3 Wheeler Morgan

OK everyone start saving up – this is what I want for my birthday. You’ve got plenty of time – I’m not 73 till next January. I saw one of these on the street and got to talk to the owner. This one had 406 miles on it and he had it up to 88 mph on the motorway. I am concerned about my girth getting behind the steering wheel but I am willing to go on a diet to fit.

Insignia

Insignia

Front view

Front view

Side view

Side view

Rear view

Rear view

No doors

No doors

$48,500 plus p & p. 18 month waiting list.

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Day 11 – Keukenhof – “Home” of the Tulips of Amsterdam

My introduction to the tulips of Amsterdam was in 1958 when I was 15 and this song was “Top of the Pops”. I warn you before you listen to it that it’s one of those songs that sticks in your head:

When I started work in Montreal I was “asked” to work on the audit of a very large company in Europe. As a result I visited Amsterdam a number of times. Every visit made that bloody song stick in my brain. With every visit I was told, “You have to come back and see the tulips.” Well, after wife Sarah and I came back from hols last year having wiped off the top 7 of my Bucket List visiting the tulips rose to the top of the list.

With my normal gross stupidity we allotted an afternoon coach trip to visit the famous You’ll see in a few mo’s the extent of my stupidity.

Keukenhof (“Kitchen garden”, Dutch pronunciation: [køːkə(n)ˌɦɔf]), is also known as the Garden of Europe. It is one of the world’s largest flower gardens. Situated in Lisse, some 7 million flower bulbs are planted annually in the park which covers an area of 79 acres. Lisse is located in an area called the “Dune and Bulb Region” (Duin- en Bollenstreek). It is open annually from mid-March to mid-May. The best time to view the tulips is around mid-April, depending on the weather.

At thr the end of the short ride to Keukenhof we were dropped near the entrance and our coach disappeared into a sea of parked coaches and cars. When I walked through the gate and past the cafe and fountain (in the shape of a dandelion) for as far as I could see were flowers. Daughter Annalise and I took 300 photos in three hours!!!!! I have never shot that many photos in such a short time in my life.

The good news is that I am NOT going to bore you with 300. Below is a few of the good ones:

Giant dandelion head fountain in the entrance

Giant dandelion head fountain in the entrance

Every bed has different shade of colur

Every bed has different shades of colur

Heads as big as dinner plates

Heads as big as dinner plates

Look at the size of this bed - asp

Look at the size of this bed – asp

Holly among the tulips - asp

Holly among the tulips – asp

A typical display

A typical display

How many grape hyancinths do you reckon there are in this bed - asp

How many grape hyancinths do you reckon there are in this bed – asp

Every bed is a sea of colour

Every bed is a sea of colour

Look at the number of different types in this bed

Look at the number of different types in this bed

[caption id="attachment_5515" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Tulips with heads the size of your fist - asp Tulips with heads the size of your fist – asp

The photos above really don’t convey the size of the gardens. This vid (taken from a drone!!) does give you a bit of an idea of the sensory overload that is Keukenhof.

Having inhaled about four hundred yards of tulip beds we saw a place for a cuppa ……. which was more than a place for a cuppa as I’ll explain in another blog.

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Day 11 – Dutch Windmills and Clogs

We purchased tickets the night before for a trip to see the Dutch countryside. After an exhausting trek from our flat to where we boarded the coach (bus) we finally got on our way. It turned out that the “country” is very close to the city. Until the tour guide got going (he spoke five languages fluently) I didn’t know a whole lot about the Netherlands (Holland).

I learned that name Netherlands’ literally means “Low Country”, influenced by its low land and flat geography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding three feet above sea level. Most of the areas below sea level are man-made. Since the late 16th century, large areas (polders) have been reclaimed from the sea and lakes. The polders amount to nearly 17% of the country. With a population density of 406 people per kilometer (a kilometer is approx 5/8th of a mile) – 497 if water is excluded – the Netherlands is a very densely populated country for its size. Only Bangladesh, South Korea, and Taiwan have both a larger population and a higher population density. Notwithstanding the density of the population the Netherlands is the world’s second-largest exporter of food and agriculture products after the United States. Why? Fertility of the soil and mild climate.

The Tour Guide thought we might get a thunderstorm. CTP’s pic verified his prognostication:

Think it's gonna rain - asp

Think it’s gonna rain – asp

We were taken to where we could see several windmills.

Windmills under lowering skies - asp

Windmills under lowering skies – asp

Windmills played a crucial role in the development of the Netherlands. In the past windmills were used in various ways to create land, build ships and produce flower, oil and even mustard! Until year 1400, living conditions in the Netherlands were far from ideal. The country consisted of wetlands, swamps and marshes separated from the sea by a belt of dunes. Villages were often destroyed by ravaging floods. In 1421, in a particularly bad flood, over 70 villages were washed away and thousands of people drowned.

Enter the windmill. After sea defenses were put in place windmills were used to drain the numerous lakes, swamps and wetlands. This drastically improved living conditions. In the 16th century, changes were made to the structure of the windmill and it became possible to use them for other purposes, such as for the production of oil, paper and to saw timber.

