Amsterdam (part 3)

On our last morning in Amsterdam…

More to see . We did not want to leave without walking  in the Red Light District. I had read in a book that  is  was better not to take photos. But there was a few places  I felt is was OK. It was early in the morning and almost nobody were on the streets.

According to my travel guide,  nearly  a thousand prostitutes work in the Red Light District, sharing  about 200 windows and a very long history. Prostitution was officially legalized in 2000 and is now considered just another profession with rules, regulations and taxes.

Here is the statue  dedicated to the Unknown Prostitute. She’s nicknamed Belle.

Little Venice. “The Venice of the North”.  Little Venice is a term used  Europe-wide  for any charming  neighborhood with canal side houses. Like Venice , the city was built in a  marshy  delta area, on millions of  pilings  and like Venice it grewed rich on sea trade.

In the Red Light District, the oldest neighborhood of Amsterdam,  I visited an hidden church.  Amstelkring Museum. From the outside, the building look like any other houses but inside, it holds a secret, a small , lavishly decorated place of worship hidden in the attic. Back in  the 16th century there was one group they kept in the closet. The Catholics. For two centuries ( 1578-1795), Catholicism in Amsterdam was illegal but tolerated. In 1663, a wealthy merchant built Our lord in the Attic.

You can often see the year  when  the houses were built. Like this one  . 1686.

Our B & B- Hotel Brouwer, was also in an older building ( had been renovated a bit) . 1652.

We enjoyed our  days in Amsterdam. Such a friendly city.  I was hoping we would have time to go to Haarlem by train but finally there was so much to see in Amsterdam and not enough time to venture in this city. Maybe it would be just nice to visit another time.

This is the end of my posts on Amsterdam. We are going to fly to France and have other adventures.

Thanks for reading. See you in France !









Amsterdam ( part 2)

The visit in Amsterdam continues. On that day we had our tickets to visit The Anne Frank House. It is a very popular place and  purchasing our ticket on line  2 months ahead was a good idea to avoid the line-up.

We all know the story of Anne Frank. Maybe you have read the book also. I did . It is such a sad story. We visiting the Secret Annex . It made it more real for sure.

We walked some more. In Southeast Amsterdam, we visited many museums : The Dutch Resistance Museum ( history of the Dutch struggle against the Nazis). The Portuguese Synagogue ( built in 1670’s- has no electric lightning, only candles and windows), the Jewish Historical Museum, The Hermitage Amsterdam ( has loans from the Hermitage Museum in St.Petersburg). So it was a full afternoon.

But while we walked we also admired the architecture.

Visiting Amsterdam meant a lot of walking ( which we like to do). We went back to the Jordaan district the next day , to see  the Westerkerk (church).  We also took a boat cruise. While we were on the canals it was raining a lot which made it quite difficult to take any photos. We still enjoyed seeing the city that way.

We still had time to do more city walk  the next day. I will share some more on my next post, next Friday. Thanks for reading. Have a good week-end.







Amsterdam (part 1)

Amsterdam. A modern city. Bikes, canals, bridges, houseboats, museums, tulips, cheese, Red Light District, coffee shops selling cannabis (we did not try). Great architecture.

Visiting Amsterdam in September would mean less tourists and we hoped for good weather.  We did not get too lucky on the weather. We had clouds and rain  on and off everyday but it did not stopped us to see all  the places we wanted. And you know there is always a museum around the corner.

We arrived early on a Monday morning.  We took the train to get to the city center and  walked to find our  hotel.  We had chosen a small B & B, very well located. We had a good view on Singel Canal.  I stared at that view ,  never got tired of it.

From our B & B we could walk everywhere we wanted. We  did not waste any time to start our visits. First the Amsterdam  Museum giving us an idea of the city’s growth from fishing village to global trade center, some paintings and  much more  information we could absorb  with the jet lag.

We decided to wander in the city and get some fresh air. Going inside the Cheese museum was a good idea to taste some cheese and learn a bit of history.

Clogs are traditional wooden shoes from this country.

We went out  for dinner in the Jordaan district. We were surprised how the restaurant  we had picked from our guide was busy for a Monday night. Got back to our  B & B for a good rest as the next day , we were going to visit  The Van Gogh Museum and also the  Rijksmuseum. It was at least  30 minutes walk but a good chance to see the city.

Van Gogh was a creative genius, he produced brightly colored landscapes in impressionist style and many self-portraits.  He had a tumultuous life. The museum  with more than 200 paintings was fantastic and help me to  know more about the artist. We spent at least 1:30 hours  in the museum.

The Rijsksmuseum is located very close to the Van Gogh Museum. It was also very interesting to discover the paintings of many Dutch Masters like Vermeer, Steen, Hals and Rembrandt .

We walked some more…

We had time to visit the Royal Palace,  a lavish city hall, that take us back to the Golden Age of  the 17th century.

We really enjoyed Amsterdam. Walking by the canals…

Bikes are  everywhere…

A lovely city. More to see on my next post. Thanks for reading.






