Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “amsterdam”

Amsterdam Graffiti and Graffiti Art


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Photographs of 24 Hours in Amsterdam


Amsterdam is in my opinion the most photogenic city in Europe and maybe the world. Despite having been there with cameras numerous times there are always things to photograph and see. With only my I Phone this time the weather changes were immense ranging from snowing to sun in 15 minutes and cloud formations to match.

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This time however I took more than a passing interest in the amsterdam graffiti, or graffiti art depending upon how one visualises this option. Graffiti was everywhere including in the urinals that adorn the canals. One knows they are urinals before entering them from the odour de latrine that they ooze for many yards. The question that resonated in my head was who painted the graffiti in them, why did they do it and even how did they do it?

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The Graffiti on the walls was far more eloquent and spoke to a lot of thought before painting. I have posted many blogs already on Amsterdam and the risk is repetition, so I have attempted to minimise anything previously photographed and take views or views from angles that are new. Like Penguin graffiti. A real new experience for me.

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The place was wet and this was easily determined by how much rain fell on one’s head but if that judgement felt unsound then the standing water on the tram tracks gave a better explanation.

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Wet Tram Tracks Amsterdam

Vondelpark is always beautiful but less so on a grey day, however with a little sun it begins to show its charm. However the muddy paths showed again how wet the last few days had been.

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Gates of Vondelpark Amsterdam

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Vondelpark Amsterdam

Even Central Station joined in the fun looking grand in the warm light with the clouds looking like they were dancing in the sky.

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Amsterdam is truly a beautiful city and just an hour walking along the canals it does not matter so much which direction one walks, just remembering that the canals are best thought of as onion rings outside each other and eventually leading to Central Station.IMG_2038IMG_2033IMG_2032IMG_2015

And if you cycle there which has its positives and negatives in terms of enjoyment and death risk, it might not be so easy to remember where you left your bicycle.Unless you left it next to the penguin graffiti in which case it might still be there. Maybe

Paradiso is a world famous music venue but one would never know that from the outside. An old church converted into a music venue in which many famous names have played. Including Lady Gaga, Duran Duran, Joy Division, David Bowie, Suede and Rolling Stones, amongst hundreds.

Paradiso Amsterdam

Paradiso Amsterdam

Reflections on Hamburg


Spending a day in a city never allows a comprehensive opinion on what it is really like, but first impressions here are good and a potential place for a short weekend break. A couple of things are sticking immediately:

  1. There are many people clustered together like peas in a pod smoking outside of their workplaces. This was analogous to what I saw and was surprised by in Switzerland before xmas. Their expressions all mirrored extreme furtiveness and even guilt. IMG_1637
  2. Outside of hotels one cannot expect, nor should one really, people to speak English. This is actually quite refreshing as so many from the UK do expect it to be their right that everyone speaks their English, and that our abysmal failure to learn foreign languages should be acceptable. The taxi drivers for example cobble a few words together and was able to convey to me with a mixture of curious phrases and even more curious facial expressions that although potentially he could take his fare from credit cards, it was difficult and he really did not want to. He conveyed this nicely with more than a little humour.
  3. The city has many parallels with Amsterdam. Canals and cobblestone streets and inclement weather to start with.IMG_1621

    Hamburg Rain

    Hamburg Rain

The city has a nice relaxed feel to it, the restaurants were all full at lunchtime and maybe because they had limited menus of nice food at more than reasonable prices.  Rialto restaurant was my feeding trough and a nice place too. An excellent Wiener Schnitzel. A lot of building is going on and wherever one looks there are steepled buildings and impressive looking buildings, such as the Rathaus.

Rathaus Hamburg

Rathaus Hamburg

Rialto Restaurant Hamburg

Rialto Restaurant Hamburg

The downside to the city was the huge number of people begging . Many did not look German and some of the begging, although not aggressive as such was certainly beyond what one might want to see when passing by. A large number of Germans were also selling what I presumed to be the equivalent of the Big Issue, in a far more mellow way and indeed interacting nicely with people passing by. The pavements outside shops were littered with evidence of the homeless with their sleeping garments, duvets, sleeping bags and sometimes maybe their entire possessions on public display.

Hamburg Beggar

Hamburg Beggar

In every European capital and city one sees graffiti which in fact is often so artistic in nature that it is better to refer to it as Graffiti Art. Should this be encouraged? My impressions are that it rarely detracts from where it is painted and often adds something to a grey nondescript wall. Technically though I imagine it is illegal, but why not encourage it in the same way that legal busking works on UK railway stations.

hamburg Graffiti

Hamburg Graffiti

hamburg Graffiti

Hamburg Graffiti

There are a plethora of high quality shops, and although I cannot pretend to be an expert in these types of shops, they kind of stand out as shops that have no-one shopping in them and no price tags on the clothes. Prada was one such example where two young women dressed seemingly in doctor’s white coats, maybe they were doctors from the UK and taking part in the UK doctors strike, were avidly cleaning a clean window outside Prada and at times hoovering the pavement or sidewalk. All the time being watched by a woman dressed in black. The beggars and those sleeping rough did have their “beds” on the pavement outside these shops and to the credit of German society I saw no attempt to move these people on.

