Sometimes it’s cold. Hailing. Wet. Cloudy. And then sometimes we get lucky with nothing but sun. Yep, that makes us smile, smiles like these two. No gloves or hats even. That’s what being on your bike does — makes you smile.
Wieger and Anne Marie love to go out for dinner, visit art galleries, and look for nice boutique hotels or B&B’s for their next city trip. So why not turn their passion into their work? That’s what they did, they started their own B&B in a typical Amsterdam house in the popular neighbourhood De Pijp. It is called Ollies Bed and Breakfast. The breakfast is lovely, they have cool photography in the rooms and they made their own mini-guide of the city so that their guests can enjoy Amsterdam as much as they do.
Food and Art
Wieger and Anne Marie love art. The museum district is only a 5 minute walk from their B&B. Wieger: “The Rijksmuseum is really a must see, both for the art and for the cool designed building. It is amazingly done.” Anne Marie: “But we actually prefer to visit art galleries and especially photography galleries. In weekends we love to walk around de Spiegelkwartier. We always pay a visit to Jaski Art Gallery and the Yellow Korner.” The Spiegelkwartier has been the heart of the art and antiques trade for the past 80 years with over 70 specialised art and antique dealers.
Their other hobby is to go out for dinner. Anne Marie: “We love restaurant Sent just across the street. It is a small and lovely place where they cook with a Green Egg. But we have so many other favourites like Vis aan de Schelde [Close to RAI. “Michelin-star quality food, and a very relaxed atmosphere”], Toscanini in the Jordaan [a very popular Italian place, so make sure to make a reservation], ‘French-bistro-style’ restaurant Rijsel in a side street of the Amstel, fine dining at Fyra just off Vijzelgracht and Bar Americano [along the Amstel, where you can eat Italian food and stay till late at night for drinks at the bar].”
What to do in Amsterdam
Wieger calls himself an Amsterdamophile: “Amsterdam is the best city to live in. The size is perfect, everything is walking distance. And after living here for almost fifteen years, I still enjoy the beauty of the city.” Anne Marie: “There is always something nice to do in Amsterdam; concerts, expositions, new pop-up stores opening and there are many festivals. I am not that much into electronic music festivals but I love food and art festivals like De Rollende Keukens in the Westerpark, the Food Soul Festival and the Affordable Art Fair in Amsterdam-Noord. For shopping I recommend the 9 Straatjes and the Pijp. Just a few minutes’ walk from our B&B you have the Gerard Doustraat. Since a few years a lot of nice stores have opened there. It is becoming very trendy.”
Bikes and Boats
“The best way to see Amsterdam is by bike or boat”, says Wieger. “My favourite cycling spots are the Vondelpark, the old canals and the cycle path under the Rijksmuseum.” Anne Marie: “On sunny days we take a boat, bring some food and drinks, friends and nice music and sail through the canals.” They would both recommend tourists to rent a bike and go through the city like locals do. Wieger: “I think it is recommendable for tourists to plan their cycling trip a bit before they start cycling. Cycling can be quite hectic. But there are nice routes and neighbourhoods like the Jordaan are great to discover by bike.”
Ollie’s Bed and Breakfast
Ollie’s Bed and Breakfast has got three rooms. Anne Marie and Wieger live on the first and second floor and the rooms are on the third and fourth floor of a typical ‘de Pijp’ building with steep stairs in a cosy street. “Working together is going really well. We have a good division of tasks but we also work a lot together,” says Anne Marie. Wieger: “We have the same taste of style and paid a lot of attention to detail when furbishing the room. We would love to have guests over who share our taste for interior design and our love for photography.”
I spent last weekend in London visiting my sister. I already reported on this city in my previous trip.
Apart from cycling around a city, the second best way to discover one is to take the bus. Especially in London with the classic red double-decker bus. Just climb on the second level and enjoy the view from this point. Then you get to see stuff like this. All was just perfect. Like this guy. His pose. The yellow lines on the street. The house. And his look. I could not help thinking of Super Mario Bros with the colours of his outfit and such a moustache! Movember is over right?!
