Cold weather, ice, snow and blizzard force winds continue to wreak havoc with those attempting to travel on the “Continent”, particularly those traveling in Eastern Europe. Section of the Danube River in Romania have been closed to traffic and other sections have frozen over for the first time in twenty-five years. See this detailed review at CNN for more information. These articles from the UPI and France24 provide details on various aspects of the continued weather troubles plaguing Europe.
The Tall Ships will be in Amsterdam this weekend (August 19 -23) in one of the world’s largest maritime festivals. In addition to the Tall Ships, approximately 600 other ships will be part of the multi-day program. Most of the tall ships can be toured from 10:00 to 17:00 and there is a nightly fireworks show at 2200. For complete details on the festival, see the official website here.
In addition, De Parade runs until the 22nd in Martin Luther Kingpark. See the I Am Amsterdam website for more details on this and other happenings in Amsterdam this summer.
If you are in Amsterdam for sightseeing, be sure to read our ThereArePlaces guide to the Best Places to Visit in Amsterdam, as it’s one of our most popular city guides.
The eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokul volcano (located near the island’s south coast, approximately 149 kilometers (92 miles) southeast of Reykjavik) has the potential to cause much damage to the country and the world’s climate. Today, however, the volcano’s cloud of steam and smoke, spread across Western Europe and the UK by prevailing winds, has become a major hazard to air travel.
Many of the airports in Europe, particularly those along the western coast zone of Europe, have closed in response to the threat that the volcanic cloud poses. Concentrations of volcanic ash and dust can decrease visibility during flights at higher altitudes and damage or cause engine shutdowns in jet-powered aircraft at any altitude.
For detailed information on the event and the response, see this article in the Wall Street Journal.
For some great photos of the volcano and detailed information on the eruption,see this excellent presentation from the Detroit Free Press.
The volcanic eruption in Iceland has created a major problem for all air travelers in Europe, as well as those planning on flying to Europe. The length of the eruption and the wind patterns can vary and there is no easy way to tell when air traffic will resume normal patterns. If you are planning on traveling to or in Europe in the next week, be sure to contact your airline, well in advance, to see what information they can offer. If you are in Europe and trying to return home, this will be a frustrating week, as volcanic eruptions are one of those situations beyond the control of the airlines or anyone else.
Amsterdam is one of the fun places to visit in Europe. While many focus on Amsterdam for its food, fun and active nightlife, it has several fantastic attractions and others that are relatively unique in Europe.
The Van Gogh Museum is an incredible treasure, displaying a vast array of some of Van Gogh’s most impressive works. Across town, but not far away, the Anne Frank Huis contains poignant displays chronicling the tragic, secret life of Anne Frank during her “captivity” during World War II in Amsterdam.
If you are looking for something lighter, there is the “new” Heineken Experience, one of the most popular attractions in Venice of the North.
We have expanded, reformatted and reorganized the ThereArePlaces Guide to Amsterdam to help you explore this wonderful city. Amsterdam is one of the most popular destinations with visitors at theThereArePlaces website.
We’ve added a new section on Amsterdam Touring Tips that covers what you will need to know to visit Amsterdam. Most travelers plan to stay a couple of days, but often extend their visit. One of the most common comments of those departing is “I had to leave; it was just too much fun!” Maybe you should see for yourself?
Amsterdam attracts a lot of visitors and its popularity is reflected at ThereArePlaces by the incredible traffic that we have on our Amsterdam pages. Amsterdam is known to many as a party-town and one which caters to having fun, but if you are going there for tourism, you have to scratch below the surface to find the character of the city.
On our first visit, we thought the city was gray, dismal and continually rainy. Its canals, we thought, were not especially scenic, its numerous bike riders would just as soon run you over as to slow for you, and some of its food high-priced and tourist-bland. Well, on our second trip, we confirmed that it does rain a lot in Amsterdam, so go with the flow. Yes, the city is fairly bland in a visual sense, but very functional. No, the canals are not scenic, but they are a convenient and novel way to get around the city. The food – well you have to search for the places the locals eat, so ask a few and you will find some wonderful places for food, drink and fun.
The crown jewels of Amsterdam’s attractions are the Anne Frank Huis and the Van Gogh Museum. Just these two attractions make a trip the city worthwhile and when you throw in the Rijksmuseum, the Heineken Experience, the floating Flower Market and several other of the city’s attractions you will find Amsterdam growing on you. Of course, if you are looking for a youth oriented town to party in – this is the one to visit!
We have updated our Amsterdam Guide with some new attractions and created a second section on touring tactics, including shopping, advice on hotels, dining tips and more. Why not take a look? Even if you are not planning on a trip to the Netherlands, Schiphol Airport is one of the major hubs in Europe and you can often arrange your flights to give you enough time for a quick trip into town for some fun sightseeing. In fact, if you are interested in doing this, see our section titled “Just a Day” for information on how to maximize you time.
Just one final thing – those bike riders will run you over! In most streets there is a specific lane reserved for bike traffic – don’t step into it when they are moving or you could become huburger (human hamburger). Before you complain you should know that bikes have the right-of-way over pedestrians in the Netherlands.