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Away to Amsterdam

September 18, 2015

It’s been dreary in Amsterdam since we arrived, thus I’ve had no good photos to share with my initial impressions. But the sun broke through just in time for cocktail hour today, and the forecast is for sun most of tomorrow, so fingers crossed.

My friend Joanna and I are renting an apartment in the Plantage neighborhood, just east of the Canal District. It’s a great location, near the U of A, with lots of cafés, bakeries and shops. Just around the corner is Amsterdam’s 400 year-old zoo, where we had lunch right after we arrived on Wednesday.

The apartment has two bedrooms and everything we need for a comfortable stay — and unlike most rentals here, there are no narrow stairs to climb. We made Wednesday a light day, just walking to orient ourselves to the city.

Thursday was museum day. We scuttled through the pouring rain to catch the tram to the Rijksmuseum, where we spent a couple of hours with Rembrandt and his contemporaries, notably Vermeer, Jan Steen and deHooch.

Rijksmuseum      Rijksmuseum Stained Glass

The Van Gogh Museum is a couple of blocks from the Rijks, so that was our next stop. Despite having Museumkaarts, which give you expedited entry into dozens of museums, even the special line was pretty slow, so we randomly ducked into a charming café across the street for a bite of lunch and respite from the rain first. What a find!  At Blushing



I had a unique Kinky Quinoa Salad: quinoa, avocado, tuna, arugula sunflower seeds, feta and basil dressing; while Jo had smoked salmon, cream cheese, avocado and capers on toasted dark bread. The rosé we washed it down with was good too!

Krazy Quinoa


Thus fortified, we tackled the line at the VG again — another fine museum that gives you the chance to see Vincent’s work up close and personal. Too bad success — artistic and personal — eluded him in life and he died so young.

Back on the tram we found our way to the flower market, though by this time many of the shops were beginning to close, so we’ll swing by another day. Souvenir outlets lined the opposite side of the street, but we found a few cheese shops offering samples and noshed our way through. As we strolled through the neighborhood, we passed numerous examples of row houses equipped with big hooks attached to the peak. Since the houses are tall and narrow, these elaborate hooks are used for moving furniture in and out, and are distinctive architectural details.

Rowhouses                   House with Hook

The Hook

Cocktail hour brought us to Café de Paris to see the sun slipping down, promising a better weather day on Friday.

Canal Near Flower Market    Sunset on the City


One Comment
  1. Marlo Quick permalink

    Once again, I am happy to be tagging along. Your photos and descriptions combine to give this virtual tour such an authentic and personal touch. Your lunch looked delicious but I am quite taken with Joanna’s. I look forward to Friday’s adventures in touring and eating!

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