Saturday, July 01, 2017

Impressions Of Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Sunny Amsterdam
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Boating on one of the smaller canals.
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Bicycles, hollyhock and three doors
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One of the small shopping streets in the center of town.
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Boat house maintenance
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Bikes, bikes everywhere
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Amsterdam's flower market
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More blooms
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Large Amaryllis bulbs
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and tulip bulbs, too
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The Rijksmuseum
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Guards protecting Rembrandt van Rijn's The Night Watch
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The Holy Family, Boxwood statue by Jan van Doorne
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Dolls house of Petronella Dunois, circa 1676. Untitled

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Replica of ships
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Day trip to Zaanse Schans
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Old windmills
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A family of swans in the Dutch countryside
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Rijsttafel at restaurant Blauw

Amsterdam is a delight and every time I visit, I fall in love with the City more.  What is there not to like?  Picturesque canals, beautiful old buildings, great museums, lots of small, cheap restaurants, and  caf├ęs everywhere.  Add to that the fact that almost everyone bicycles or takes public transportation, and you have an inner-city that has almost no more car traffic, which makes it incredibly walkable.
The Dutch are amazingly friendly and welcoming and all speak fluent English, which makes it so easy to find ones way around town.

My last visit to Amsterdam was quite a few years ago, when my kids were small.  Mr. Pardon Me and I had rented a houseboat in the Joordan section for a week and explored the city with both kids in tow.  This time,  my husband and I rented a lovely apartment near the Rijksmuseum and the Vondelpark.
We stayed five days, which was too short to explore everything the City has to offer, but just as in Oslo the week before, we gave it a good try.  We visited the Rijksmuseum twice, explored the
Stedelijk Museum, the Van Gogh Museum,  the Rembrand House, and saw a Banksy exhibit at the Moco Museum.

We visited several markets, including the flower market, which was my favorite by far.  Stalls and stalls of the freshest flowers for just a few Euros made me want to buy a bouquet of each.
In between, we walked for miles, admiring the old canal houses, the charming house boats, and dreaming of moving here.

One morning,  we got up early and took a bus out of town to Zaanse Schans to see several still-working windmills, which were beautiful, but since the place was over-run by hordes of tourists that were spilling out of huge bus tours, we did not stay long and made our way back into Amsterdam.

Both Mr. Pardon Me and I had been looking forward to eating Indonesian food during our visit and had checked out several restaurants that serve rijsttafel. Oh, it is so good! During our stay, we tried three different Indonesian places. Blauw was my favorite, but Kartika was excellent as well.  We also enjoyed a meal at Nooch, an Asian-fusion place that was quite good.
And with a glass of Prosecco and fresh draft beer at 4 Euros on average, we took full advantage.

Amsterdam is such a lively, happy place and its citizens truly enjoy an enviable quality of life.  Next time, I think we need to stay longer.

Our next stop is France and our family 's home in the Auvergne. Stay tuned.
And to all my friends back in Brooklyn, have a  wonderful long week-end.

When you arrive in Lyon, France and see a rainbow in the sky. How perfect is that?

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2 comments:

MrsSam said...

Greetings Katia,

The Netherlands look fabulous, love the rainbow pic! I await the next leg of "our" trip to France, especially to see the colors of the countryside and the markets!

Katia said...

Coming right up, Mrs. G. Busy with my garden here and with setting up the house for our first guests.