Sunday, April 12, 2015

Amsterdam

Over Easter we took a short flight to visit Amsterdam.  It never ceases to amaze me that we can leave our apartment in the morning and be in another country in time for lunch.

That poor guy.
Here is the place we stayed: on a houseboat!


I never considered staying on a boat until I saw that as a search option on HomeAway.com.  It's basically an old iron boat converted to a 2-bedroom apartment, and it was right in the main canal close to the Opera house.



That afternoon we took a boat tour around the city to get an overview of the place and learned some about the history and architecture of the city.


The next morning the kids opened their gifts from the Easter Bunny, and then we took the tram to the museum area.


Rijksmuseum garden (photo by Steve)


I was so excited to see the Van Gogh museum, and in preparation we bought postcards of various paintings to use as a scavenger hunt for the kids.  But the lines to get in wrapped around the building (even for city card holders) and we made the tough decision that the kids would be better off doing something else.  So we stopped for a playground and a fresh stroopwafel: two thin waffles with caramel syrup in between.


Next we checked out the NEMO Science Center, which the kids absolutely enjoyed.

Chain reaction demonstration



The rest of the day we walked all over town, just poking around and enjoying the sunshine.  I never get tired of taking pictures of canals and Amsterdam is incredible in that way, like Venice.


All the tall, narrow, old houses reminded us of our neighborhood in Old New Castle, Delaware (where the oldest house in town is Dutch and another is named Amstel House).


The tranquil, medieval Begijnhof Courtyard


Bridge of 15 Bridges
Dancing houses
We stopped by Van Stapele bakery for their signature cookies: white-chocolate-studded chocolate dough stuffed with a piece of white chocolate.  Incredible!  I shall spend the rest of my life trying to recreate the recipe at home.


The next day we got a car and headed to The Hague to a neat little place called Madurodam.

It is an area the size of a football field filled with 1:25 scale model replicas of famous places around the Netherlands.


It was a little rainy but not too bad.  After that we drove to Delft and wandered around looking at the canals and old churches there.


After years of being a fall-tones girl I'm starting to have an affinity for blue and white.



Dutch windmills
The following day we visited Kukenhof Gardens which is a showcase for Holland's many types of bulbs. The tulips were just starting to bloom, but the hyacinth were in full swing and we could smell them as we walked by.


And then there's the massive greenhouse with little plots of every sort of tulip you can imagine!  There were tulips that mimicked other types of flowers like peonies and poppies, doubled tulips and some with feathery edges, all sorts of color combinations and one variety that was nearly black.  So incredibly beautiful.





Olivia was clicking away on my phone right along with me and she had so much fun, too.

Steve took this while he and Bowen were patiently waiting. 
I could have stayed there until my camera battery ran out, but we got some lunch and headed back into Amsterdam.  I tried one more time to see what the Van Gogh lines were like mid-week, but it was still at a standstill so I just wandered around town and took more pictures.  I always have more plans than what time permits, but that gives us plenty to come back for.  Next time I'll know to get timed tickets for the Van Gogh Museum.


Amsterdam is beautiful and the kids had fun, too.


1 comment:

Cassie Collins said...

In love. Can't wait to go some time. How beautiful. Love all the fily pics too.