ABC’s of Amsterdam

This should probably be the ‘XYZ’s of Amsterdam’ as it’s the end of this four month leg in Europe.

Before anything, I want to say I am enjoying a flat city where everyone speaks beautiful English! Yes, it time to go home…

‘A’ is for ‘Amazing Art’.

Amsterdam is awash with museums. I chose the Rijksmuseum first as it is the ‘big one’. A beautiful building, with a bicycle path through the middle arches. You cannot get more Dutch than that!

The exhibits are amazing too. Just think of all the Dutch masters. This is Rembrandt’s large ‘Night Watch’

And Vermeer’s small ‘Milkmaid’

I was also fortunate to see the art light installations that go up for December. I took a special evening canal boat tour. I would have preferred an open boat for taking pictures, but it was only 7oC and I would have needed to travel to another dock by tram.

Projections on to white wall from booth where people are constantly changing them

Lights responded to noise in the water. People on our boat stomped their feet and the line almost went higher than the wall

Looking down seven bridges

‘B’ is for Bicycles. I’m sure the number of people = bikes. There are massive parking lots of them, they are chained to everything, and the riders are just pain dangerous.

‘B’ is for Beautiful Bulbs and Blooms. There is a street of floating shops along a canal that sell bulbs and flowers.

‘B’ is for Buildings. They are tall and skinny along the canals, but can be massive and sprawling.

Huge shopping centre with Moorish arches

‘B’ is for Boats and Bridges. My apartment overlooks the intersection of two canals, and I’m fascinated by the canal boat traffic. It is very busy, and often the boat turns and goes down the other canal. This means they stop, use thrusters to move the back end around to get them pointed in the right direction, and then go on again. And two seconds later, another boat goes zipping through. I understand they have a radio system, but it amazing because they are sitting ducks for a moment!

My windows are third building to the left, third set up. The building is as wide as my apartment!

‘C’ is for Canals. And a Challenging town to navigate as you can’t just cross anywhere you want.

There is also a whole river and port area. The name ‘Amsterdam’ came from ‘dam in the river Amstel’.

It is still strange to just see these huge buildings rising from the water. This is the National Maritime Museum and a replica of a Dutch sailing ship. The Dutch were great colonizers, along with the British, Spanish and Portuguese.

Indonesia was one country exploited, and their spices and dishes became popular here. That aside, I did want to try a ‘rijsttafel’ or rice table here. I had one years ago, and remember lots of small dishes of interesting things. Unfortunately they offer it for ‘two people’…the same curse as paella.

‘C’ is for Cheese.

‘C’ is for Cold. I’m also fighting a old, so really feeling the damp.

‘C’ is for Canada, where I’ll be tomorrow! Feels strange. But only for three weeks…

Merry Christmas and I’ll see you in the New Year from a new country!

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