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Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2019 European Adventure with TPR

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 1:58 pm
by A.J.
Hooray for Barry! You did great!

Fenix is excellent. Even having never been to Toverland before, I could tell how well their transformation was going. Dwervelwind kicks butt as well.

Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2019 European Adventure with TPR

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:06 pm
by Nrthwnd
Great tour of Toverland! So much, in several years, added to that park. Thanks for sharing it all.
And that Merlin's Plate looked great. It looks like it would definitely be enough for myself, with all that bread.

And of course................ "TROY!" :smile: (I rode it nearly 10 times, when TPR was there in 2008)

Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2019 European Adventure with TPR

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:58 pm
by cfc
I'm not a big fan of Wing coasters, but I did like Fenix--the best of the bunch. And I agree about the theming. Toverland did an excellent job with Fenix and the boat ride under it.

Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2019 European Adventure with TPR

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 1:55 am
by DBru
Was this the most fun day of my life? Quite possibly. Others' experiences may vary...

That Mack spinner is absolute insanity. More please.

daniel trampoline.jpg

Not pictured: when I came down, Kristen flew into the sky and was never seen again. It was very sad.

Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2019 European Adventure with TPR

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:38 pm
by The Great Zo
A.J. wrote:Hooray for Barry! You did great!

Barry finished that ropes course off like a champ! And anyone even brave enough to attempt it -- with half the rest of the group watching -- deserves a tip of the hat.

DBru wrote:That Mack spinner is absolute insanity. More please.

Please! These should be everywhere! Why are there only two in North America?

DBru wrote:Not pictured: when I came down, Kristen flew into the sky and was never seen again. It was very sad.

This caption is far superior to whatever I came up with. :lmao:

Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2019 European Adventure with TPR

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:24 pm
by Blue Turbo
Loving this TR as always! I really enjoy places with giant play areas (like City Museum) where you get to make your own fun, so Toverland is definitely high on my list of places I need to get to someday.

Re: Photo TR: Andy's 2019 European Adventure with TPR

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:46 pm
by SharkTums
DBru wrote:Was this the most fun day of my life? Quite possibly. Others' experiences may vary...

That Mack spinner is absolute insanity. More please.

daniel trampoline.jpg

Not pictured: when I came down, Kristen flew into the sky and was never seen again. It was very sad.

Such a great picture! KT eventually came down a few days later in Poland!

Four Days in Amsterdam -- pt 1 / pt 2

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 7:37 pm
by The Great Zo
Day Whatever: Amsterdam-dam-dam-dam

After we departed Toverland on the afternoon of July 20th, we got back to Amsterdam early enough to head into the city for the evening. I certainly wasn't going to waste an opportunity to get out and see some stuff while I'm in Europe.

But this trip report isn't just going to cover the evening of July 20, 2019. Between the 2016 and 2019 TPR trips, this was actually my fourth chance to head into Amsterdam for some sightseeing. So, this seems like the best spot in the TR to shoehorn in all four visits to Amsterdam.

I do really like Amsterdam, though it's not my favorite of the big European cities I've visited. I definitely enjoyed it a bit more once I got away from the big crowds in the city's touristy central area, and focused in on some of the things I like to see when I'm traveling. If you liked some of the early pages of this TR, you'll like this one too. If not, well, there will be more coaster photos next time around.

We'll start all the way back at...

Saturday, June 18, 2016
Amsterdam: Part 1

Our 2016 trip had just finished up a visit to Efteling, and we headed north to Amsterdam, staying at the same Courtyard Marriott as we did on the 2019 trip. We had a free afternoon/evening, and most (if not all) of the group went into Amsterdam.

This was far from my favorite visit to Amsterdam, but it got some of the touristy stuff out of the way.

Background: the Courtyard Marriott, TPR's official hotel in Amsterdam.

Foreground: one of the trains heading through the station. We hopped on one of the metro lines and went north into the city.

We went to Dam Square, the main public square in Amsterdam. It was crowded.

We went to the Amsterdam Dungeon, a Merlin attraction that is one-part haunt, one-part performance art, one-part mirror maze, one-part historical lesson. I didn't hate it, but this isn't really my thing.

Walked down to the Bloemenmarkt, the very touristy set of flower shops on one of the canals.

Tulip bulbs? Wooden shoes? Buy up all your little Amsterdam trinkets.

