November in Amsterdam, December in Paris

I arrived in Amsterdam last Monday, November 10th at an AirBNB listing – the cool thing about AirBNB is the verification process the hosts much go through and the reviews posted by people who have stayed with that host. My Amsterdam home through December 9th is a room in a second floor apartment to the west of downtown Amsterdam (a 10 minute trolley ride).

I’ve posted some pictures below with descriptions of the places I’ve stayed so far. This posting is a work in progress. I’ll add more over the next few days 🙂

AMSTERDAM: Here I am (the blue dot 🙂 in Amsterdam, two blocks away from the Metrostation de Vlughtlaan. You can also see the map-pin to the south marking Paris, where I will be staying in a room at another AirBNB from December 9th to January 8th.

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SOUTHAMPTON, UK: The Queen Mary 2 arrived in Southampton, UK on October 4th. I traveled by train from there to London.

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WALTHAMSTOW, LONDON: I spent my first week in London at an AirBNB in Walthamstow, in a second story room in a row-house in northeast London. I don’t know if “row-house” is the right description. Both sides of the street have two-story, zero-lot-line houses, ending up with a continuous building with only a few places in each block where there may be a 6 foot opening between the homes.

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YHA HOSTEL – EARL’S COURT, LONDON: The 2nd and 3rd weeks, I was in a 6 person male dormitory in the Earl’s Court Hostel in central London.

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YHA HOSTEL – THE EDEN PROJECT NEAR SAINT AUSTELL, UK: The 4th week, I stayed in a shipping container newly remodeled into a private hostel lodging right on the grounds of The Eden Project.

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BROUGHTON FARM – NEAR BANBURY, UK: The 5th week, I stayed at the friend of the family’s farm on the estate of an english lord complete with castle and moat. Among other farm chores, I helped herd sheep, feed the animals, and gather dozens of eggs; as well as participating in a monthly farm workshop for disabled adults.

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STENA SUPERFERRY – HARWICH, UK TO HOOK OF HOLLAND, THE NETHERLANDS: My lodging and travel on November 9th and 10th was combined in a trains/ferry package offering transportation from London to anywhere in The Netherlands along with a comfortable cabin for spending the night on the ferry. I traveled by train from Banbury to Harwich, boarded the ferry, and then took trains from the Hook of Holland (near Rotterdam) to Amsterdam on Monday, November 10th.

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AMSTERDAM: Much of the city is below sea level. There is an elaborate system of canals running throughout the city. The dutch people built the city over the course of many years by draining coastal lowlands and marshes into the canals, filling between with wooden timbers and sand as foundations for their homes along the canals. The water in the canals is “flushed” periodically draining the stagnant water and replacing it with fresh water.

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