Posts Tagged With: canal

Foot, wheels, trams and boats, lets take a look at Amsterdam!

I’m so thankful for all of my travels to The Netherlands and the years of personal accommodations from dear friends that I’ve met abroad. This round, we get the keys to our friends empty apartment to come and go as we please! I would say “priceless”, but if you’ve ever done research, its definitely not priceless to stay the night in this popular city. So, a very big thank you to sweet Ioni for her open door and gracious hospitality.

Now, let me show you the magnetic energy that keeps me returning to the wonder world of Amsterdam!

Care for a stroll? So does most of the other people here! If you’re not feeling up for a walk, there’s also plenty of options with wheels to get you around.

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Need to pick up the pace? Add a motor to the wheels! For those who don’t want to be in the drivers seat, you can always hop on a tram for only 2.80€ one way. (It’s the blue and white train looking object in a few of the shots below).

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Yep, it’s for real.

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For a guided excursion there’s a walking tour, or a comfy seat in the brightly covered busses with a knowledgable person behind a microphone. Love water? You can always coast throughout the canals of the city with a friendly captain explaining the sights that surround you.

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Now since we’ve covered some options of how you might get around, lets take a look at what you may see as you explore the daytime streets of Amsterdam.

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The “Hot Yoga Studio” made me giggle simply because I grew up in North America in which “40 degrees” is nearly freezing.

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This sign stopped us in our tracks with a bit of confusion. What is it? A preventive new design that allows authorities to track thieves by a synthetic DNA code.

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This is a lost and found station. If you find an item on the street or in a nearby cafe, you simply clip it up here with hopes that the rightful owner will come collect it. It also seems to be used as an easy way to advertise personal business or upcoming events. Today, I donated a sticker from the talented band Heritage. Side note, it was gone when I returned from a 30 minute walk… I’m thinking it was this happy fella who claimed to be lost and found!

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Handstand shot!

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Here are some creative pictures taken in this unique city using effects from my camera.

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The next post will include but not be limited to food, friends and a smidge of the the nightlife!

Categories: Art, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Farewell Santa Catalina, I’ve been adopted!

My final days at Cabanas Time Out leave me feeling sad to depart from my new friends but eager to explore other parts of Panama. I get asked often of “how” I decide where to go next or just how far do I plan ahead. My response varies quite a bit depending on the situation. With major flights or extended volunteer programs, I plan ahead. With small city transfers or hostel hopping, I usually find myself making the decision on the way to the bus stop. This week, I got a call during my stay in Santa Catalina. I repeat… I got a phone call! Imagine the look on my face when the reception says, “It’s for you”!

On the other end of the line was a kind woman with a gentle voice that said something to the affect of, “You don’t know me, but my good friend Debbie knows your mother in Florida and we heard that you were injured from a fall”. (This is true and not my brightest moment). “We live in Panama City and are here for you if you need anything like a place to recover or a ride to the airport”… Well hello there unexpected sweet angel!

This my friends, is how the next “plan” was made. I cut my time short in Santa Catalina and found out my new friends from the hotel were also heading to the city. So, off we go together as I get excited to meet my new Panamanian family!

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Upon arrival I was welcomed by a family that made me feel like I was the long lost sister, or some sort of guest celebrity. A neat feeling compared to the usual “one more backpacker” greeting that comes complimentary with each hostel. I don’t have a photo of the entire family so I snuck this adorable holiday picture to give you a visual of my hero’s.

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With time for some arts and crafts and a warm dinner, the girls and I connect before
I settle in to get a luxurious night sleep on a bed… with two pillows…. in an air-conditioned room… and no bugs!

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The morning brings school for the girls and who leaves for class without braids if Erika is around?
Can you tell by their facial expressions just how excited they are to be up at 6am on the last day before holiday break? Oh memories of dreadful alarm clocks.

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As the lovely ladies are off in school, I get the pleasure of joining Lia (mom) to the fresh local market. My favorite!

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The rules for this maze of fresh fruit and veggies:
#1. Pay $0.25 to enter.
#2. Enter at your own risk.

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What stood out to me about this street market is that it’s a drive, park and pay. You literally drive around (in any direction) and when you see something you want, you park (anywhere you want) pick and pay for your goods, then get back into your car and keep going.

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Driving around the city brings us to a few fun sights. This is a huge building that serves several sweet dishes and treats from milkshakes to layered cakes.

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Crossing the American Bridge with a great view for the canal too!

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Handstand shot at the Panama Canal!

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These funky wheels are everywhere!

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In order for me to blog, I had to find wifi and Lia knew just where to drop me off. Here is my view as I type away.

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As a “Thank you” I brought her family one of their favorite goodies from the cafe. It was a croissant styled crust stuffed with warm cream cheese and slightly sprinkled with crystalized sugar. The tea was for me and I love the yogi quote too!

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Returning home I find the girls with an abundance of energy and creative enthusiasm that stretches way beyond a few coloring books!

It starts with a little dress up…

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Sweet little Allison doesn’t know what to think of this beautiful disaster!

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Next comes the make-up…wait, what’s the blindfold for?!

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She liked to zoom in… A lot.

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Some final photos before bedtime. I love my life.

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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