Europe Journey 2015
Felt relieved to step on the ground in Amsterdam thirty–two hours after leaving home in Australia. Collected our car. Not as daunting driving on the other side of the road this time but took a lot of concentration nonetheless.
Staying in the cutest farmhouse with chickens roaming free and livestock grazing on the lush grass. Riding is the preferred mode of transport so I immediately jumped on a bike and started peddling off down the road before I could talk myself out of it. Everyday I want to do something I wouldn’t normally do.
Rode over to Zaanse Schans, a small historical village with windmills, barns and houses built in the typical Dutch wooden architectural style. Apart from a few near misses of walking tourists and a couple of wobbly moments on the edge of the road I managed the bike well.
Travelled by local train to Amsterdam city centre, one of the prettiest cities I’ve seen. Traditional narrow fronted Dutch houses line streets of beautiful tree-lined canals for as far as the eye can see. Contrary to popular belief a marijuana smoke haze doesn’t permeate the whole city but occasionally wafts in the air. Although not knowledgeable art appreciators we enjoyed visiting the Rijks Museum with originals by Dutch artists including Rembrandt and Van Gogh. Missed seeing Anne Frank’s house because the wait time for tickets was four hours.
Woke to the sound of heavy rain on the roof. Took a drive to Edam and walked along the famous dike of Volendam. Had a relaxing lunch at Lands End overlooking the vast North sea. It truly feels like the edge of the earth.
Heavy rain continued on our last day in Amsterdam. Took the train back to the city for more sightseeing. Walked through Red Light District, although I think it’s degrading to women. Prostitution has a long tradition of tolerance in Amsterdam. Scantily clad women looking like Barbie Dolls in boxes, stand in red-lit windows along narrow streets for customers to browse. Plenty of sex shops, peep shows, brothels and a sex museum. I’d never walk through this district at night when it is most populated.
Walked to Dam Square and saw Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk. Strolled the endless city streets admiring quaint laneways with cafes and shops. Ate Dutch profiteroles while watching the people go by at the flower market. Enjoyed dinner at La Storia.
We loved our brief visit to Amsterdam; it is a beautiful and fascinating city with lovely green fields only 20 minutes out of the city. Love the housing style and architecture. Adored staying in our little farmhouse and will treasure fond memories for years to come.