Amsterdam Lion Attack

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

When in Amsterdam remember the Lion is the national symbol. Recently a Dutch family was touring the Amsterdam Zoo, the Artis. With family camcorder in hand and in front of the Lion pavilion they viewed the hunter instinct of the King of the Jungle.

                                                                     warning: violence

The Netherlands is a delta country at the end of three of Europe's big rivers, the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt. The Dutch landscape is a paradise for birds. Migratory birds spend their winter in Africa and then breed in the woods of the Netherlands with the bountiful number of insects in the wetlands.

Zoo staff say that Lion's killing birds happens a lot because their are so many birds in the Netherlands(AT5). The below youtube clip is from 2008 when another bird was taken by Amsterdam's lion pride and filmed.

Amsterdam Zoo is the 6th oldest in Europe opening in 1838. It was nick-named Noah's Arc as it had hundreds of species on a small amount of land. This sounds tormenting now but in the 1800's this was a sceptical.

In other Amsterdam zoo related news staff announced a gorilla was born over the weekend.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

Amsterdam Book Shop Rated Best in the World

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

When in Amsterdam has always marvelled at the number of book shops walking and touring around Amsterdam. In a time of digital media with print media and information delivery changing it is comforting to see the book shops still open and smelling of old and new books.

Recently the website Flavorwire released their '20 Most Beautiful Bookshops of the world'. Amsterdam was represented with the American Book Center, or ABC as it is commonly  referred to by locals. Favorwire is run by Flavopill an organisation that 'covers cultural events, arts, books, music and world news'. For many English speakers ABC is a home away from home.

Ground Floor of ABC
photo taken from

The American Book Center is only one of many independent bookshops in Amsterdam. Established in 1972 by two Americans it is today one of the largest independent book shops in the Netherlands. They are family owned and fiercely independent.The owner compares the book shop to a piece of bamboo, strong but flexible.

In a time when bookshops are closing due to the digital age ABC is well worth a visit for any book lover on a trip to Amsterdam.

Many people see Amsterdam's Coffeeshops (places to buy hash and marijana) as a symbol of the city's liberalism. There are more bookshops in Amsterdam than Coffeeshops and it the books that really demonstrate Amsterdam's and the Netherlands' liberal history.

During the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th Century Amsterdam and Holland were a beacon of free thinking. The lack of censorship allowed books to be published in the country that others thought inappropriate for their own countries. Many of the Enlightenment Philosophers such as Descartes and Rousseau visited Amsterdam many times. Amsterdam too produced Spinoza who was famous for his work on Ethics and how to find happiness.

In the 1930s many German writers that the Nazis had exiled came to Amsterdam to write and or publish their books. Bertolt Brecht, the play write, is the most famous.

In 2008 Amsterdam was recognised for it's history of literature and was the World Book Capital. Announced by the United Nations cultural organ UNESCO. 2012 World Book capital is is Yerevan, Armenia.

When in Amsterdam...marvel at the bookshops as a sign of free thinking and liberalism!

Amsterdam tax haven for Facebook

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

When in Amsterdam was surprised to find Facebook has an office in Amsterdam. We took a walking tour of Amsterdam to visit the building at 282 Herengracht and found there was no one there. Nor a listing at reception.

282 Herengracht (photo taken from wikipedia)

Reports by De Pers suggest that the post box listing is to reduce tax payments. There is a law in the Netherlands that allows companies to bring money into the country if it is from royalties, interest or dividends for minimal tax. Rock band such as U2 and the Rolling Stones have used this law also the National Radio reports.

An account in England's Sunday Times describe a web of companies established in low taxing countries all over the world. With Facebook due to go public on the stock exchange billions of dollars are expected to fill the Facebook accounts.

The founder of Facebook March Zuckerberg has always said that his social media enterprise was not about making money but to helping people. The nasty side effect, money, now needs to be addressed... and pay as little tax as possible.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

Europa League: Ajax v Manchester United in Amsterdam

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

When in Amsterdam is quietly nervous ahead of tonight's game Ajax Amsterdam versus Manchester United.

One of the biggest Amsterdam football matches of the year is due to kick off latter today. Ajax plays Manchester United in the first of two matches for the Europe in the knock-out round of 32.

Ajax Amsterdam has been experiencing problems on and off the field in 2012. Losses to arch-rival Feyenoord and ladder leaders have left the home side in 6th place in the Dutch League.

Management argument and court cases have also dominated Dutch headlines with some saying the Ajax brand has been diminished by the bitter infighting.

Manchester United is in form. With a 2-1 victory over Liverpool and striker Wayne Rooney scoring 10 goals over his last 9 games the Red Devils will be favourites going into the game. Veteran player Ryan Giggs will be rested for the game but with a star studded line up it will be difficult for Ajax to win.

