Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Update on Amsterdam and More

Hi Dear Folk,

It has been quite winter weather since I got back, snowing most of last Saturday and raining today.  It was getting warmer when I left England, the last five days were nice, quite sunny but cool.  The first days in Amsterdam were overcast and cold.

I had an old coat/mac cleaned that has a detachable wool lining and it worked well, along with an Aran Poncho my sister knitted me, so was nice to have that.  On my mac sister BB said I looked like Vera, I don't think that was a compliment, but we laughed, I knew what she meant.

Si my nephew and Georgia his wife took me to Cambridge on the holiday Monday and one of the stores she likes is LUSH!, very popular in the UK bath bombs etc, they treated me to one.  I treated myself to a very psychedelic scarf which brightened up my Vera ensemble, actually I looked the designer up Oliver Hibert, an American artist, can't say I like his art, but I do like my scarf, so I must like some of it.

We went to a Farm Market Cafe and had coffee, Scotch eggs and ham and cheese pasty style meat pies, all delicious and ended out day with lager and chips at a Pub in Cambridge.  It's fun to have nephew and wife take me out, a reversal of positions, Si has charisma.

A month later would have been nice for Amsterdam because the tulips would have been out.  Our AirBnB was four flights up.  Our host was a young Dutch man tall with Indonesian looks and a Dutch name.  He was funny, trying to explain that old ladies might think BnB includes breakfast and it didn't, but we said that we'd already stayed at two AirBnBs and knew it did not.  He was quite surprised and said he wished his grandmother was more like us, and something we said really made him laugh.  And then he went out and bought eggs, bacon and bread for our breakfast, which was a lot since his fridge had hardly a thing in it and if it was, it was off.  He must eat out all the time.  We brought our own tea and bought milk.  Our room had a little table and chairs, so we ate and drank tea here.  We did make eggs for breakfast we didn't want not to seem grateful.

Quite a big apartment, nothing ritzi, probably from the thirties, nice area, and very easy transportation.  I kept imagining looking out the window and seeing the Nazi's going up and down.  We did go past Anne Frank's house on the canal tour, right in the heart of Amsterdam.

When you cross the road you have to look out for so many things, first the lane for bikes and motor bikes, then the trolley lines and pavement, then the road with cars and visa versa on the other side.  So you have to watch for six lanes of traffic, not just two.  they must be quite fit, everyone rides a bike.

The Rijks Museum, neo Gothic architecture had a ten year make over and opened up again about three years ago, so is very nice.  Saw many old Dutch Masters.  Did not even get to the Van Gogh museum, you can only spend so much time in museums.  We did very much enjoy the fashion show which they had on.  I did see a lovely long umbrella for sale in the shop for 6 Euro, but would never have been allowed on the plane they are so picky on Easy Jet.  I should have said it was a walking stick.

Ate at a wonderful locals Moroccan restaurant, he told us about, was actually housed in an old converted chapel, and of course coffee shops with apple cake desert and other goodies.  One restaurant, very misleading, very plain, but we just wanted a soup, we ordered it, could hardly find a suitable table, you know all organic, with tiny shelf tables and high stools, you can hardly get your bottom on.  Well when we actually looked at the price 14 Euros each soup, we cancelled our order, it was more than we paid at the Moroccan restaurant for dinner.  We walked down the street and found a much friendlier Pub.  Jean had tomato and basil soup with hearty bread and I had a melted goat cheese sandwich served with tomato jam which is delicious, whole bill 10 Euros.  funny enough in England at Clare, I had a cheese scone served with a wedge of cheese and tomato jam.  Love tomato jam, so will have a go at making it.

Of course all the time I was in Amsterdam I only had the clothes I traveled in.  Jean kitted me out with toiletries, socks and other essentials, but talk about a simplified life style.  I did have all my shoes, they were in my carry on.  Fortunately I had my coat, hat, gloves and alpaca scarf, all of which I needed, so it worked out all right.  Made it all so very simple.

Jean had updated her cell phone for the Netherlands and funny enough only two callers could get through City Luggage, the delivery courier and Jean's daughter, so between the two we were able to coordinate delivery of my suitcase on the Monday, while we were in Amsterdam, wohoo!  My brand new suitcase is very much the worse for wear, but that's the way things are.  I like my new suitcase with the four wheels, super easy to roll and not all that weight on your arm.  It takes up a lot of room when open as it basically opens in two halves, my old suitcase had more of a lid.

Much more to say but will hold off until I sort out all my pics.



  1. It sounds lovely! I thought of you when we watched SAIL Amsterdam at the meeting. Not that you were there at the time but just seeing the water and boats would be so nice.
    Im so glad you got your lugguage eventuay! It is strange to be without it! I once went to a wedding and my lugguage didn't make it. It showed up one year later! (That was traveling on Greyhound)

  2. I laughed all over again when I read this. It was fun. Yes the stairs to the apartment were just as the old films depict them with the Nazis chasing people up them. Was strange to imagine the people living there in wartime. It has turned cold here too and been a few frosts.


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