Thursday, August 27, 2015

Breda, Den Bosch & Amsterdam, Netherlands

I love castles and medieval fortifications and that's a sure way to get a city on my "must visit" list. Breda castle stands near the city center of Breda, population 180,000. Notice all the bike racks
This is a view on the other side of Breda castle. Note the opening for entering via the water. Unfortunately the place is off-limits to visitors. Why? It's an active military facility--the Royal Military Academy. The service academy for the Dutch army and Dutch air force.
 One of the squares in the city center of Breda.
 It's market day in Den Bosch, population 145,000.
Oh, oh, in the market there's a stand for stroopwafels. Don't get me started on stroopwafels---I love 'em! This sweet Dutch speciality consists of taking two thin layers of baking dough and sticking'em in a waffle iron, then taking a syrupy concoction consisting of brown sugar, butter, syrup and cinammon and smearing it between the two thin waffles.  
 This is the pot of warm carmel-like syrup used to slather between the waffles. Magnificent!!!!
Den Bosch was added to my list of cities to visit due to still having medieval ramparts. The wall and moat still encircle the city center.
I've been to Amsterdam before and this time didn't spend much time in the city center. (been there, done that). Here's the impressive central train station.
 Outside the Rijksmuseum, the most famous museum in the Netherlands.
 Very touristy spot: outside the Royal Palace at Dam Square.
 This was the original Heineken brewery--now a tourist attraction.
Directly across a canal from the original Heineken brewery is the unmarked head office of this famous beer. No signs anywhere on the building. Why? One reason: years ago one of the Heineken family members was kidnapped
This is Amsterdam Arena. Located about eight miles from downtown Amsterdam, it's home to soccer club Ajax. It seats 53,000 for soccer and 65,000 for concerts. I've been to Amsterdam before and stayed in the city center. This time I elected to stay out in the suburbs--next to the arena.
Get out of Amsterdam and it's beautiful farmland, with picturesque villages and paved bike roads running alongside canals everywhere. In this photo you can (barely) see Amsterdam Arena in the distance.
 These red and white signs give directions for cyclists.
A family lives in this windmill.

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