Countries, Europe, Sport

My Sporting Weekend – Trouble Dutch

The news that Ajax have been denied a title because their league has become null and void shines a light on the Netherlands.

Is the future Oranje then for other leagues in Europe?

And will the same fate befall Celtic in Scotland, Liverpool in England, Juventus in Italy and Barcelona in Spain?

The Germans, where Bayern Munich lead the pack, are making tentative steps at getting their league back on.

Cleaning up with Ajax? No, not this time

But in the light of the decision by their neighbours, the Netherlands, we can only hope that the Germans see it through.

All of which news about Ajax will be welcomed heartily by their fiercest rivals Feyenoord of Rotterdam.

Watching football abroad is a way of getting under the skin of a country.

Which was what I wanted for my own star player when we went on our first holiday, to Amsterdam.

That man Robben: Dutch great Arjen Robben

And took her to the Netherlands v Greece international at the De Kuip Stadium.

With football, as with travel, getting there can be very much part of the experience.

And going by train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam with the orange-clad Dutch fans in their boiler suits and half-basketballs on their heads.

The train was bouncing and so was the stadium despite the hosts only scraping a 1-0 win.

I Amsterdammer: Herself

We had pea and ham soup and French Fries with mayonaisse. I sure know how to spoil a girl.

Of course I stepped it up when I ‘finally ‘made it’ and took Herself to Amsterdam with KLM Pictures of Amsterdam and

Where we stayed at George and Amal’s favourite Amsterdam hotel, the Dylan George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel and

George and Amal were here too

Being the accidental tourist that I am I haven’t always got to the game.

Or when I did, in Munich I got a bloody nose for my trouble…. My Sporting Weekend – German football leads way.

Only here for de beer: Munich

I still owe the Son and Heir a Roma match after turning up at the Olympic Stadium without my passport (be warned).

I was back under different circumstances at the end of my Via Francigena pilgrimage Small roads lead to Rome.

And if you want to get around the Eternal City without breaking the bank, here’s the trick… Rome on €50 and



Two lips from Amsterdam

Mwaah! Some couples have Venice, some Rome, others Paris… we have Amsterdam.

Amsterdam was the first holiday myself and the Scary One went on.

And we managed to survive a row in a lift.

Me getting a whitey in a brown cafe and cramp after a 25-mile bicycle ride.

Which incidentally should have been only 15 miles.

If a certain someone hadn’t taken the wrong fork in the road. It also caused me to slip on the pathway.

To make matters worse when we did get to Cheesetown, or Edam as it’s known to the locals, it was their half-day and the town was shut.

We had the pleasure to return to Amsterdam last year where we stayed in the Dylan Hotel.

A bit more upmarket than our billet on our first trip, and took a romantic trip down the canal.

We’d recommend that, the art galleries, the restaurants and the quirky museums.

Not least the Tulip Museum… While you should also make use of their city pass…

With all this in mind let me recommend The Dylan’s Tulip Valentine package.

And a word to the wise, George Clooney and Amal stay here when they are in Amsterdam…

You’ll spend two nights with B&B in a luxury double room (and unlike a lot of hotels you will want to spend time here).

You’ll have a chilled bottle of champagne and a bouquet of tulips in your room on arrival.

There will be a pre-dinner Valentine’s-themed cocktail in OCCO.

Followed by a set menu dinner at Michelin-starred restaurant Vinkeles.

And then also those tickets to the Tulip Museum…

The Dylan is all about personal service.

And you’ll also get a handwritten letter from the concierge.

With suggestions on how to make the most of your romantic getaway.

From intimate hidden away bars, and cosy restaurants.

To the best places to see the world’s best flowers (I have ice cream tulips just waiting to be planted in the Spring).

And the best boutiques (thanks for that… my credit card will take a hit!)

The Tulip Valentine’s package starts from €1695 and is based on two people sharing a room. Valid throughout February. Visit

Just promise me that you’ll check which is Edam’s half-day.