Irregardless of recent results Ajax will be playing for pride. Amsterdam fans are a hardened lot and they will be looking for their team to show that they are no push overs at home.

picture taken from

(taken from Mirror Football)
* Excluding qualifiers, Ajax have failed to score in six of their last eight matches in Europe.
* The Amsterdam side have won just one of their last 10 meetings with English sides in Europe (excluding qualifiers) - and that came in 1980 at home to Nottingham Forest.
* On the only previous occasion these two sides were drawn together in Europe, in the 1976-77 UEFA Cup, Ajax won the first leg 1-0, before losing 2-0 at Old Trafford.
* Manchester United have now scored in 12 successive European matches.
* United have won five of their last seven matches against Dutch teams (W5 D1 L1).
* Ajax attempted more headed shots than any other side in the Champions League group stages (20).
* Ajax have lost three of their last four home games in all competitions.
* After a run of seven clean sheets out of eight on the road, United have now gone five away games in all competitions without one and have conceded more than one goal in four of those five games.
* The UEFA Cup/Europa League is the only competition Manchester United have played in under Sir Alex Ferguson and not won at least one game. Their only appearance during Ferguson's reign was in 1995, when they went out in the first round on away goals after 0-0 and 2-2 draws with Russian side Rotor Volgograd.

When in Amsterdam ....enjoy!

Madonna announces new Amsterdam concert 2012

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

When in Amsterdam was surprised by the amount of attention our blog on Madonna's 2012 world tour received.

Her Amsterdam concert went on sale over the weekend and was an immediate sell out. Madonna's shows in Berlin, Amsterdam and New York were the first to sell out.

Due to the high demand the Material Girl has announced another concert in Amsterdam. July 8 2012 will be the second concert. Tickets for this event go on sale Friday 17 February. Be sure to get in fast. For details on where to get your tickets and where the concert is to be held visit our previous blog on the issue.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

Bomb scare at Amsterdam Airport as Underwear Bomber to be Sentenced

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

When in Amsterdam was on the way to the airport to pick up transiting customers who had booked a private tour of Amsterdam when Europe's 4th largest Airport was closed for a few hours on Monday. Two terminals were evacuation while military police and bomb detection units moved through the airport.

Youtube taken from

It is being reported that a 40 year old man, a Russian citizen has been detained. He was found locked in the toilets shouting that he had an explosive device. After being detained no bomb was found and he posed no further problems for authorities.

The bomb scare at Amsterdam's Schiphol caused delays to hundreds of flights.Amsterdam airport is one of the largest in Europe and a major transportation hub. Some argue that the 700euro fine for causing such a disturbance is not large enough to be a deterrence.

Security had been improved since 2009 after the underwear bomber incident on a flight between Amsterdam and Detroit. Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab smuggled liquid explosives in his underwear on a flight to America. He has pleaded guilty to trying to blow up the Northwest flight and now faces a sentence of life imprisonment.

photo taken from

Umar's sentence is to be handed down on Thursday. He will be the last terror suspect to go through a  civilian justice process as all new terror suspects will be placed before a military tribunal after President Obama signed the new law late 2011. No link has been found between the underwear bomber and toilet bomb threat.

Unfortunately we had to cancel the tour for the transiting customers.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

Madonna's Amsterdam Concert 2012

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Madonna 1984 'Like a virgin'.
Image taken from
When in Amsterdam has by popular request, from one staff member in particular, is letting everyone know about  Madonna's Amsterdam visit in 2012.

For those of you that saw the Super Bowl half time show the Diva seems to have lost none of her performance punch. According to some it seems that experience and time have increased Madonna's abilities. She is currently 54 years old.

The World Tour dates were announced earlier this week. Madonna is visiting Amsterdam on 7 July as part of her 26 cities European leg of her World Tour.

The Venue is to be the Ziggo Dome that is located near the home of the famous Ajax football team, the Areana.

The interesting thing about he Ziggo Dome is that the multi-purpose stadium has not even been built. It is due to open latter this year to host music concerts and sporting events. The Ziggo Dome is anticipated to have a capacity of 15,600. Pear Jam, the American rock band, is also due to play there is July for two shows on their European Tour.

Tickets for Madonna's concert in Amsterdam go on sale Saturday 11 February. Viagogo has been named as the official secondary ticket seller for the European leg of the tour.

When In Amsterdam....Enjoy!

Amsterdam Winter Finally Arrives: Good and Bad

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

When in Amsterdam has finally got the extra winter gear out.

This week Amsterdam and most of Europe was covered in a thick layer of snow. Record low temperatures were experienced.

The bad thing about the recent cold snap has been delays in transport. Trains from The Hague to Amsterdam were delayed by 4 hours or cancelled on Friday. Many flights were also delayed or cancelled out of Amsterdam Airport.

The good thing about the big chill is that the canals in Amsterdam have frozen over. A rare event over the last decade in the nation's capital. Omy Amsterdam Walking tours have managed to take a route rarely travelled, on frozen water! Our guide took this wonderful photo below of people enjoying the frozen canals.

The Dutch cultural tradition of ice skating has finally been practised. People of all ages have taken to the ice in this most Dutch of winter past times.

The Dutch have always excelled at skating and especially long distance ice skating.

The famous 11 city ice skating marathon is being considered. Conducted over a maze of canals in the northern Province of Friesland this 200 kilometre event attracts tens of thousands of participants. The event was last held in 1997 and before that in 1986. The race committee announced that if the east wind and cold temperatures continue through the week it could be held over the weekend or next week if mother nature agrees. Watch a documentary done in Dutch by the National Radio of the 1985 race.

Private walking tours have still continued, a testament to our enthusiastic guides who will take people out no matter what the weather.

Get out and enjoy the winter weather.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!