Just getting the hang of this blogging thing, hope to add pictures soon too. I renamed my previous post Harlem and this new one is Amsterdam since we’ve just visited yesterday. If you follow me you will get an email letting you know when I’ve posted a new blog.
We went into Amsterdam on Saturday by train, nice smooth ride that took only 45 min. and cost $45 Euros (about $60 Cdn) – so I guess it’s a Euro a minute! The other day we put $50 worth of gas in David’s car and it didn’t even fill it half full! Expensive here. We arrived in Amsterdam with hundreds of other people, there were not as many people in New York when I visited there a few years ago around this same time of year. And bikes! They have parking places for bikes that are 5 stories high, there are bikes everywhere and everyone of all ages ride them – fun!
First stop was The Anne Frank Museum. It was the actual place where Anne and her family and 5 others hid for 2 years before being discovered. Quite sobering to experience this, with all this evidence, how can anyone deny the Holocaust happened. Next we sat in The Dam Square for a quick lunch and enjoy the music of the many portable player piano machines, quite a racket! We visited the Rijksmuseum where the famous Rembrandt painting ‘The Night Watch’ is hung. Interesting to see the real thing, and the museum itself was a work of art. A former monastery, the architecture is amazing and the acoustics are phenomenal.
We went by the flower market where the stores are actually floating on the canal, store after store of Dutch tulip bulbs and cut flowers. We took a canal tour around the city, barely fitting under the hundreds of low bridges that criss cross the canals and connect the streets above. Many of the houses are built right on the edge of the canals and there are lots of house boats too. This goes on and on, this crowded hustle bustle of people, bikes, trams and cars all on the narrow brick roads, shops old and new, and all surrounded by waterways. Unique to say the least. The people are very friendly and always want to practice their English and offer directions. The Dutch are a tall and handsome people.
Today we went to church, it was really great. The spirit is the same anywhere in the world and we felt instantly connected to this body of worshippers. After church they offer great little sandwiches for very cheap in the lounge with free coffee and tea. A nice way to fellowship together after the service. Today was David and Janna’s 18th anniversary, so we took them out to eat to a very unique restaurant, a huge buffet with many different styles of food. I tried kangaroo meat which was very tender and 20 year old smoked ham which was delicious.