This time, we mainly stayed in East London. I was amazed by the number of single speed/fixie and racing bikes. Here are some instagrammed pics:
In Broadway market
In Hackney, the cool bike shop Hackney cycles
Further on, still in the neighboorhood of Hackney, a cyclist in woodcutter shirt
For Valentine’s Day, London made a city-wide art installation, with 14 eye-catching red #HeartsOfLondon cycle stands across the city. Hackney-based artist Graham McLoughlin collaborated with Cyclehoop, an award-winning company specialising in bicycle parking solutions, in a bid to raise awareness for the British Heart Foundation.
- REPORTAGE BY AUDE -
The other day I was riding down Vijzelstraat towards the city centre. As I was approaching the Prinsengracht (a one-way and precisely here), I slowed down, looked for on-coming cars and bikes from the left and right… and kept riding.
Yes, I knowingly rode through a red light. In Amsterdam. The capital of red-light-running. I know, that doesn’t make it ok.
A police car followed me, pulled me over, and proceeded to lecture me about how it’s unsafe, especially “because a police car was parked at the intersection.”
And then he actually asked me if he could give me a fine of €97. I had already argued my side by saying I felt safe, so I didn’t argue further. But could I have said no? I wonder.
So watch out Amsterdammers. They’re out to get ya!
Beijing-based website OVIEW360 contacted us. This fancy Chinese online magazine freshly started in 2014. They provide detailed coverage of European Architecture, Interior, Industry design, Building products, and Travel & Life Style to Chinese viewers. Although there are many such websites in Europe, OVIEW360 is almost the only one in China!
OVIEW360’s European editor, Fanpei, wrote a great article on “Dutch Bike Culture” in their “Travel & Life Style” section, see here:
关于Amsterdam Cycle Chic：起源于丹麦首都哥本哈根的自行车文化。2007年记者，电影导演兼摄影师的Mikael Colville－Anderson以博客形式发表了哥本哈根人们使用自行车的照片，他的博客启发了全球自行车运动，展示给世界骑自行车可以是非常时尚的并成为日常生活中的一部分。Amsterdamcyclechic 既是全球自行车运动的一部分。
Well, I am telling you the article is great, not that I speak chinese, I trust Fanpei who confirmed me the translation was as follow:
“It’s a common site to see citizens traversing the city with panniers fully loaded, a child on the back, and the cyclist grasping anything from a framed artwork to a bouquet of flowers. Likewise, more and more visitors to Amsterdam want to experience the freedom afforded by a life on two wheels. It’s for good reason! Cycling is the easiest way to get around and see the city. Amsterdam is home to approximately 880,000 bicycles, which is slightly more than the population of the city itself. (original text from Iam amsterdam, translated and edited by oview360)”
They asked us permission to use some of our pictures. They have choosen themselves and picked some of our last instant classics:
Here is the link to the article for the full collection of pictures.
Buenos Aires is becoming more and more a cycling city. We love it, and we love to be involved in events promoting cycling in the Argentine capital. This year we were part of the jury of a photography competition organised by I Bike ABC and Motivarte. The theme of the competition was “The bicyle in the urban lanscape” and the jury (consisting of our team member Aude, Mikael Colville-Andersen from Copenhagen Cycle Chic, Else Siemerink, founder of Buenos Aires Cycle Chic, Silvia Rottenberg from NIBA, and Jonas Papier from Photography School Motivarte) had a tough time choosing a winner. But they managed, and these are the winning pictures:
Amsterdam Cycle Chic has worked before with I Bike ABC. In 2012 a selection of our pictures were printed in large sizes and shown around Buenos Aires to promote cycling.
Keep up the Bici Love Buenos Aires!
I Bike ABC
I Bike ABC is an organisation in Buenos Aires that organises events to promote cycling in the Argentine capital. ABC stands for Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen. I Bike ABC is an inititiave of the Danish and Dutch embassies in Buenos Aires and NIBA (Netherlands Institute in Buenos Aires).
The title says it all, and for the ones that are too Dutch to get it: WOODEN SHOES! And wood on the bike luggage rack..looks like Dutch countryside in the middle of the city!
No matter the weather, the handyman knows that if he is called upon, he can’t call off. So off he goes!