Amsterdam — day two

From Saturday evening, these shots:

Two of my favorites one the Belvedere Competition on Saturday evening. I’m glad I was there. http://www.belvedere-competition.com


 

Monday morning now in Amsterdam.  We are up early today to make a full day, so I shall write in brief.

The ducks laze by on these canal waters, the water flowing generally northeast toward the Amstel canal that is just yards away.  We see the clearest, cleanest blue skies.  And today’s high temperature is forecast for 71°!

Sunday = church for me.  Starbucks (a convenient meeting point at Rembrandtplein, and I was ready for some iced tea).  Tram down to Museumplein for the Rijksmuseum (see previous post).  The line for the Van Gogh Museum was too long, so we shall go today.  We substituted the diamond museum instead, and  learned all about the various cuts and kinds of diamonds. Fascinating stuff.  Tram up to the Dam, where the skies opened up, so we nipped into a cafe for a drink.  By the time the rain cleared and we walked to the Anne Frank House, the wait to even purchase a ticket was well over an hour.  So tram back to the houseboat.

Dinner was nearby at Tujuh Maret Indonesian restaurant.  Neither of us have had Indonesian food before, so I had a sampler plate.  The spicy cooked cabbage was a big hit, as was the cabbage and carrot salad.  I treated myself to mango ice cream for dessert.

And then for me early to bed was the rule.

Today includes an early start at the Anne Frank House, where we hope to be early in line for the 9 a.m. opening.  And then Van Gogh Museum, pipe museum, an old lavish canal house. We’ll finish with a canal ride as we complete the use of our IAMsterdam passes.

Tomorrow = a day trip by Thalys, the high-speed train, to Antwerp, Belgium, just because we can.  This will add one more country to the itinerary too!  We depart Wednesday for a seven-hour journey to Berlin.

Rijksmuseum

Rembrandt. Van Gogh.

These are two solid reasons to visit the Rijksmuseum, one of the great art museums in the world.

We visited the sepcial collections models of ships, took lunch in the museum cafe, and did a 90-minute highlights tour.

This jerk just stepped in front of me today.In case anyone needs a reminder, never get in my way when I’m trying to view a Van Goch self-portrait:

And the real shots:

Churches and Rembrandt

On a very full Saturday, we made the most of our IAMsterdam card!

Early morning ham and cheese croissants.  A later breakfast at Cafe Luxembourg on the square across from the University of Amsterdam.  The City of Amsterdam Museum.  The Oude Kerk.  The Church in the Attic.  Rembrandt’s home.  Two stops for liquid refreshment in the heat of the summer.  And a walk home along the canals.

Tonight = the finals of the Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition, at the Dutch National Opera House.

11 p.m.

Tags

My day started 18 hours ago.

And at 11 p.m. here in Amsterdam, I am at peace.

The world has floated by today, in canal boats and rental boats and paddle boats. Even now, with the blue sky finally giving way to gray (for that is all the darker it shall be tonight), boats continue to motor down Prinsengracht canal, and I continue to wave, from the picture window of the houseboat, at the barely visible figures in the boats.

Life is so peaceful right now.

This is bliss and joy indeed.

Moon, 4.50 a.m.

Moon, 4.50 a.m.

Amsterdam — day one

It’s 7.45 p.m. Friday. Only 24 hours ago I was eating a quesadilla at Lambert in Saint Louis.  And I am now a world away.

After checking into our houseboat on Friday, we lunched at a pub around the corner and watched the world go by.

Taking a tram to the Dam, we toured the Royal Palace, then walked over to Westerkerk which had just closed.  More on-foot shenanigans ensued, in various parts of central Amsterdam, and then we took supper at an Italian place.

And by 7 p.m., we were back at the houseboat, staving off sleep and dog tired.  I will plan tomorrow’s visit with IAMsterdam card, and then think about sleep as the sun sets over Prinsengracht Canal.

5 a.m.

Tags

5 a.m., and couldn’t sleep any longer.  K is still asleep in his room, I think.  I am watching the sun rise and enjoying the ducks floating by on Prinsengracht.

So it’s July 4 here in Amsterdam, but not yet in the USA.  I read a little article this morning, and celebrated Independence Day by beginning my own day, on a houseboat in Amsterdam, with a little National Anthem action.

 

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