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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

PEARL'S ASHES: Chapter 18--Tulips of Keukenhof and Astonishing Amsterdam

My visit to the Netherlands began on a flight from Honolulu to Tokyo on 14 April 2012. I used miles in first class to take me on this first leg, where I spent two weeks on Japan Rail Pass.  Miles again in first from Tokyo to Amsterdam.  I spent four days in Holland, featured in:

Why Amsterdam?  Pearl always wanted to visit the tulips of Holland, and we never got there when the flowers were in bloom.  Unlike cherry blossoms, tulips stick around for more than two months, from the end of March into mid-May, with peak conditions in mid-April.

Keukenhof, about 20 miles away from Amsterdam, provides 7 million tulip blossoms, and I fortunately came at the absolute peak.    To the right is where I dropped off Pearl's Ashes #33.

I got to see those so-called black tulips here:

As you can determine, don't you think they are tinged with violet?  So, the black tulip has yet to be developed.

A few bits about the Netherlands from my posting about the country:

The Kingdom of the Netherlands means "nether" land, or lower land, which is why the country depends on dikes, like New Orleans, to survive.  Also called Holland, a more historic name, the people are Dutch because once upon a time the association was strong with Germany or the Deutsch. 

Why do I consider Amsterdam to be astonishing?
  • very liberal, from sex to drugs, providing a variety of sin options
  • coffee shops are where marijuana is smoked; they also serve coffee
  • smartshops are for magic truffles, which you bring back to your room
  • bicycles seem to have there right of way, even on sidewalks, with one fourth of all traffic deaths involving bikes
  • however, not sure what this really means, but there is only one chance in 20 million of dying as a pedestrian in this city
  • 50,000 bikes are stolen every year
  • while the city seems very safe, watch out for pickpockets, especially at the main train station
  • going Dutch means being thrifty, and tipping is nonexistent to low here
  • local transportation options are varied and cheap---a 3-day pass for everything costs around $10
  • not much of a car traffic problem in town
  • home of Ann Frank
  • museums are plentiful and world class, with much made of Van Gogh and Rembrandt
  • Honolulu has the Ala Wai Canal; Amsterdam has 70 miles of canals, 90 islands and 1500 bridges
  • at the age of 22 Gerard Heineken in 1863 hired a pupil of Louis Pasteur to isolate a strain of yeast which is today responsible for Heineken beer
  • I think this is where I dropped off Pearl's Ashes #34, at their zoo, to the right
The timing was eerie, but yesterday, my most popular posting was published almost seven years ago:


Shows that the world has a lot of people spending time on the world wide web, and due to the subject matter of their interest, link on to some of my older postings.

To the left is a painting by Miki de Goodaboom.  Not really representative of Amsterdam today, but this is her vision of those Biblical cities, and I like the color composition.

My flight from Amsterdam to Las Vegas, with all the backtracking and transfers, took just about 24 hours.  Spent time with my brother, went to an Elton John concert and had some great meals, including at Robuchon's.  Then, on to Nevada for a week on Kenji's Golf Safari.  I next found my way to Denver, where I participated in the World Renewable Energy Forum.  Through all this hopping around, I think I landed at the San Francisco Airport three times.  However, Pearl's Ashes #35, which took place in San Francisco, did not occur until the end of May 2012, when I returned for the Seasteading Conference.

Next Wednesday:  San Francisco.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average sneaked past it's all time high, up 66 to 21,641.

Hurricane Fernanda is weakening, and could well miss Hawaii as a tropical storm or depression:

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