boat parked outside, like those used in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. With side canons and all. I made a point to go visit the place next time over. It makes a wonderful opportunity for some unusual shots.
All Saints is a dead day in über Catholic Belgium, like those celebrated dead, with everything public hermetically closed. People have only time to visit their diseased relatives in cemeteries. Not in Protestant Holland though. All shops were Saturday open and tourists were present everywhere, German, English, Belgian, French! Even Dutch from Eindhoven were there... was really funny to see Dutch tourists visiting A'dam from the Deep South... the city of Philips 'Gloeilamp' Company, that is.
I had no other camera with me than my mobile phone Nokia N95 that, with the necessary attention, can shoot some remarkable scenes, at least if you are a wee-bit careful. Click the shot above to link to my Flickr postings of the day, if you're interested at all.
If not, don't worry... as long as Barack wins on Tuesday... ;-)