Friday, May 31, 2013

Amsterdam - a walk around our neighbourhood

We arrived in Amsterdam a couple of days ago after a brief flight from Leeds Bradford Airport. Schipol Airport is huge and it takes ages for the plane to taxi from the runway to the terminals where you can get off the plane. I was beginning to think taxi time was going to exceed flight time.

Andre was there to meet us and he and Corrine made us feel very welcome. Next morning they flew off to New York. It was somewhat gloomy and so we only went out to do some supermarket shopping.

Today was beautiful so we decided to go for a walk.

Since this is Amsterdam, you need a photo of flowers to get you started.

This is the building where we are staying. Yes, the walls slope outwards. It's about ten years old.

Communal bins for rubbish and recycling.

There is water everywhere in this area so here are some house boats.

It seems that most of the buildings are apartments. It's a good location since it is relatively close in and has a good tram service.

Most of the streets have a separate section for bicycles and you see lots of people riding their bicycles, often with a rack or basket in front for carrying things.

Outdoor cafe with people enjoying the sun.

A good proportion of the locals appear to be Moslem. Many of the women wear a head scarf.

No, you don't see women wandering around wearing dresses like these.

Interesting balconies.

Most of the cars are quite small but this makes even a Smart car look large. There are quite a few of these running around.

A small football pitch with a fence at each end to stop the ball going to far.

I was impressed with how quiet and relaxed everybody seemed to be. Perhaps it was the good weather that made everybody feel mellow.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 11 - Reeth to Richmond

Today would be the last day of the first part of the walk. I would meet Marianne and her friend Catherine today at the Cobbles Cafe in Richmond, stay at Catherine's place just outside Ripon and then fly to Amsterdam tomorrow.

The map of today's route is here.

The B and B.

It was raining lightly as I started off so I wore rain pants. The orange umbrella made an appearance.

Mostly it was pleasant walking despite the rain. Some of the path was a bit muddy.

The rain became heavier so I put away the new camera and used the old camera.

There were quite a few walkers that eventually split into two groups. I was walking fine in the sandals so I joined the lead group. Two of the women in the group I had met at dinner in Keld so it was like we were old friends.

The legless nurse. The gap in the wall was so narrow that this nurse simply raised her legs up to get over the gap. The gap was so narrow that I thought my knee would not fir through. I raised it up a little and it squeezed through.

Going up the Nuns Steps that lead from the village of Marrick to the nearby Marrick Priory. There are supposedly 375 steps but really it is a pathway laid with stones. The Nuns built it which would have been and enormous effort. It's a little slippery when wet.

Wild garlic growing beside the Nun's Steps. I wondered if they planted it to ward off the devil as they walked to and from the village.

Near the bottom of the steps, the flowers were in bloom. Towards the top of the steps there were just buds. The smell was quite strong.

There are a few little collections of houses along the way, some for sale.

Now that is a pair of horns.

We were up on top of the hills now. Fortunately the rain was stopping and it was not too windy. It was actually quite exhilarating to walk across this green meadow.

A couple of derelict Land Rovers.

I glimpsed this viaduct but have no idea how big it is or what the purpose of it was.

Taking off rain gear across for the topiary garden.

We were vastly amused by the brown cow that was rubbing its backside against the black cow. True friendship.

Yet another fence crossing.

After getting picked up in Richmond, Catherine drove back to Reeth on the road in the valley. I could see quite a few landmarks that I had walked past including this mountain.

They call this kind of exposed cliff a scar.

As pretty a view as any I have seen on the entire walk. It would have been even better with sunshine.

Lunch stop. The others sat down but I continued to stand since I knew I would just stiffen up if I sat down for a while. There was only about an hour's walk to go.

For a while you walk through a wood on the way down into Richmond. It was quite pleasant strolling along and gives you a felling of what the hill sides would have been like before all the trees on the hill sides were cleared.

An expanse of gorse in bloom.

Richmond in the distance.

The stones had been reclaimed and were being used to build yet another extension to this McMansion.

The outskirts of Richmond. It had been a comparatively easy walk but I was glad to think I could soon rest my weary legs. A three week break in Amsterdam hopefully will give my legs a chance to recover.

The American nurses. Numerous group photos were taken. Just after we started off again to walk into the town, Marianne and Catherine appeared in the car. They had already picked up my bag in Reeth. I said farewell to the group and we drove off into the center of Richmond.

There was a fun fair in the central square.

Cobbles Cafe.

Out table upstairs by the window.

The pub across the road.

Lunch. It was delicious.