Wandering through Amsterdam


Saturday, September 9, 2017

The rain kept us home until after lunch, but when the sun finally peeked out we took a tram towards the museum district.  We had packed a picnic lunch so we sat in the sunshine near the Rijk Museum, people watching as we ate.  Seems like everyone was trying to get their photo taken on the ‘I am Amsterdam’ sign, but we passed right on by. I wasn’t sure I could manage to climb onto one of those letters.We wandered through the Rijk Museum gardens, admiring these great Dubuffet sculptures…before heading towards the Bloemenmarkt, or the Flower Market, which was our next stop. I couldn’t believe how many bulbs were for sale and some of them were absolutely enormous.   Right beside the Flower Market there were several cheese shops, which had samples for tasting. We tried several and they were all delicious so we bought a little pack  of several different cheeses for snacking later.I wasn’t joking when I said there are more bikes than cars. Here’s a view of the sidewalk near an intersection.  This is a normal sight, the sidewalks everywhere have rows and rows of bikes parked on them. Sometimes there is barely room to walk!
This is the view from one of the bridges over a canal. we are surprised at how long some of the houseboats are.  Most of the canals are lined with these houseboats, which are permanently parked and hooked up to water, sewer and electricity. Strangely, we never saw anyone actually on one of these houseboats.  Maybe they were hiding from all the tourists?We spent a couple pleasant hours walking up and down the side streets and canal streets, mostly just window shopping but we did pop into a shop or two, including this antique shop which was huge and packed with all sorts of interesting items.I couldn’t resist a photo into this shop, everything was piled all over. It was quite a jumbled mess.
Do you notice anything strange about this street of houses?

On our way towards the train station we stumbled upon Dam Square, a popular gathering place. There were people sitting, and walking everywhere, there were also cars, trams, horses and buggies, and little rickshaw vehicles being pulled by bikes, In other words, complete chaos! Sure was interesting people watching though.

This is the view looking back towards where we were sitting when I took the first photo from right beside the monument. Oh, and just a few more bikes.  Did I say they are parked everywhere?We decided to take a canal boat ride, so we spent an hour actually on the canals looking at all the buildings from another viewpoint. The tour also took us out into the harbour which was interesting.  It was just getting dark as our boat ride ended.We were both rather tired so we caught our tram home about 9:00 pm.

Amsterdam

Tuesday September 5, Wednesday September 6 andThursday September 7, 2017

We are excited to be beginning another extended holiday.  We left home on September 5th and arrived in Amsterdam on Wednesday September 6th.I love sunsets viewed from a plane window. This one was somewhere over northern Canada on our way to Reykjavík, Iceland, where we had a short layover before catching another plane for the second leg of our trip.The clouds look so amazing when seen from above.This photo is for my friend Pat who recently tried to ride on a Segway and didn’t care much for the experience.  Well these security officers absolutely flew around the Amsterdam airport, at least they did until one of them fell off his Segway in a rather loud crash!
Just a few of the bikes near one of the train stations where we found a taxi for the last leg of our journey. The taxi driver informed us that there are more bikes in Amsterdam than there are cars!
Thursday morning we heard a commotion outside our apartment and we were interested to see how construction materials are moved into the apartment next door, up and over the balcony.  This is also how people move furniture into their apartments when the stairs are too steep and narrow for anything but small items.
We went out for a walk this afternoon and these meringues in the window were enormous. I really can’t imagine eating one, they are so huge.The first canal we cross on our walk is the only one we saw that did not have houseboats lining both sides.This electric two passenger car is probably the tiniest car I have ever seen.They are so tiny that they are allowed to park on the sidewalk along with the bikes.We decided not to visit the Anne Frank House as we both remember it from our last visit to Amsterdam almost 40 years ago…and the lineups stretched over two blocks long. Take a look at the sign on the door.  Too funny..The main train station in downtown Amsterdam, which is currently under construction is where we arrived on our visit to Amsterdam so many years ago. We wondered if we would remember any of it, but we didn’t.  It is enormous, and includes both wings on either side of the construction area.  I couldn’t get it all into one photo and there is now a mall on the backside of the building with stores and restaurants.We caught a tram home as we were both a bit tired. My fitbit informed me that we had walked over 15,500 steps which is almost seven miles! This is the main street near our apartment.  These apartment buildings stretch block after block as far as we can see.Many of their doorways have decorative tiles on either side of the doors. I thought they were quite beautiful. We returned home to an email from Icelandic Air informing us that our flight home from Reykjavík has been cancelled!  I guess we need to sort that out tomorrow.  Travelling isn’t without its challenges, and it certainly isn’t boring.