Christmas shopping just outside of Amsterdam

White Romance
Monickendam is a beatiful authentic village a little north of Amsterdam. It is known by tourists because of it’s beauty and it’s harbour. Recently nice shops are opening, selling brocante, vintage clothing and more, making a visit even more worthwhile.

On December 7th another new shop opened her doors: White Romance, for those who like romantic stuff, this is a beautiful shop with flea market things, beautiful crockery, candles and pretty dresses. Besides the used stuff they also sell new things like nice cards, forgings, small gadgets, romantically tinged tea towels of brand Claire & Eve, scarves and ponchos. All this in a romantic atmosphere with lots of white and powder shades.
Interested in a romantic party? They do organize high teas for maximum 12 people or parties for little princesses.

White Romance
Noordeinde 48
Monnickendam (North of Amsterdam)
Open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10.00-18.00 hours

blown away by the enchanting performance ‘Blaas’ in Amsterdam

blaas_0Yesterday I saw one of the best performances I have seen in a long time: Blaas. Blaas (in English: blow) was an international festival hit, winning many awards and now it is on show in Amsterdam.

It is hard to explain what Blaas is, everybody will have his own associations and emotions watching Blaas, or should I say: experiencing Blaas. And that’s what makes Blaas special, it’s different, it’s a fairy tail, a trip into yourself and into an unknown world.

I will not say more about the performance, it’s best when you get surprised by it. But I do strongly advice to go and see Blaas. It is scheduled one more week, until Sunday June 20st. And there still are tickets available!

Tickets: € 18,50 – € 22,-

hidden gem in Amsterdam


Yes, this in in the city of Amsterdam

Hidden in the Flevopark in the eastern part of Amsterdam, is the Distillery ‘t Nieuwe Diep. Unknown by tourists; but the average Amsterdam citizen has no idea of it’s existence either. And that’s a shame, because the distillery is located in a monumental former water pumping station, at an idillic location on a lake in a park and most important: the distillery produces authentic jenevers and liqueurs that are surely worth a try. What about Dutch Dynamite – a 20% liqueur with a licorice taste, must be Dutch! That’s just one of the many genevers and liqueurs they produce and sell in the distillery. For anyone interested: they do serve coffee, tea and soda’s too.

Spring and summer: Tuesday – Sunday 15:00 – 20:00 hours
Fall and winter: Tuesday – Sunday 15:00 – 18:00 hours

Distilleerderij ‘t Nieuwe Diep
Flevopark 13, Amsterdam

the Guardian: Amsterdam City Archives in top-10 of best free museums in the world

StadsarchiefThe Guardian has named The Amsterdam City Archives as one of the 10 best museums in the world that are free of admission.

This is what the Guardian writes about the City Archives:
Amsterdam’s Stadsarchief (city archive), is housed in an imposing, though gritty-looking building, originally the headquarters of an investment bank. Inside, its tiled rooms are decorated with bold, jagged, graphics and patterns. The Treasures of Amsterdam exhibition is a collection of artefacts in the underground Treasury that help tell the story of the city – worth a good nose around while anxiously hoping the heavy vault doors stay open until you’re done., Tues-Fri- 10am–5pm, Sat-Sun noon–5pm

beer-for-work projects in Amsterdam

blaka watra veegploegThey clean parks, streets and playgrounds and get paid in beer. Not only beer, they get some money and a hot meal too, but the beer is what makes them tick (and come to work).

We’re talking about a group of hard core alcoholics that’s living in the streets of Amsterdam. They used to cause nuisance, trouble and petty crimes in the neighbourhood. Now they’re cleaning up the parks, streets and playgrounds three times a week as part of a project named De Regenboog (The Rainbow).

It’s a win-win situation. The project participants have a job, get paid, get more structure in their lives and as a result of that they sometimes even drink less and feel better. The residents have less problems with nuisance and their neighbourhood is cleaner and feels safer. They appreciate the work of the participants and thank them for it, which has of course a positive effect on the self esteem of the participants.

Giving beer to alcoholics – it sounds wrong, but this way it does work out well.
It’s the Amsterdam way.

on a sidewalk in Amsterdam’s red light district…















This piece of art is called ‘The Breastplate’. It’s located at the Oudekerksplein, near the famous Oude Kerk (the old church), in the centre of Amsterdam’s red light district.

After doing some research I learned that The Breastplate was placed one night, without permission, by the ‘Unknown Sculptor’. Since 1982 the Unknown Sculptor seems to have placed several sculptures in Amsterdam. The City of Amsterdam has become their official owner, provided that the identity of the Unknown Sculptor will be kept a secret.

deserted island dinner – near Amsterdam




Vuurtoreneiland (lighthouse island) is an uninhabited island near Amsterdam.
At this moment it’s a nature reserve and until recent only once a month a small number of people was allowed to visit.
This summer though a temporary restaurant has been built and it is possible to have a tour around the isle and fort, in combination with a 4 course diner, four days a week. Two renowned Amsterdam restaurants take care of the diner, with local and biological products.

The restaurant is build in the style of a greenhouse, with walls made of glass. This guarantees a spectacular view on the isle and its surroundings: the IJsselmeer (the large surrounding lake), Durgerdam (a small village along the dyke lining the lake) and IJburg (an artificial island build in the IJsselmeer as a new residential part of Amsterdam).
A ferry takes you from Amsterdam to the island. Before dinner you can take part in a tour, learning all about the island and its history. After that of course: dinner – with that spectacular view.

Vuurtoreneiland is on the Unesco World Heritage List.
Originally it was a fortification, built between 1809 and 1883 on a small island as part of the defence line surrounding Amsterdam (of which the island Pampus is a part as well). Later it became known because of its lighthouse.

Dinner and tour: from July till the end of September
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoons
Sunday is the child friendly day, dinner is 3 courses instead of 4
Only by on line reservation
Don’t be late! The ferry can’t wait