History, Life of adventure, Netherlands -Amsterdam, Travel

Amazing Amsterdam

30 March 2017

We had just completed our first ever three months housesit.  

We were ready to blow out a few cobwebs in creative and unique Amsterdam.

Firstly we needed to get there – we did so by train from Calais to Lille, where we changed trains for a direct one to Amsterdam.

What made this train especially enjoyable was the free WiFI and a high-speed one at that.  Thumbs up to a great start to our trip to Amsterdam.  Friendly train station staff directed us to the taxi stand, and with no further ado, we were heading towards our Airbnb.


Our Airbnb hosts, Martin & Smadar, were very welcoming as they ushered us through a small door [the squire had a concerned look on his face when walking through it!] down a long corridor into a patio area to a building behind the first initial building we entered.

The Jordaan District is an up-and-coming residential area in the middle of the city.  Effortless access to most things of interest.  This area was fascinating and far more diverse in design shops and cafes than the more touristy areas.  We enjoy areas frequented by the locals.  Best of all, it was a quiet haven to rest our weary bodies after a day wandering around this fascinating city.


We were staying down the road from the Anne Frank House, and every time we went past, there were literally 150 people or more in line waiting patiently or maybe not so patient.  Frankly [no pun intended], I would rather have my memories of reading the book about her life experience than being pushed and herded through something quite similar to a sheep getting drenched!.  As a teenager, I didn’t particularly like reading [as do most kids with a learning disability] until I was required to read “The Diary of Anne Frank” as part of the dreaded school curriculum.  This book was one I finished that at the time, made a significant impact on me.  Then and there, I realised the world doesn’t revolve around Whakatane, there is much more, and the travel seed was germinated.

Some people come to see the many tulips, cheese, red light district and windmill.  Others mainly get drunk, stoned or both while taking in the tulips, cheese, red light district and windmills.

For us, it was the city itself.  This city is accepting of people who want or are different from society’s conception of what is ‘normal’.  That is what I love most about this place.  Another big plus is that it’s a fantastic photographer’s dream as it is a picture postcard place to experience.  So we have changed our walking style from a stop, sniff and pee to just stop, position, click and capture for a small interval.

Amsterdam has over 75 museums; these range from cheese, handbags, and art, to name just a few.  We visited the Rijks Museum, and it was incredible.  We thought it was one of the best we have had the opportunity to visit.  I will write up another post about our visit at a later stage.  UPDATE:  Blog post on Rijksmuseum

FACTS: This city is more culturally diverse than any other international capital.  The canal houses are incredibly narrow because residents were once taxed on the width of their properties. Amsterdam has more canals than Venice, Italy, which has earned its reputation as the Amsterdam of the South.

The floating flower market – Bloemenmarkt – seeing so many tulips is a real treat as they are not so easy to grow in warmer climates where we usually reside in New Zealand.  It was too touristy for us, though it was lovely to experience the world’s only floating market.

We went to cafes when we weren’t walking and stopped to smell the flowers.  Let me first explain that in Amsterdam, there is a difference between coffeehouses and cafes as the first has some seeds and a particular type of weed for getting a different kick start to your day as opposed to Cafes that specialise in beans for that are enjoyable caffeine hit!  20170331_101846

One of many cafes, NOT coffeehouses, we frequented, one that stood out was Caffe il Momento, which included big black coffees accompanied by a recommended sweet pastry.  Sometimes it is beautiful when someone about to serve you picks up that you are having difficulty choosing from such a wide variety of goodies and suggests one for you.  With food and coffee, we decided to enjoy the morning sun on one of the many available outdoor seats.  It has been one of the most easily accessible cities for the squire to enjoy walking around, and we have been to a few!!  Well done, Amsterdam, for making many seats available to ponder what we experienced in your picturesque city.

This is basically how our time went while in Amsterdam.  We spent most of it wandering the many enthralling canal streets.

The weather was amazingly sunny and windless, and this city with a definite feel of a town is so comfortable and relaxing just to be out and about.  We walked and walked until it became apparent, even after many coffees, green teas and the last drink of the day, a refreshing beer, it was time to head back to the home base, our AirBnB room, as we were exhausted.

Amsterdam is still in the top 20 Happiest cities in the world.  Everyone seems more content riding bikes, though sometimes not so much for walkers, as I came very close to being knocked off my perch a few hundred times, so have eyes at the back of your head! And don’t have an attention span of a goldfish!.  Plus, the very liberal laws may be another reason for more happy days for the locals.

Happy is exactly how we left this city.

41 thoughts on “Amazing Amsterdam”

  1. I loved reading this Suz as we’re going to Amsterdam in June for a few days and then a cycling tour for a week. Great timing and so enjoyable too! I’ve pinned this and tweeted. Thanks so much for the straightforward info and fab photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m glad you got to experience this diverse and colorful city. The Rijksmuseum is indeed, very impressive, but I did like my visit to the Anne Frank Museum as well – it is always busy, but the timing means everything. It sure looks like you lucked out with the weather! Bikes are fine by me, except when they take over sidewalks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The weather was brilliant Liesbet, only had half a day of wet weather. Love bikes, I was just being a goldfish, too busy looking everywhere instead of where I was walking 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the Anne Frank Museum, and yes timing is everything!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous photos and I loved the flowers. I’ve never visited Amsterdam we just haven’t made the time when visiting Europe. Perhaps one day although I have enjoyed visiting through your post. Enjoy!
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lovely city and it feels v liberal but with Wilders the main oppo in parliament and forcing the government to be more right wing I do rather fear for Dutch liberal credentials. but a place to really to savour…

    Liked by 1 person

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