Or, buy this. Because if there's one thing Amsterdam's good at merchandising -- maybe even more so than tulips -- it's weed.

At this point I wasn't exactly loving my time in Amsterdam, but that was all about to change pretty quickly.

See, this here is the first fresh Stroopwafel I ever had in my life -- though we'd been introduced to the packaged variety by TPR veteran E.B. a couple days earlier.

Needless to say, this was a game-changer.

Stroopwafels are the Netherlands' finest creation.

Walked on down to another touristy spot -- the Magere Brug on the Amstel River.

It's one of those classic-looking old bascule bridges you see around the Netherlands -- including in my previous trip report from Leiden. For whatever reason, the Magere Brug is one of Amsterdam's most famous bridges.

We walked through a bunch more streets that kind of looked like this. Bars after bars after coffee shops after coffee shops. Combined with the gloomy weather, it wasn't really what I wanted to see.

We finished off the trip with a canal boat ride.

Look closely at the orange boat on the left for a funny.

Ah yes, this is how I want to see Amsterdam -- through the smudged glass of a packed boat.

Thankfully, we got seats on the boat's back deck, which was open-air. Here's a view as we departed the main canal boat dock by Amsterdam's Central Station. Won't be the last time this building shows up in the TR.

We cruised the canals, we crossed under some cool bridges, and I took a lot of horrible photographs in the fading light of the evening.

Let's move on.

Sunday, June 19, 2016
Amsterdam: Part 2

The next day on the 2016 trip, we went to Walibi Holland, and had a lot of fun filming on Goliath, Lost Gravity, and Robin Hood. Well, maybe not so much fun on that last one. Robin Hood was pretty rough. I wonder if they'd ever consider...

...but anyway, we left the park in the mid afternoon, with enough time to head back into the city for a few hours. This time, I went on a solo venture, and decided to check out some new destinations.

Opposite view from the first picture of the last segment! This one is from the Courtyard hotel, looking down at the train station.

This funky building behind the station is Het Zandkasteel -- formerly the headquarters of ING, the big financial company.

Dutch architecture is cool.

Now in the city, here's another neat building -- the Scheepvaarthuis.

It has nothing to do with sheep -- Scheepvaarthuis translates to "Shipping House." It's about 100 years old, and a classic example of the Amsterdam School of architecture.

The view of the front of the central station, and yet another boat in the canal. This time, I'd be headed elsewhere.

I walked around to the back side of the central station, looking across the IJ.

"IJ" is the name of the body of water. In Dutch, "IJ" is a digraph, which means both letters behave as a single letter.

Now you know!

Across the IJ is the A'DAM Toren. It's really the only tall building on the north side of the IJ.

On top of the A'DAM Toren? A giant open-air observation deck.

Guess where I'm headed?

To get there, I walked over to the back side of the central station, under the big arched ceiling.

Hmm, why are some of the panels colored in? You'll see soon.

It's easy to get across the IJ -- just hop on one of these ferry boats.

To the best of my knowledge, this was a free ferry. If not, then I stole a ride. Sorry, Amsterdam.

In an earlier TR segment, I mentioned how you'd see peoples' cars parked on top of their boats as they sailed around the Benelux. Here's a great example of that.

Also, big touristy letters. A must for the instagrammy folks out there.


Some people are all about taking risks.

As for me, I've got my sights set a little higher.

Inside the A'DAM Toren, there's a neat little scale model of the city -- with its concentric array of canals.

Riding up the elevator shaft to the top!

...but if this is actually a picture of riding /down/ the elevator shaft, I bet no one will ever know...

Standing atop the A'DAM Toren. The platform is about 80 meters high.

It was not very busy.

The entire top of the A'DAM Toren is fenced in, which is tough for photography. They had just one camera hole on each side -- that was fine for three of the sides, but some dude was doing a time lapse or something on the side facing the city, and I had to get by with trying to get the lens positioned just right to avoid the fencing.

Anyway, on to the views. Here's a look east along the IJ.

This is where the ferry lets off near the A'DAM Toren.

Remember those colored panels on the ceiling of the central station? It spells out Amsterdam!

This is exciting.

To be honest, you're a little far from the core of the city to see a whole lot.

