Saturday, April 11, 2015


Both Solli and I are preternaturally late. Bear never. He got us to our 7:25 am Thalys train at Gare du Nord on time thank goodness. Always at track 8 or 9 by the way.

3 hours later. Voila! AMSTERDAM!

Off to our AirBnB in the Red Light district to dump our stuff and then explore and EAT LUNCH!

Amsterdam has not changed so much physically from the old days.

Yet it is a vibrant, energetic city with a town feeling and endlessly, breathtakingly beautiful.

I immediately fell in love with all reflections

In the canals.

Even on fabulously shiny doorways.

We never got to ride in a canal boat, though I'd love to paddleboat next trip.

We never got to the tulip fields, Keukehof. Too early. We heard everything blooming was inside the green houses.

We did get to the small, informative Tulip museum on Prinsengracht 220 right next to

The Cheese museum, more of a shop with plenty of tastes and fun.

We never got to eat waffles or pancakes!

Or sit in all the beautiful canal-side cafes. Next time.

How come everyone looks like

They stepped out of a Vermeer painting?

Everyone was delightful, helpful and friendly!

We did eat applecake on at least 3 occasions in 2 days. That big puff is whipped cream on top not meringue. These are from Patisserie Holtkamp, the best in Amsterdam we were told by the customers and I don't doubt it for an instant.

We did get to eat the BEST lunch of our lives at The Seafood Bar - a whole post to come.

We did visit the canal house museums (a must-do) like the Museum Van Loon - an exquisite look inside life of wealthy Amsterdamers of 300 years ago.

Back in the Red Light District the swans don't mind a bit and neither did we. Did we like Amsterdam? We LOVED it!
What to do in Amsterdam?
THANK YOU PBers for all of your terrific suggestions in the comments. You made it so easy. Basically you can be happy just wandering. Amsterdam is a lot like Venice, but alive, bustling and in some residential areas like Jordaan quiet, contemplative.
More Amsterdam posts to come!
More Amsterdam pictures on Flickr.


  1. JoAnne Stevens12:52 AM

    The Anne Frank house was very interesting but sad. Watch out for the cyclists, they have the right-of-way. I found that out the hard way. Staying in the Red Light district, naughty you! And beware of the "coffee houses".

    1. Why beware of the coffee houses?
      We had no time and I'm home now so nothing to beware of.

    2. Supposedly, they don't just sell coffee, but some drugs as well. Mind you, I've been in Amsterdam twice and not come across anything of the sort!

  2. Isn't it great that everything is within hours ?
    3 hrs
    My neighbor went last year and raved about it.
    You got some great shots!
    I watched an Anthony Bourdain in Amsterdam.. he showed the coffee houses etc..The Layover.

  3. Anonymous10:13 AM

    Chuffed to read you went to the van Loon museum ��.
    Next time you will know where to visit en where the touristtraps are.

  4. THANK YOU for your fabulous posts. I don't get to travel much so I armchair travel with you. I love your personality, your photos and watercolors. You are the best!

  5. Sounds like you and Solli..are fun together..a good match..

    1. We had so much fun and silly things happened to us ;))
      It was a delight to travel with her. She's a Pro traveler.

  6. Bonnie10:41 AM

    I look forward to your GORGEOUS blog every time I see it in my mailbox.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful "good morning" gift with us all.

    I am on my count down to Paris...only 146 more days!!!


  7. You have the eye. You are so aware of what is around you. The picture of the red cars and their reflections is lovely. You have certainly sold me on red. When Marilyn E. And I come to France in December maybe we should go to Amsterdam. Right now the plan is driving in the north and then Paris. So many choices. Your last year has been packed.

      Every bit as beautiful as Paris.
      Maybe more..

  8. Amsterdam looks beautiful.
    Your blog makes my heart sing...

  9. Wish I had known about the canal house museums before our trip to Amsterdam last May. Beyond the classic museums at Museumplein, we enjoyed visiting Begijnhof and Oude Kerk. Loved discovering the various parts of Vondelpark. And the bicycles everywhere!!! Only tulips we spotted in town were in the garden in front of the Rijksmuseum. No words can describe visiting Anne Frank House. Thank you for all your lovely posts!!!

  10. PS: We were also in Paris, and as we wandered around Ile St Louis I hoped to see you out and about. I did find Christophe on Rue Mouffetard! Score!!!

  11. Suzanne12:36 PM

    Thank you for the photo of the baton cafe. My friends live just down the street at 102 herengracht and I have had my morning coffee and pastries there about a hundred times at least.
    After Paris Amsterdam is my favorite place

  12. I too, love the reflections shown in your photos with all the canals!!! So beautiful. And of course, the comparison of the bakery and Vermeer painting are spot on! Looks like you had a fabulous trip!

  13. Lynne3:55 PM

    That Apple cake and the whole place looks like paradise

  14. Leslie in Oregon3:56 PM

    This is one of the best travel posts that I've ever read...very well done! Thank you, Leslie

  15. Next trip Don't Miss:
    you can even rent an apt there...
    amazing atmosphere & food

  16. Fantastic trip! Can't wait to hear more.

  17. Great photos as always!
    I love all of the reflections, too! The canals is what I always associate with Amsterdam (& the Red Light district!) & they look lovely.
    Can't wait to read about the Seafood Bar!

  18. *AMSTERDAM* is a wonderful, lovely city! Your pictures are so sweet :) Here are my impressions. Take a look :)

  19. so glad your trip was such a success, filled with "next times". Always the sign of a terrific time. Your photos are simply marvelous. The Flickr addition was incredible...and now I'll know to check there from time to time.

  20. Anonymous6:24 PM

    Carol - What a fabulous post! Delightful---we trust you and Bear enjoyed immensely.
    Patricia and Eric, Minneapolis, MN

  21. Loving your sweet Amsterdam cat! It really is the most remarkable city -- so easy with the language and so very beautiful. An artist's paradise, I think! Love those tulips!


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