We’re crossing the pond again!

Sorry for the slight lapse in posting lately. Dottie and I are devoting a lot of mental energy to planning our next trip.

Yep—that’s a London-Paris-Amsterdam itinerary you’re looking at. We will be there in mid-October (and I’ll be in Wales and Dublin before that).

Since we have so much time to dream and plan, we’d love to get suggestions from you on what we should see—especially when it comes to Amsterdam, as neither of us has been there before. Please share in the comments! And let us know if you’re interested in a reader meetup. Tea and Topshop in London??

About these ads
Tagged , , , , ,

41 thoughts on “We’re crossing the pond again!

  1. ladyfleur says:

    I’m so excited for you two! I visited all three cities last fall and had a blast.  My top picks:
    London:
    (1) Rented Bromptons at Velorution and rode all over http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/48-hours-in-london-with-a-brompton-bike/
    (2) Best pub: The Grenadier http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/on-tradition-foot-guards-ghosts-and-the-queen/

    Paris: Velib, Velib, Velib http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/a-one-day-tour-of-paris-by-bike/

    Amsterdam:
    (1) The Leidseplein after dark. http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/bike-date-friday-amsterdam-after-dark/
    (2) Sitting at a sidewalk cafe in a shopping district and watching the parade of bikes. http://ladyfleur.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/amsterdam-the-ballet-of-traffic/

    I can’t tell you how jealous I am.  It was my best fall ever.

  2. Beth says:

    Ooh, how fun! I’m planning my own England-Scotland-Wales trip, which will be next year, and I’m thinking I’ll do the Tally Ho! Cycle tour of London: http://www.tallyhocycletours.com/london/ It’s hard to resist the idea of riding around London on a Pashley with a quick stop for tea. So I haven’t been and can’t actually recommend it, but if you do it I’d love to hear about it!

    My recommendations for “unusual” Paris sight-seeing are the catacombs and the Museum of Eroticism. Just prepare yourself for lots of stairs at the catacombs, and don’t go to the top floor of the Museum of Eroticism unless you have a strong stomach.

    • Dave says:

      Heh, Amsterdam also has (as you might imagine) at least one Sex Museum (though I haven’t been), and also a torture museum. Could be interesting in the right mood, perhaps :)

    • Trisha says:

      Thanks! We visited the catacombs the last time we were in Paris, but the other site is new to me. :) Appreciate the warning about the top floor, although now I’m sort of curious!

  3. Dave says:

    Definitely hook up with Marc at Amsterdamize, he’s a great guy, and I’m sure he’d be happy to tour you around a little bit, assuming schedules work out.

    I recommend a little bit of spontaneity. The city is extremely compact, so you can walk all the central part of it easily (some parts are honestly easier to walk, as there are so many people/so little space, it can be hard to get a bike through without walking it). Just wander and explore, stop when you see a cafe that looks nice, they’re all over. Make sure to catch the street art on Spuistraat.

    Then get bikes and head out to surrounding areas like the Jordaan, towards Vondelpark, and I actually really liked the Oosterpark area, even though it’s kind of the ‘rough’ area of Amsterdam, it felt very safe (it didn’t feel rough at all to me, really – we stayed in the area when we went), and it’s a bit more mixed racially and Oosterpark itself is quite nice. Check out the Dappermarkt (http://www.dappermarkt.nl/) while you’re in the Oosterpark area. The Albert Cuyp market (http://www.albertcuypmarkt.nl/) is quite nice, and of course, go see the flower market (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloemenmarkt).

    I would also definitely recommend looking at airbnb.com for apartments to stay in while you’re there. We stayed in an apartment with fully stocked kitchen and laundry facility for less than most hotel rooms, and I always enjoy living a bit like a local (go get groceries on your bikes and cook yourself dinner) :)

  4. Wendy Haas says:

    From an art historian, Musee du Moyen Age (Cluny) in Paris is lovely!  And the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (all contemporary, rotating exhibits)!

  5. Guest says:

    I’d say visit the Rijksmuseum, but it’s under renovation and won’t be finished until 2013.  You can still see The Night Watch by Rembrandt in all its glory plus other great works from the 17th century masters: Vermeer, Jan Steen, Frans Hals, etc.
    If you like Van Gogh, the Van Gogh museum is a must.

  6. The Amsterdam suggestions from Dave below are a great start. I think you’ll enjoy the Jordaan and the “Negen Straatjes” (Nine little streets) which are chock-full of interesting (little) shops, cafes and foodie stuff. Any of the outdoor markets is a cultural study of the Dutch, and yes the Dappermarkt is one of the biggest and best.

