Wednesday, March 12, 2014

souvenirs amstellodamois

Last weekend, I met up with my friend Brian in Amsterdam.  He had thought that it would be interesting if we hung out there before he arrived in the Czech Republic the following week for work.  Having heard so much about the Dutch capital from just about everyone but never having gotten beyond Schiphol Airport, I jumped at this chance to satisfy my curiosity.

From the canals to the bridges to the architecture to the bikes to the Red Light District, visiting Amsterdam was an enchanting experience.  This was due in large part Lee, a young Dutch-Canadian woman and tour guide extraordinaire from the SANDEMANs New Europe company.  She gave a free tour of the city to the gathering of people that Brian and I had joined at the National Monument, taking us to several remarkable sites before we arrived at our destination, near the Anne Frank House.  It was a three-hour period very well spent.  In fact, we had enjoyed it so much that we decided without hesitating to accompany Lee on the Red Light District tour that she was leading that evening.  That was just as fun.  In all, we learned a lot and we saw a lot.  My own eyes were opened wider than usual, over and over again.

The icing on the cake was the weather.  It was gorgeous!  Just what one would hope for from spring.  Sunshine, a cool breeze, lively cafe terraces, and no rain.  Things got a little chilly in the evening though, but nothing dangerous.

The following are a few souvenirs from the trip.

At Korte Niezel + Oudezijds Voorburgwal with Sint-Nicolaasbasiliek in background

Near Grimburgwal + Oudezijds Voorburgwal

At Grimburgwal + Oudezijds Voorburgwal

At Torensluis + Singel

It's rouge all right, but where's the moulin?

Look! They serve top-notch coffee and offer free Wi-Fi!

You can try before you buy

At Herenstraat + Keizersgracht

At Rozengracht/Westermarkt + Prinsengracht

Stamppot mashed potatoes mixed with green cabbage, meatball, sausage, bacon

View from Café Kalkhoven

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