Prada Hamburg

Prada Hamburg

Prada Hamburg

Prada Hamburg

Walking around Hamburg is a pleasurable and easy thing and my Fitbit told me that I had easily done my 10,000 steps before early afternoon. The canals are pleasant on the eye, and not unlike Amsterdam in many regards. Travelling around seems simple, with the exception that the Underground runs overground looking like the Docklands Light Railway in the UK.

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An Overground Underground

Everywhere one looked there were interesting things ranging from a sluice in the centre of the city, locks adorning railings and numerous coloured flags.

One monument that in fact was a memorial to lives lost through war, looked uncannily like the “monument” in 2001 A Space Odyssey. If anyone remembers that curious start to the film.

IMG_1588The Rathaus and the surrounding area were busy with tourists and a nice walking area, with shops nearby. Hamburg is a city well worth visiting and this view is shared by people far more eminent than myself, Karl Lagerfeld and John Lennon.

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Reflections on Dusseldorf


Dusseldorf  has a population of around 600,000 making it the seventh largest city in Germany. Wikipedia struggles to find much for Dusseldorf that comes under ” culture and recreation”. I might agree. One of the highlights of my visit was sampling the local Altbier. Düsseldorf is well known for  Altbier a hoppy beer . The name “altbier” first appeared in the 19th century to differentiate the beers of Düsseldorf from the new pale lager that was gaining a hold on Germany. Dusseldorf however is famous as the origins of the band Kraftwerk. The final claim to fame is that after Frankfurt and Munich, Dusseldorf is the third largest airport in Germany. Did the place excite me? Not really. Lonely Planet however disagrees with me citing that

“Düsseldorf dazzles with boundary-pushing architecture, zinging nightlife and an art scene to rival many higher-profile cities”.

Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/germany/north-rhine-westphalia/dusseldorf#ixzz3mTXztQAG

The city to me was very industrial with an overdose of traffic lights that meant walking anywhere was complex. Bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways  and cycle lanes seemed interchangeable meaning that if the trams did not get you as one crossed the road the cycles certainly would. A not unpleasant city but one that is far from being a holiday destination. The train station was massive and larger even than Amsterdam Central.

Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf Rflections

Dusseldorf Rflections

Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf

Amsterdam Food. A Photographic Memory


The Best omellete in Amsterdam

The Best omellete in Amsterdam

Coffee in Amsterdam

Coffee in Amsterdam

Make your own Magnum. Amsterdam

Make your own Magnum. Amsterdam

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Amsterdam- City of Curious Things and Curious People


Most people are aware of Amsterdam as a great city to have fun and observe life and people. Behind the obvious sights there lies a whole host of strange things and people, and some cute things as well. Amsterdam has the ability to both shock and enlighten. Walking down a city centre street I am not sure what shocked me the most, that a haircut coild cost 45 euros or that someone had written a book titled ” The Philosophy of Beards”. True that maybe a bottle of nice mexican beer came free too.

In Vondelspark a strange gentleman with a horse’s head was playing what I imagine was some sort of tambourine. I use the term playing lightly. He was making a kind of repetitive banging noise which only seemed to stop when we was given money, so I consider this a good cause to donate a euro too. Plus no scowling when I took his photograph.

There are many shops including a number that sell whole cheeses in sizes that must make an interesting hand luggage size. Shops where they close and put up nice signs such as ” we are sorry we are closing and will not be in your palate for a few days” instead of handwritten closed signs. Pizza restaurants where they say ” no cash” rather different from the UK sunday curry buffets where its cash only. I wonder why. Beer that is actually cold with glasses kept in the freezer. Coffee that not only tastes good but looks good and can be drunk by a canal watching boats and people go by. A shop where you can make your own Magnum, at a price though around 4 euros. Maybe the best omelette I have ever tasted. From an Irish Pub actually next to the Paradiso.

The Best omellete in Amsterdam

The Best omellete in Amsterdam

Musician with a Horse Head.

Musician with a Horse Head.

Not entirely sure that words can describe this? Vondelspark man.

Not entirely sure that words can describe this?
Vondelspark man.

Coffee in Amsterdam

Coffee in Amsterdam

Awful gifts Amsterdam

Awful gifts Amsterdam

Fake Tulips

Fake Tulips

awful Hat Amsterdam

awful Hat Amsterdam

Batman returns to amsterdam

Batman returns to amsterdam

Where is the last pair?

Where is the last pair?

Batman returns to amsterdam

Batman returns to amsterdam

Make your own Magnum. Amsterdam

Make your own Magnum. Amsterdam

Boat trips on the canals Amsterdam

Boat trips on the canals Amsterdam

Boat trips on the canals Amsterdam

Boat trips on the canals Amsterdam

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Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

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Would you pay 45 euros in a Barber shop for a basic haircut and to understand the philosophy of beards ?


Amsterdam has the ability to both shock and enlighten. Walking down a city centre street I am not sure what shocked me the most, that a haircut coild cost 45 euros or that someone had written a book titled ” The Philosophy of Beards”. True that maybe a bottle of nice mexican beer came free too.