    You’ve refused my offers of Workcycles hoodies as thanks for your years of fantastic promotion but I hope you’ll at least let me make you coffee and loan you Workcycles bikes for your stay. After all the Netherlands look best while sitting on a bike. If Marc doesn’t have time while you’re here I’ll provide the tour myself. Or maybe we’ll both go. You’d also enjoy meeting Roos Stallinga of Ride With Me NYC.

    If the weather is better than horrible ride those bikes out of the city in pretty much any direction: South along the Amstel to Ouderkerk is easy and lovely. West along the dikes to Spaarndam is great. North through the old villages such as Durgerdam, Broek in Waterland and Marken is also beautiful.

    Places to stay:
    All of the following places have been friend and customer tested as friendly, clean, convenient, fairly priced and having some character. Ark16 is a houseboat owned by a friendly lady just a couple hundred meters from our Jordaan shop – highly recommended…
    ARK16Amsterdam B&B Flynt – bed and breakfast accommodation – Amsterdam guesthouse in the cultural heart of the cityAmsterdam Bed and Breakfast – central Amsterdam B&B the Business Class Way – The Flying PancakeHotel van Onna amsterdamTourist in Amsterdam Rent a Bike FredericTry to book immediately since it can be very difficult to find a room in Amsterdam.

    Looking forward to meeting you.

  7. The Amsterdam suggestions from Dave below are a great start. I think you’ll enjoy the Jordaan and the “Negen Straatjes” (Nine little streets) which are chock-full of interesting (little) shops, cafes and foodie stuff. Any of the outdoor markets is a cultural study of the Dutch, and yes the Dappermarkt is one of the biggest and best.

    You’ve refused my offers of Workcycles hoodies as thanks for your years of fantastic promotion but I hope you’ll at least let me make you coffee and loan you Workcycles bikes for your stay. After all the Netherlands look best while sitting on a bike. If Marc doesn’t have time while you’re here I’ll provide the tour myself. Or maybe we’ll both go. You’d also enjoy meeting Roos Stallinga of Ride With Me NYC.

    If the weather is better than horrible ride those bikes out of the city in pretty much any direction: South along the Amstel to Ouderkerk is easy and lovely. West along the dikes to Spaarndam is great. North through the old villages such as Durgerdam, Broek in Waterland and Marken is also beautiful.

    Places to stay:
    All of the following places have been friend and customer tested as friendly, clean, convenient, fairly priced and having some character. Ark16 is a houseboat owned by a friendly lady just a couple hundred meters from our Jordaan shop – highly recommended…
    ARK16Amsterdam B&B Flynt – bed and breakfast accommodation – Amsterdam guesthouse in the cultural heart of the cityAmsterdam Bed and Breakfast – central Amsterdam B&B the Business Class Way – The Flying PancakeHotel van Onna amsterdamTourist in Amsterdam Rent a Bike FredericTry to book immediately since it can be very difficult to find a room in Amsterdam.

    Looking forward to meeting you.

  8. Jeff R says:

    Very exciting! My wife and I were just in Paris and Amsterdam in April. We also spent a few days in the town of Bruges (it’s in Belgium) which is definitely worth the effort if you are flexible with your itinerary (we rode our bikes outside of Bruges for about 6 miles along side a canal – beautiful!)

    Amsterdam is a wonderful place to just wander. Boogaard’s B&B is excellent (http://www.boogaardsbnb.com/) . In the heart of the Jordaan and the breakfast is unreal. Peter is a terrific host and is very helpful with ideas. The Van Gogh museum is beautiful if you like art and The Anne Frank House is just an incredible experience. Season’s Restaurant (http://www.seasonsrestaurant.nl/?lang=en) is also in the Jordaan and I highly recommend it.

    I could spend days talking about Paris. The Rick Steves guidebook is really helpful. Of all the things I could say about Paris, go to Angelina on Rue du Rivoli (http://www.angelina-paris.fr/en/ – near the Louvre) for hot chocolate in the afternoon. And take a stroll down Rue Cler on your way to/from the Eiffel Tower. It’s a great little market street.

    Have a blast.

