ABBA Magazine

A few months ago I was asked to write a couple of articles for the magazine of the International ABBA Fan Club. A copy of the magazine arrived in the mail this week, and so I thought I’d share them here both for general interest, and as an online archive. ABBA DAY REPORT “If you’re […]

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From Amsterdam to Reykjavik

I wasn’t entirely sure why the train trip from Amsterdam to Copenhagen would take fifteen hours. Leaving at 7.00pm on Sunday night and arriving at 10.00am Monday seemed like an awfully slow train. I booked it because it was the easiest, cheapest way for me to get from Amsterdam to Copenhagen. Yes, I know I […]

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Five Hours in Amsterdam

“Would you like to join us for karaoke?’ the young woman standing nearby asked me. As I looked at the list of available songs (all of which were in Dutch) there was one which caught my eye, “Tulpen uit Amsterdam”. With a slight twinkle in my eye, I looked at her and said, “I’ll give […]

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The Dutch Train System – Part Two

The only two words of the Dutch language I know are “alstublieft” and “bedankt” (please and thankyou). So the following translation of the accompanying hand-written note is only a guestimation on my part. The bearer of this note is obviously a complete idiot. In 2008 he came to the Netherlands and got completely lost on […]

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Public Transport

I’ve had some amazing experiences with public transport over the last few months. I’ve been to modern cities. I’ve been to old cities. I’ve been to highly developed western economics. I’ve been to emerging former communist states. I’ve been to “super cities” in Asia. And guess what they all had? An integrated, effective public transport […]

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Independent Traveller’s Advice

With some time to kill at Hong Kong airport, I’ve decided to make a list of all the things I’ve learned which may help other potential independent travellers. The knowledge I’ve gained is from the perspective of being a forty-two year old single man who wanted to travel around Europe simply and cheaply. I went […]

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Hello from Berlin

After an early evening nap, I headed back to the Amstel Tavern last night. The same barman from the other night was there again, and after chatting for a while I found out he was actually Scottish. You would never know from his accent he was from Aberdeen. I though he was Dutch who had […]

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The Dutch Train System

I knew the woman at the train station information desk could see the heart-break in my eyes as I approached. I explained to her that, for whatever reason, I’d taken the wrong train, or had failed to get off the right train or something like that, and that’s how I ended up in Leiden (thirty […]

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Lovin’ Amsterdam

“You should join the queues early”, I was advised by both Marco and Peter. And they were right: the museum queues in Amsterdam are extraordinarily long. Once inside the Van Gogh Museum, I was amazed, first of all, at how many people there were. And secondly, I was amazed at how many people weren’t actually […]

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More Great Dutch Hospitality

Having made the decision to go looking for some better accommodation this morning, I figured I’d make use of the free breakfast before I left. I won’t begin to tell you the revulsion I felt in seeing people use their fingers to separate the cheese slices in the absence of knives and forks. The coffee […]

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