Expensive haircut. 45 euros in amsterdam.

Expensive haircut. 45 euros in amsterdam.

The philosophy of beards.Expensive haircut. 45 euros in amsterdam.

The philosophy of beards.Expensive haircut. 45 euros in amsterdam.

Suede Live at Westonbirt Arboretum June 2014


Suede have hit the road again in 2014 and have a number of concerts and festivals lined up throughout europe. This is the first time I have seen them play outdoors and although the concert was good, very good, it did not reach the heights of for example the Paradiso concert in Amsterdam,  the Roundhouse nor the Royal Albert Hall. Suede thrive on atmosphere and at any outdoors festival the music does tend to vanish into the heavens. The other minor complaint was that the set was shorter, far shorter than some other sets ( maybe we were spooled then, as they did play for maybe 75 minutes), and the set list included nothing from their new album Bloodsports. From Brett Anderson’s comments to the audience ” leave your cheese and pickle sandwiches and come down the front”, he too may have had some reservations about the audience. The age was not so young though mixed. I saw ages 0-75 there. But was this their normal concert audience? Think not. So maybe the set list was tweaked towards those who heard them in 1992. A mistake maybe. They played well and we all had a good time but a single encore of an unusual song maybe ended the concert on a flatter note than it should.

All sounds like grumbles, but actually it was a great evening and great concert. The venue was like a mini Hyde Park, with fenced off field with large stage, food outlets etc. Food was fine, never cheap at these places ( pie, nice pie for £8, beer £4.50/pint) but overall a really good venue. Easy to get to, good parking, everyone escaped quickly afterwards.

Support bands were good too, very good in fact in the case of The Hosts, a sheffield based band,and good but curious for a singer called ?Griff. The Forestry commission should be congratulated on these ventures and will I be back, yes.

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Suede Westonbirt

Suede Westonbirt

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Please vote for your favourite photo


Strawberry from the garden. My favourite photo of 2014.Copyright chris Bushe

Strawberry from the garden. My favourite photo of 2014.Copyright chris Bushe

Spider in Motspur Park Copyright chris Bushe

Spider in Motspur Park Copyright chris Bushe

Peregrine Falcon eating a chick.Copyright chris Bushe

Peregrine Falcon eating a chick.Copyright chris Bushe

coffee by the canal in amsterdam. Copyright chris Bushe

coffee by the canal in amsterdam. Copyright chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

Lemur at Twycross zoo.Copyright Chris Bushe

Lemur at Twycross zoo.Copyright Chris Bushe

Meercat at Twycross ZooCopyright Chris Bushe

Meercat at Twycross ZooCopyright Chris Bushe

Starfish point on Grand Cayman, as lovely as it looked. Copyright Chris Bushe

Starfish point on Grand Cayman, as lovely as it looked. Copyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Arctic Tern on Farne Islands.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Arctic Tern on Farne Islands.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Iceland geysers.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Iceland geysers.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Bird of prey at Painshill Park Copyright Chris Bushe

Bird of prey at Painshill Park Copyright Chris Bushe

The first apples ever grown on the small tree in the garden we planted 2 years ago. Copyright Chris Bushe

The first apples ever grown on the small tree in the garden we planted 2 years ago. Copyright Chris Bushe

Best Photographs of 2014


Around this time each year I sit down and try and sort out my best 13 photographs of the year to make up my annual calendar. Not easy. This year is easier than some. These are the said photos. Each has a reason for being there and each has a story. Please feel free to share this post and this blog with your friends and colleagues. 

The first apples ever grown on the small tree in the garden we planted 2 years ago. Copyright Chris Bushe

The first apples ever grown on the small tree in the garden we planted 2 years ago. Copyright Chris Bushe

Bird of prey at Painshill Park Copyright Chris Bushe

Bird of prey at Painshill Park Copyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Iceland geysers.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Iceland geysers.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Arctic Tern on Farne Islands.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Arctic Tern on Farne Islands.Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Crab Spider in the garden one summer day. What was it doing thereCopyright Chris Bushe

Starfish point on Grand Cayman, as lovely as it looked. Copyright Chris Bushe

Starfish point on Grand Cayman, as lovely as it looked. Copyright Chris Bushe

Meercat at Twycross ZooCopyright Chris Bushe

Meercat at Twycross ZooCopyright Chris Bushe

Lemur at Twycross zoo.Copyright Chris Bushe

Lemur at Twycross zoo.Copyright Chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

Heron in Vondels park amsterdam. An old heron i guess.Copyright Chris Bushe

coffee by the canal in amsterdam. Copyright chris Bushe

coffee by the canal in amsterdam. Copyright chris Bushe

Peregrine Falcon eating a chick.Copyright chris Bushe

Peregrine Falcon eating a chick.Copyright chris Bushe

Spider in Motspur Park Copyright chris Bushe

Spider in Motspur Park Copyright chris Bushe

Strawberry from the garden. My favourite photo of 2014.Copyright chris Bushe

Strawberry from the garden. My favourite photo of 2014.Copyright chris Bushe

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