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Big Eater (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

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Bruges Including Ghent and Ostende (Landmark Visitor Guide)
Bruges Including Ghent and Ostende (Landmark Visitor Guide)
by Christopher Turner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.33

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A step back in time, before there were computers, 1 Jun 2011
I can't imagine what Mr. Turner was thinking when he devised this travel guide. It's larger than the more popular and useful guides like (Rough Guide, Lonely Planet or Time Out) making it difficult to stash in a pocket or bag, and the pages are so thick. This guides 128 pages are the equivalent to 194 pages of a Lonely Planet guide (for example).

The whole projects looks amateurish...with not very professional looking layouts. It seems to be pumped with a lot of extra space as well...to make it unnecessarily bigger too. Why? The book really smells of chemicals...strongly.

But perhaps the idea was to step back in time...when people had porters to carry your steamer trunks and smoking jackets. And Great Britain thought itself the greatest power on earth. The quaintness of this guide really is surprising. I'm not sure if Mr. Turner has heard of the internet yet as there is not one URL given for a hotel or museum. He is pretty careful to include fax numbers...but when did you last use a fax machine...in 1995? Perhaps he sees the internet as competition. I think Mr. Turner believes that only British tourists are the only English-speaking people who would want to buy his guide. After all is there anyone outside of GB of importance anyway? He lost his market before he lost his mind.

I think Mr. Turner got tired by the end of this endeavour for although he states that Ghent has more historic landmark buildings that any other city in Belgium he devotes a meagre 20 pages to it. I can't find anything about Ostende either. It isn't even in the index.

Stephen Fry gives a rather cryptic 'blurb' for this book, avoiding saying whether it was good or not or whether it belongs in the 21st century. But Stephen Fry is one of the most computer savvy writers there is...so why wasn't he cruel to be kind and clue in this author? And Remember Mr. Fry went to Belgium to kill himself...perhaps you'll do the same if you buy this guide.


Time Out Amsterdam 11th edition
Time Out Amsterdam 11th edition
by Time Out Guides Ltd
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.44

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good guide (from someone who lives in Amsterdam) but your picture editor let you down., 6 May 2011
This is a review of the 2011 edition. The other reviews for this book was made in 2008 and 2009...so clearly they're in the wrong place.

I think this guide is excellent...and I live in Amsterdam. It still has that open and positive style that really digs beyond the regular tourist traps.

The only quibbles I have with this book are the photos and captions. Most of the time they are fine but sometimes they don't exist; are too general; or are wrong or misleading. For example, the caption on the photo on page 121 says it's the Nederlands Scheepvaartmuseum when it is actually houses built in the Eastern Docklands. It doesn't say on page 111 that that it is a rendering of the new Rijksmuseum entrance. Which of the 5 hofjes listed and described on page 103 is pictured?

Worse, on page 58 there is a photo of Vermeer's very popular and iconic painting 'Girl with Pearl Earring' which is not even in Amsterdam (it's in The Hague's Mauritshuis) with the caption 'see page 60.' On page 60 there is nothing about the painting or where it can be viewed. Why not show an equally famous Vermeer painting that is actually in Amsterdam?

Also on page 60 there is a photo of Rembrandt's painting 'The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp' (which is also in The Hague and not in Amsterdam) but in the text on the same page someone recommends Rembrandt's painting 'The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Jan Deijman' which is in the Amsterdam Museum...so why not show a photo of this painting?

On page 54 there is a interesting photo of the very unusual red anaconda or python bridge that I would want visit after seeing that photo. But the caption reads 'Bridge at Eastern Docklands'. There are over 2,000 bridges in Amsterdam. This is a travel guide remember not a mystery novel. This pedestrian bridge is worth experiencing first-hand but the guide provides no information on this page of how to find it or what it is even called.

Page 49 shows a gorgeous example of Amsterdam School of architecture...but which building is this and where is it? I want to see it!

Page 224...is that a photo of the Tuschinski cinema or the Filmmuseum? It's the Tuschinski but you won't have me around to tell you that.

If photos in travel guides are there to tantalize the visitor to explore...then the guide should also provide the information on how to explore...or at least name what they're looking for.

There seems to be more advertisements in it, than the last edition I have.

Good maps...it seems more compact for carrying as well.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2012 6:14 PM GMT


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