To get to the windmill we were to visit we had to walk in a shower alongside one of the polders which was full of life – ducks:

Some of us don't mind the weather

Some of us don’t mind the weather

Swans …….

Regal amongst the reeds - asp

Regal amongst the reeds – asp

And sheep:

If it's raining have a kip with mum - asp

If it’s raining have a kip with mum – asp

Next we walked through a small village:

 never did find out what Zilch was

never did find out what Zilch was

There was a beautiful door which showed the age of the village:

Top of the door - 1795 was when the village began

Top of the door – 1795 was when village began

The sun came out as we approached the windmill on the right below:

Working windmill

Working windmill

Inside we met the miller who was extracting peanut oil from peanuts imprted from the USA!!

Milling peanuts in the windmill - asp

Milling peanuts in the windmill – asp

Being inside a structure this old that worked perfectly was freaky.

Look how old everything is - asp

Look how old everything is – asp

We left the windmill and moved to another building where clogs were being made. A very attractive display of clogs filled with flowers lined the approach path:

Clogs and flowers - how Dutch can you get - asp

Clogs and flowers – how Dutch can you get – asp

Netherlanders call a clog a klomp. Klompen are whole feet clogs. Approximately 3 million pairs of klompen are made each year. Whilst a large part of the market is for tourist souvenirs some Dutch people, particularly farmers, market gardeners, and gardeners still wear them for everyday use. Klompen can be made from willow or poplar.

There were hundreds of pairs hanging from the ceiling of the building and along the walls:

Finished clogs - asp

Finished clogs – asp

We watched the clog maker turn out a pair of clogs in about ten minutes:

The clog maker and his machinery - asp

The clog maker and his machinery – asp

At the back of “factory” was a shop selling clogs and Dutch memorablia. This I coveted:

I would have bought it if  I knew of a way of bringing it home

I would have bought it if I knew of a way of bringing it home

After we left the clog maker we boarded a ferry across a lake which, before the dyke at one end was built was open to the sea. We arrived at another tiny village where we were to have lunch before returning to Amsterdam. We had just bought our take out when the pending thunderstorm hit. And did it rain. For about twenty minutes it sheeted down. We took shelter under a shop awning and avoided the worst of the downpour.

You’ll be pleased to know that the thunderstorm did NOT spoil my lunch – raw herring on a fresh roll topped with chopped raw onion. Holly didn’t like hers so I was forced to eat two. The herring downed I mentally crossed raw herring off of THE LIST.

Eating raw herring in a thunderstorm

Eating raw herring in a thunderstorm

Holly and Annalise pigged out on fresh cooked pancakes from this stall:

The pancake stall just before the  heavens opened

The pancake stall just before the heavens opened

Feeling very lucky that we had avoided a soaking we boarded the coach for the short trip to Amsterdam for the second part of the days adventure where I hoped to strike numero uno off of THE LIST.

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Calories

If you have been following these blogs you’ll understand that I have keen interest in calories and their effect on me. One of wife Sarah’s friends from church sent me this:

Calories

Calories

No further comment.

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Amsterdam – Day 10 – Dutch Apple Pie and Calories

Before I left for our trip to Amsterdam I asked people who’d been there which food did they recommend. Dutch apple pie. Dutch apple pie and dutch apple pie was the response. When we got to Amsterdam I found out that Dutch apple was a VERY big favorite of Amsterdamers ……. as was french fries smothered with mayo!!!!! Well I avoided the latter like the plague.

Daughters Holly and Annalise set out to souse out the best Dutch apple pie. The answer was Winkel’s. So off we went …….. and it was great!!!

Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch chocolate is very, very good. The best chocolate is that with your name on it:

Yes I bought some!

Yes I bought some!

This evening we made our way to a hotel near the main station. Our objective was the bar at the top of the hotel to see Amsterdam by night.The view from the top was spectacular as you can see from Annalises’s picture.

Amsterdam by night

Amsterdam by night

The moon was awesome – and Annalise got a cracking photo:

The Amsterdam Moon

The Amsterdam Moon

Tomorrow #! on THE LIST goes down.

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Amsterdam – Day 9 – CTP (Aka daughter Annalise) and HVP (aka daughter Holly) visit the Rijks Museum

The Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague in 1800 and moved to Amsterdam in 1808. The current main building was first opened in 1885. On 13 April 2013, after a ten-year renovation which cost € 375 million, the main building was reopened by Queen Beatrix.In 2013, it was the most visited museum in the Netherlands with a record number of 2.2 million visitors. The museum has on display 8,000 objects of art and history, from their total collection of 1 million objects from the years 1200–2000, among which are some masterpieces by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer.

When I last visited the floors with the paintings were open but not the floors where CTP and HVP visited.These are CTP’s pictures of their visit:

CTP - Curly Top Phillips - Annalise - photographing Holly standing on a canal bridge whllst she is on another canal bridge

CTP – Curly Top Phillips – Annalise – photographing Holly standing on a canal bridge whllst she is on another canal bridge

Holly responded to CTP photographing her …..

