Jeanne, Bob, Burt and I continued on to Amsterdam. We stayed in a nice small hotel on one of the canals, which encircle downtown Amsterdam.
The first morning we took a tour boat ride on the canals to get an idea of Amsterdam.
Along the canals are beautiful medieval buildings where one can observe how they move furniture in and out! They have hooks and a block and tackle on the exterior of the building that make it possible to get large articles in and out since the stairs are all narrow and circular which prevents moving anything of any size within the house.
The canals are spectacular and are woven throughout the downtown of Amsterdam,
There was a big ‘houseboat’ parked in one canal on which people were living. The atmosphere is kind of ‘wide open,’ apparently based on its history when, after its founding in 1200 when it wasn’t beholden to any feudal empire, it became a center for sea trade with the people turning quite capitalistic. Even today Amsterdam is quite a ‘liberal’ city!
Of course it is remembered for being the home of Anne Frank, the 15-year-old Jewish girl who left a diary about her days before she became another Holocaust victim. We were able to ascend the stairs to her hiding place in the attic of a Dutch family who tried to save the life of her and her family.
Our next stop was the Rijksmuseum to see its most revered painting, Rembrandt’s “Night
Watch.” Of course we also enjoyed the multitude of paintings by all of the Dutch Masters.
From there we went to see the Van Gogh Museum—wholly devoted to just Van Gogh!
We couldn’t resist buying a couple of prints to frame when we get home!
One day during lunch Burt was recalling how the proprietess in Bergen Op Zoom had said “One Beer!” so assertively, followed with “Two Beers.” While we were laughing about that, of course the waiter in this restaurant overheard him and brought a round of beers! Another big laugh!
By now it was time to visit the Amstel Brewery, which brews Heineken Beer. We were
guided through the big brewery until we got to the sampling room, where we had a very nice time interacting with other travelers and drinking an unlimited amount of good beer.
Stopping at the Van Dobben Kroketten for croquettes, plus a wonderful concert at the
Concertgebow, rounded out our sightseeing. At the concert, since we only bought tickets at the door we got some ‘overflow’ seats, which were directly behind the orchestra—probably seating for large choirs when they are needed. It gave us quite an interesting perspective on the orchestra.
What a beautiful city!