AmsterdamMay 31 in the Netherlands
Arrived on a foggy morning ,still able to see the very tidy fields and farms at the end of the runway ,love the “order” that is Holland .Not long to taxi in to our Hotel, Bilderberg Garden, chosen to be in a lovely part of the city, leafy and near to huge Parks and gardens, Museums and very residential, everything is here and its not teaming with many..The Hotel, well not quite what the pictures portrayed, but spacious, with all we need ,quite a wait for our room as they were fully booked last night, its small ,just 3 floors. Wilted badly by room time, but rallied and sorted lots. Later walked on a warm ,sunny day to Vondel Park ,through the neighbourhoods of little cafes, shops, and bridges with flowers in pots ,across the water ways, and MANY bicycles ,the cycle lanes run adjacent to the roads ,beside the footpaths ,and the cyclists are at speed, strong, healthy people are the Dutch, bikes of every shape and creed with various attachments, most are very ordinary, no gears ,or fancy big tyres here ,this is tradition..some have large, varnished, attached ,small coffin like boxes for the children ,often more than one…its dangerous ,they go so fast and come from all angles, one has to be very alert.!
The Park is huge and we covered a small corner with a tranquil lake , birds, geese with families, and many doggies ,space to run with ears flying…Beautiful trees, so green and lush in the spring, surrounded by very old beautiful, brick mansions, so we detoured back into the neighbourhood of these huge homes, with the high hooks to lift to upper floors, built from the 1600’s til the 1800’s and more, the gardens are so pretty just now, and its unique and lovely… They have tried to restore bees to the city, as they decline in the world, spray not happening ,wild flowers planted and things left a little unattended looking ,now the flowers are past,but now there are 61 different species of the bees, doing very well ,it has worked so well..
We had organic juices and healthy veggies chips and things ,as we strolled along…Much more to enjoy tomorrow, and weary we are now…
How exciting to have a link to Junes new BLOG, exciting for me to be a follower on their journey..
Thursday..Dinner last evening outdoors in a nice setting ,accompanied by a CAT ,a resident of the area, he comes in for attention, a Black and White number, rather lean, and so friendly…but woke from his rest on a nice chair, at the smell of a tray of Prochetta ..delivered to the next table, and…hopped up for a sample…the guests just smiled and assisted him down, regulars I think…! We had a burger configuration with Truffle mayonnaise ,and asparagus ,delectable crunchy potatoes…beautiful. Our Hotel small that it is has a famous restaurant, with a Michelin Star chef ,Stefan van Sprang…we will try that at some stage…Later we thought a quick walk around the block , which of course resulted in much more it’s so ,so pretty, you just want to go on.. and a warm evening brought out lots of cyclists …large park like green spaces ,all down the centre of the roads ,with statues of various kinds ,everyone out at the Cafes, StreetSide… found a small supermarket for water and strawberries… so almost dark when we came back..! Much sleep needed and so we had many hours…!
This morning, breakfast here ,with different and nice things like a soft yoghurt like “ fruit cheese”, boiled eggs as in all Dutch Breakfasts, beautiful brown bread, cold meats ,cheese and much more and then the usual breakfast things we have..
Off on a mission for a Bank, humm, Bank said a resident shopkeeper, no Banks are a thing of the past around here.. internet is the way, so a tiny money machine, in a little leafy square, sticky and ants about, gave us what we wanted from our Travel Card…it all worked like magic…always in another language is interesting…! Then rain began, so we came back for umbrellas our destination The Museum Square, we walked for a distance everything interesting and different ,Café at the Opera House for re positioning, Sam is learning mode on the Maps on Phone, phew they have been a challenge for the older user..but the Children on reception have advice…!! The Museums are many and amazing, long cues and some only available on line, so we saw Van Gough, with a changing video, from the outside and some I rather liked..then Banksie has a little one which is special, I rather liked his statues and things..
Over a large expanse the Rijksmuseum ,huge and amazing , one of the most outstanding , we were able to walk under that, into the narrow back streets of Old Amsterdam…most I loved the gardens, around Rijks , not huge but maze like in parts, some huge trees, reflection pond, and beautiful Busts in the Hornbeam hedges, a fountain that people stood in, the centre of whilst it displayed…All food for the soul and much of it…Thunder clouds gathering , so we came back a different way ,just followed our instincts…quicker and better than Google maps, though we had a quick check at one stage…..3 Hours solid walking ,and we do like Amsterdam..Read more