HVP photographing CTP

HVP photographing CTP

Outside the museum were …….. TULIPS!

Tulips outside the Rijks Museum

Tulips outside the Rijks Museum

And old carvings ….

Ship carving ar the Rijks Museum

Ship carving ar the Rijks Museum

CTP photographed this display of models of old ships

Display of ship models

Display of ship models

Look at this model – absolutely brilliant …..

Look at the size of the model compared to the visitor

Look at the size of the model compared to the visitor

This the detail of the stern:

Stern of the ship

Stern of the ship

There were paintings on the walls …..

Ship painting

Ship painting

CTP was VERY impressed by this pen and ink(?)/painting:

Ship engagemet - pen and ink drawing

Ship engagement – pen and ink drawing

Here’s a closer look:

Detail from the sea action painting

Detail from the sea action painting

Now look at the detail in the detail – quite incredible.

Detail within detail from the sea action

Detail within detail from the sea action

CTP also photographed the work done to the ceiling of the gallery in the museum restoration:

Incredible ceiling

Incredible ceiling

CTP, like me, is “into” books:

A very small section of the library

A very small section of the library

CTP is also a VERY good cabinetry. But, as she freely admitted the quality of this cabinet was far beyond her skills:

Two doors of a cabinet

Two doors of a cabinet

The detail:

Detail of the doors used in the cabinet Detail of the doors used in the cabinet[/caption

I was so impressed by CTP’s pictures and her description that I have added another visit to THE LIST.

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Amsterdam – Day 9 – Sunday – Pancakes and the Floating Flower Market

We started off Sunday morning slowly which allowed me to do a bit of work on the (literally) hundreds of photos I/we had taken.

The blog writer in Amsterdam

The blog writer in Amsterdam

We were late getting to the VERY popular pancake house where we were to meet Sarah’s friend’s daughter, Katie. It was raining and we were very fortunate that Katie had arrived on time (on her bike) and got in line. We didn’t wait too long and went upstairs into an old building. The first thing that caught my eye was this musical thingy hanging on the wall.

Dunno what it is but I want two

Dunno what it is but I want two!!

The pancakes were fifteen inches across and absolutely scrumptious.

English Poffertjes pancake

Poffertjes pancake

English pancake

English pancake (this was mine – did you guess?)

Bacon pancake

Bacon pancake

After we staggered out of the pancake house wife Sarah and I meandered off to the floating flower garden whilst HVP and CTP went off to the famouse Rijks museum – more of that in the next blog.

The floating Flower Market is on the right - asp

The floating Flower Market is on the right – asp

As you can see from the picture above the permanent market stretches for a whole block. Lots of “stalls”, lots of colours, lots of different flowers, very good prices.

Two bucks fifty for a big bunch of sweet peas

Two bucks fifty for a big bunch of sweet peas

Typical flower stall

Typical flower stall

Tulip bulb stall in Floating Flower Market

Tulip bulb stall in Floating Flower Market

Sweet Peas and Sunflowers in a stall at the Floating Flower Market

Sweet Peas and Sunflowers in a stall at the Floating Flower Market

Pink Tulips

Pink Tulips

Ever seen black Calla lilies

Ever seen black Calla lilies?

Not just flowers but cactii too

Not just flowers but cactii too

Giant Paperwhites

Giant Paperwhites

Dried flowers hanging from the roof of a stall- asp

Dried flowers hanging from the roof of a stall- asp

One of the famous Amsterdam dishes is rijstaffel. It’s a dinner – it consists of from 20 to 100 dishes – that came from the Dutch East Indies. The dishes vary from VERY spicy to mild with all sorts of spices, textures and tastes – we loved it. There are many restaurents serving it. Sarah found the address of this one in an english newspaper “best” list. Definitely popular – every seat was full and they turned away customers.

Two of the three hot plates of our rijtstaffel

Two of the three hot plates of our rijtstaffel

Stuffed to the gills we staggered off to sleep it off ……

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New Panorama Photo of our layout, The Mendocino Coast Railroad and Navigation Company

Here’s Roger’s announcement for non-club members:

“I’ve just made a new set of linked panoramas of the layout, which now includes the outside.  They can be seen here – http://www.mendorailhistory.org/panoramas/barn.htm I’ve also added a new link on the front page and a “slide in” to get visitors to take a look. Once a visitor has seen the slide in, it won’t reappear on a revisit to the homepage within 30 minutes.

If you’re interested in the technical details.  There are 4 panoramas, all linked together.  Each panorama was made from 90 photos, stitched together to make a single, ‘spherical view’ image, of 500 Megapixels (a typical digital camera image is 8 Megapixels) and 1.5 Gigabytes in size.

To allow faster download of any view  (position and zoom) each of these panos are sliced into 7,000 smaller ’tiles’, a total of 28,000 individual photos!  Took quite a while to upload.”

Thanks genius!!!!

 

 

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