Off in the distance, this is Zuidas -- a quickly developing modern business district a couple miles south of downtown Amsterdam. It's sort of like a smaller version of La Défense in Paris.

You can get a look at some of the taller buildings in the center of Amsterdam.

The one with the green top is one of the city's most important -- the Royal Palace of Amsterdam (Koninklijk Paleis van Amsterdam).

This funky looking green building caught my eye. I might just have to check it out in 2019...

Further views from the A'DAM Toren include more water, more boats, and more cool buildings.

Looking west along the IJ. The North Sea is out there somewhere.

It's not as big of a port as near Rotterdam, but it's still a pretty busy shipping area.

BOTEL. It's a boat, and it's a hotel. I get it.

Even further off in the distance, a plane lands at Schiphol.

I waited a while up there to see if the sun would break through and improve some of these gloomy aerial views, but that didn't happen until /after/ I got back down to ground level, because of course.

So, let's head back down to the dumb touristy letters.

Along the IJ, people fish.

And then the sun does come out, illuminating the mix of buildings along the water.

It's really quite the mix of old and new -- perhaps this picture tells the story the best.

I don't think I've ever seen this many bikes in one place.

One last look across the water at the A'DAM Toren. The building to its left is the EYE Film Institute museum.

We're back in central Amsterdam, but this time, I headed a few blocks west of the touristy center of the city, where things were much quieter and much more to my liking.

I sought out this very understated landmark near one of the bridges -- it's the engraved white thing near the center of the photo.

This is the last remaining original benchmark placed by order of Lord Mayor of Amsterdam Johannes Hudde in 1683. It's essentially the standard by which elevation is measured in the Netherlands. In short, this benchmark shows sea level -- which the canals in Amsterdam are well below.

I continued walking south, enjoying the view of the canals, and passing the Anne Frank House -- which had a line at least an entire city block long to get in.

The setting sun hit this arch bridge just right.

A look up at the large church known as Westerkerk. That's a pretty tall tower. Might have to climb it someday.

Near the Westerkerk is the Homomonument.

In the words of the monument:

"Commemorates all women and men ever oppressed and persecuted because of their homosexuality. Supports the international lesbian and gay movement in their struggle against contempt, discrimination, and oppression. Demonstrates that we are not alone. Calls for permanent vigilance."

The monument is, in part, a triangle built out over the water of one of the canals.

It was heavily adorned, and for a very particular reason.

This visit was on June 19, 2016. Exactly one week prior was the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

The candles, flowers, and notes were a sign of support and solidarity -- from the Dutch (and their visitors) to those affected by the awful situation in Florida.

As I continued southward, I noted just how close these cars are parked to the edge of the canal.

The moon rises as the light begins to fade...

I passed by the Rijksmuseum -- the Dutch national history and art museum, said to be the city's most visited.

Actually, I passed /under/ the Rijksmuseum, because a walking / bike path cuts right through the center of it.

Oh look, more touristy letters at the Rijksmuseum.

This picture is for all the TPR members who won't go to Holiday World because they don't serve alcohol.

A pleasant evening scene on the waters of Amsterdam.

After a long walk, I found my way back to the Amsterdam Metro.

Well, I guess I'll take the stairs.

Back at the Bijlmer ArenA station at the end of the night.

Heading down...

...and back up to the hotel. That's it for 2016, but there's more to come.

Four Days in Amsterdam -- pt 3

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 7:37 pm
by The Great Zo
Thursday, July 18, 2019
Amsterdam: Part 3

OK, now back in the 2019 timeline, Part 3 is actually going to jump a couple days before where we left off -- to right before we went to Efteling. Our official meet-up to leave for Efteling was in the early afternoon, which provided a few hours in the morning to either catch up on sleep ... or go out and be tourists.

Sleep is for the weak. Let's get out and see the city.

And we'll start with something quite a bit different.

Four Days in Amsterdam -- pt 4

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2020 7:37 pm
by The Great Zo
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Amsterdam: Part 4

My last trip report segment ended with our departure from Toverland, as we narrowly escaped some thunderstorms. With the weather all cleared up, we got back to Amsterdam in the late afternoon, with an opportunity for one more trip into the city.

This time, I wasn't going to be wandering aimlessly. I had two places to go, both of which were planned out as high priorities before the trip had even begun.

We'll start, as usual, at the central station.