Hong Kong ( part 5)

We still had visits to do in Hong Kong. The Tian Tan Buddha  is located on Lantau Island. We got there by metro. We got up to the mountain via the Ngong Ping 360 sky rail. It was a very windy and  foggy day. The ride to get to the top takes about 30 minutes. Nice view around until we reached the fog.

The Big Buddha is the world’s largest Buddha, seated, outdoors, made of bronze.  The statue is 34 metres (112 ft) tall, weighs over 250 metric tons , and was constructed from 202 bronze pieces. In addition to the exterior components, there is a strong steel framework inside to support the heavy load.

Before going up the 260 steps to “nirvana” (close to the Big Buddha), we looked at the Po Lin monastery. Beautiful architecture and lots of incense burning.


I was very happy we made it to see the Big Buddha and  the village on top of that mountain. Ngong Ping, Chinese style, has many shops for the tourists!!!

I hope you enjoyed visiting Hong Kong with me as much as I liked to share it  with you. Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments. Other stories on my travels are posted every Friday.  Have a good week-end.




Hong Kong ( part 4)

My story on our visit in Hong Kong continues today. You can appreciate the architecture.

The sky was gray again that morning . We took the public transit to Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens. It was wonderful to see this place in the middle of the jungle of skyscrapers.

We also visited the Won Tai Sin Temple. It was another amazing place for worshipers of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism.  12 sculptures of the animal of the Chinese horoscope were fun to see . A very busy place.

Stopped to see the flower market, many stores with beautiful flowers. And then the bird garden.  Amazing to see the birds in cage, so many of them.  A bit of a noisy place. We walked some more to get to the ladies market.

Fun to walk on the street when kids are out from school. I noticed the uniform they wear. For the girls it has to be to the knee or below.

The crossings of major streets have sound to help. Long beeps, fast beeps. I am sure you get use to that and do not have to look if the green little man shows up. I forgot to mention that driving here is on the left like in UK . We do not see many cars, mostly big double Deckers.

We went  back at the hotel for a short rest. We were going  out to have dinner with a couple  ( Canadians working in HK) who has relatives in Vancouver !! A very good evening and great food.

More to come with  another post  on our last day in Hong Kong. Thanks for reading.




Hong Kong (part 3)

Another day  to explore Hong Kong. It is March and it is quite cold in HK. Especially for us who just spent time in Southern Vietnam and  in Cambodia where we were wearing short and t-shirt. Now I  was wearing everything I have in my backpack. I was still cold.  We were  enjoying the visit  and immersed  ourselves in this large city that has a lot to offer to tourists like us.

While we walked , we discovered Kowloon Park with people practicing Tai Chi. Other people were meditating. Those green spaces are so important in big cities.

We went by the entrance of the Museum of Art. They have some interesting sculpture by Ju Ming. He is a Taiwanese sculptor who attained fame in Taiwan in the 1970s, and in New York City in 1983.  He was born in 1938. I like his art very much. Do you ?

Also art from Rosanna Li, a Hong Kong artist and sculptor.  She is well-known for her robust ceramic figurines imbued with cultural and symbolic meanings that reflect her response to current events in a social context. Do you like it ?

We walked the avenue of stars (just like in Hollywood, California) except the stars are Chinese so we do not know them. Except Bruce Lee ! Did you recognize him ?

We took a cruise on  Victoria Harbor for one hour. It was foggy again.

We went on the escalator to mid-levels.The Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system in Hong Kong are the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world. The entire system covers over 800 meters (2,600 feet) in distance and elevates over 135 meters (443 feet) from bottom to top. It was constructed in 1993 to provide a better commute by linking areas within the Central and Western District on Hong Kong Island.

We visited Man No Temple. Lots of sandalwood smoke from the giant spiral incense hanging overhead which take a couple of weeks to burn.

Busy days when you travel… let’s keep some energy for another day in HK. I will share more photos and story on my next post.  Next Friday. Thanks for reading. And many thanks for you who leave me a comment.



Hong Kong ( part 2)

Day 2 in HK. A long long day  of visit . After breakfast, we took the metro to get to the other side of the harbor. We took a tour with Big Bus. The weather was not the best, it was windy and cold. So we just enjoyed sightseeing around. We also went up to Victoria peak with the tram but all was foggy. So, there was no view on the city!!

Hong Kong is an amazing city, with more skyscrapers than NYC!! Many have interesting architecture. We had a short tour on a Sampan (small boat) in Aberdeen. We saw the biggest floating restaurant!

We walked a bit in SOHO . There are more than 260 islands in HK. Many are like countryside and are a great place for people living in HK to escape the big city of 7 million inhabitants. We also did the night tour in Kowloon and saw the light show across the harbor.

Later, we came back in Kowloon. We went out not so far for dinner in  a typical restaurant by the temple market: broccoli, rice, fried noodles. We were almost the only Caucasians. Food was good. We walked a long way in a street with vendors. The famous night market on Temple is a long long row of merchants selling all kind of stuff.

So much to see in Hong  Kong.  I will show you more on my next post. Next Friday. Thanks for reading and if you read it all, it would be nice for me to read a comment  from you .