  9. Ladyenoki says:

    I went to Amsterdam in May and it was wonderful. We found a lovely apartment to rent via airbnb called Vondelpark Studio. The owner is super nice and it’s a whole furnished apt with a washer and computer and printer and free Internet a whole kitchen and fridge and a nice bathroom. He gives you everything you need, including two complimentary bicycles and free use of two sim cards! His name is Jasper and everyone only has good reviews of him. His place is right next to the vondelpark entrance on Overtoom and there’s a street car that passes by. Lots of cafes and a food store nearby. Tell him Margarita recommended him. He’s only a 15 min bike ride from the center of Amsterdam and his place and price is phenomenal.

    • Trisha says:

      That sounds great. We had a little difficulty finding somewhere to stay in Amsterdam because it’s the weekend of the marathon but ended up booking a house boat. I will definitely keep this in mind for future visits though!

  10. Will says:

    From Amsterdam you can take a very pleasant day-trip by bicycle to Haarlem where you can visit the Jopen brewery in a church, among other things. If you’re short on time it’s also a piece of cake to hop a train between the two cities.

  11. Bigbugpaul says:

    Get in touch with a local bike shop, group or club in Amsterdam I’m sure they would be happy to give you some great advice where to go and sights to visit,Happy Trails.. 

  12. Rebecca says:

    Ooh! In Amsterdam go to Cafe Winkel in the Jordaan for it’s famous appletart. Vondelpark and Westerpark (parks) are gorgeous places to chill. Go to a jenever bar. Go to Door 74, a “secret” bar, well, similar to Violet Hour here.

  13. Liz Almond says:

    Yay! I live in London, and it’s a great place to visit. Cycling here can be a bit crazy, but  the bike culture’s really taking over. You must visit Look Mum No Hands in Old Street – it’s a cafe/bar/bike shop and it’s great fun. Check out some of the farmers markets – Borough or Broadway Market are great places to eat and people-watch. And don’t miss a proper British pub! We make some of the best beer in the world, so head to The Southampton Arms (Kentish Town) or The Harp (Covent Garden) for a pint! Have a great time, and I’d be well up for a reader meetup if you plan one!

    • LGRAB says:

      We’ll keep you posted, Liz! Thanks for the suggestions, especially for the good pubs. There are so many in London, nice to have some personal recs. I love British beer. ~T

  14. maureen says:

    WOW – how exciting!!!  

  15. maureen says:

    WOW – how exciting!!!  

  16. May says:

    If you have the time I would suggest a visit to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.  I was there years ago and it was such a thrill to see the actual paintings and some of his lesser known works. 

  17. Gemma Piper says:

    First of apologies for the essay but hopefully you’ll get some ideas lol! I love Amsterdam (I would love to live there one day) and as cyclists and bike lovers I am sure you will too! I have never seen so many bikes in my life. There are so many places you should visit and it is such a beautiful & friendly city. If you have enough time for a day trip out of the city visit 
    Zaanse Schans with beautiful windmills and lovely museums. which you can get to by train or if you have enough time cycle to. You should also visit the Bloemenmarkt (a permanent floating market) where the surrounding shops sell souvenirs a lot cheaper then the main shopping areas. You can’t walk around very far without seeing the bright FEBO sign a fast food restaurant, where the majority of the food is in a sort of huge vending machine (so no queuing), and for a lovely sit down meal The Pancake Bakery is a must which sells all sorts of surprisingly filling savoury and sweet pancakes. This is located on Prinsengracht just down the road from the Anne Frank museum, another must see (go early or late to avoid the big queue though). Vondel Park is very pretty but even better in my eyes is Amsterdamsebos a massive park located on the outskirts but easy to cycle to with several lakes, cycling routes which makes for a lovely place to cycle and picnic. Also instead of taking a boat trip on the canals maybe hire out a canal bike (a pedalo), just don’t try crashing into the side of a boat at a junction like my husband & I nearly did lol. Definitely make the most of the fantastic cycle lane network, it is pretty amazing how far you can cycle without even realising it, especially as it is so flat. The little cycle roads are fabulous and their approach to cycling is so refreshing. Although cycling and walking is without doubt the best way to get around, if you plan to use a lot of public transport grabbing a three day ticket is in my opinion the best value. When I last went it was about 16 euros each and that included all all trams, buses and trains from our location in Amstelveen. Of course there are other multi-day tickets available as well.

