Ypres & the Fields of Flanders

I have had this desire to travel to Ypres for quite a while, and no doubt it had a lot to do with my passion for history, and in particular World War I history. One of the reasons that Ypres (actually probably the only reason) is that it was the sight of a number of battles that raged near the end of the war, and also because of an iconic picture of soldiers marching along wooden boards through a skeletal forest across a muddy terrain that had been blasted to smithereens. … More Ypres & the Fields of Flanders

A 17th Century Church

The building in which the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam meets is one of those old style churches with a steeple, but the thing is that it is actually one of the oldest buildings in Amsterdam. The building itself dates back to around 1490, but there was a church on this site going back even earlier to 1390 but that one was apparently burnt down. … More A 17th Century Church

Antwerp or Anvers

There was a movie that I saw back in the 90s where the opening was set in Antwerp. There was a group of conservative Jews with their black hats, black suits, long beards, and those cool curley bits down the side, walking into what appeared to be a diamond shop. They were buzzed in, and walked into the room, and all of the sudden the guns were out and they were screaming for everybody to get down on the floor. … More Antwerp or Anvers

Party in Amsterdam

There is a pretty good reason why I always seem to land up in Amsterdam, however as it turned out the only time I visited a coffeeshop this time was to see if they actually sold coffee. The answer was a short, and rather sharp, no and if I really wanted a coffee there was a Starbucks down the road. The thing is that since I’m in Amsterdam the last place that I wanted to visit to have a coffee was Starbucks – it’s sort of like living in Melbourne and drinking only Hudson’s coffee. … More Party in Amsterdam

Arnhem – The Bridge Too Far

Okay, here is the second place that I visited because of a bridge despite the fact that I wrote a post that has effectively trashed a really famous bridge back in Australia. Well, I guess the difference is that this particular bridge has a story behind it where as the bride back in Australia really isn’t all that flash (and as I have mentioned isn’t all that colourful either, unlike the one in the United States). … More Arnhem – The Bridge Too Far

Wandering Westphalia

Having studied Modern European History in High School and university I have been somewhat attracted to various regions of Germany, such as the Rhineland and the Palatinate, that I had read about so often. Mind you, in the days before Google Maps, and in fact in the days before Google, when you had to actually go and look for information physically in the library, many of these places simply existed as names. Even on my first trip to Europe I was only vaguely aware where certain cities and states were located (and was somewhat surprised to discover that our train stopped off in Hannover on our way from Berlin to Amsterdam). … More Wandering Westphalia

The Dullness of Dusseldorf

I have to admit that Dusseldorf actually wasn’t all that great. In fact it was pretty annoying. Half the reason that I came here was because it happened to be the butt of a lot of jokes from Hogans Heroes, probably because the name sounded rather amusing. Another thing was that Dusseldorf seemed to sit right in the middle of a cluster of towns and cities and a part of me wanted to explore parts of what appeared to be a mega-city. … More The Dullness of Dusseldorf

Breakfast in Bonn

So, Bonn was another of those cities that happened to be a short way from where we were staying, and while we could have found something to do in Köln for an extra day, I had this urge to go for a daytrip to one of the nearby cities. Anyway, I really have no idea when I’m going to be able to get back to Germany, so I might as well take the opportunity to visit as many places as possible. Actually, I initially wanted to go to Bonn because it appeared to be at the end of the Köln S-Bahn, though as I mentioned in my post on Frankfurt, when I arrived in I discovered that the S-Bahn over here is not necessarily the same as the S-Bahn in Berlin. … More Breakfast in Bonn

Cologne – It’s About the Bridge

A part of me wants to start off by writing about this rail bridge that crosses the Rhine and heads into the centre of Cologne, but since I wrote an entire post about a bridge in Australia that everybody seems to get really excited about, I thought that maybe I should leave talking about this particular bridge, which is called the Hollerzollern Bridge, until another time (particularly since there are a few things that I could write about the bridge beyond the fact that trains regularly cross it and boats regularly go under it). However, you might be wondering why it is that I have a thing about this bridge when I think that other bridge is, well, a bridge and nothing to get all that excited over (just like the radio antenna that people seem to get really excited over in Paris). … More Cologne – It’s About the Bridge