    Although I’ve been to Paris a couple of times I can’t say I’m a huge fan, which is a shame as I worked and lived in the Loire valley for a short time and I love the country. I would say I probably feel this way because of my experiences with beggars. It made me feel rather uneasy especially when my path was blocked on the stairs up to the Sacre Coeur and I was surrounded by several men, though shouting out ‘LEAVE ME ALONE’ after they first ignored me made them clear off very quickly, however it was still rather intimidating and this was during the middle of the day in front of many people. Of all the places I’ve visited it’s where I have felt most vulnerable so keep your wits about you. Other than the well known tourist attractions and the many  patisseries and boulangeries, one of the best things I did was sit and people & traffic watch by the Arc de Triomphe. Still using the old french roundabout rules where you give way to traffic coming on, it is just crazy there.  The craziest thing I saw was a woman on her bicycle just cycle right to the middle and out without a care in the world and looking like she was completely oblivious to the craziness around her. Clearly one of the must eats while there is a nutella crepe. 
    Ideas for London include Camden market which is a must, Borough market by London bridge & the newly built Shard which is a fantastic food market. Hampton Court Palace which is located on the outskirts of the city but easily reachable by public transport. If you want to see a less traditional more modern clean side of London then Canary Wharf is the place with it’s many shops and tall buildings. I used to work there years ago and it really is a different side of London. For free places to visit there’s the Tate Modern, science museum, natural history museum & the British museum. If you have time for a day trip out the city, Canterbury (in my local county Kent) about an hour away on the high speed train is a lovely city steeped with history, river tours and lovely shops. Likewise even further afield are Oxford and Cambridge which are lovely cities too. Please note that public transport in London is fairly pricey compared to many others and it is definitely worth researching the best tickets for your stay. I would say cycle around London but in my opinion despite the fact many people do it, I think it’s pretty suicidal. Drivers here have no patience and often become hostile to cyclists, and lorries and buses are well known for accidentally knocking people off their bikes. Driving in London is a pretty aggressive activity. I’ve done it a couple of times and NEVER again & I wasn’t a nervous driver having been an estate agent. If you do plan to cycle I’d stick to cycle lanes off the roads.

    Anyway I hope you enjoy your trip, how long are you going for? 

  18. my hyggelig says:

    spend a day in Haarlem

    http://myhyggelig.blogspot.com/2008/04/dutch-style-bike-obsession-continues.html

    http://www.cafekoops.nl/http://www.franshalsmuseum.nl/home/?language=enand the first time I saw those funky baby seats for the front of a bicycle and skirt guards for sale?  a little bicycle shop not far fro the Frans Hals Museum.All those places are great.  Wander, have fun, relax, enjoy!

  19. Sibyllemclark says:

    Dottie,

    When you are riding the workcycles bicycles in Amsterdam please test out the fr8 against the gr8. There is no store that I see in Colorado that sells the gr8 and I am trying to figure out the differences between the 2 bicycles. I think the Fr 8 is the single most comfortable bicycle I have ever ridden but I am so curious about the gr 8! Have a great trip!

  20. Hannah says:

    Yay! Where abouts in Wales are you visiting? X

    • LGRAB says:

      I will be near Beaumaris…on the Isle of Anglesey. If you have any suggestions on what to see in North Wales, I’d love to hear them! Looking forward to visiting. ~T

      • Hannah says:

        There’s lots to do, it’s a beautiful part of the country you must visit Mount Snowdon and Beaumaris castle and if you can travel to the Welsh capitol, Cardiff, in the south. It’s where I live and a great city to visit! X

  21. Laura says:

    I am going to Amsterdam next month and taking my bike so I’ll keep my eyes peeled for some must see things :)

  22. Laura says:

    I am going to Amsterdam next month and taking my bike so I’ll keep my eyes peeled for some must see things :)

  23. Mish says:

    I’ve just found this site and love it. You’ve convinced me that a Pashley Princess is more than good enough for comumuting on (albeit slowly) where everyone has to,d me I’ll hate it.

    All I need todo now is check I can get it in the car (for days when I have to) and then shes mine! Now what to call her….

  24. Amsterdam is sooooooo amazing. The people are wonderful, the bike scene obviously rules, the food is kind of weird (sprinkles on toast for breakfast?!). Take a bicycle day trip to some of the villages, or bike to The Hague and stay there for a night!

  25. [...] as I mentioned a couple of months ago, Dottie and I will be traveling to London, Paris and Amsterdam together this fall. Last time we [...]

  26. [...] I’m heading to Europe, where I’ll meet Trisha to enjoy a whirlwind 10-day trip through London, Paris, Amsterdam, and a bit of [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43 other followers

%d bloggers like this: