Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dallas and I tagged along with my husband to Amsterdam for a fun outing while he conducted a training for his Dutch colleagues (Feb 12)

I guess I don't have too bad of a deal when I get to ride along with my husband to Amsterdam for the day while he conducts a training in the Deloitte office there. I have been there a few times and really enjoy the uniqueness of the city. Since I didn't really want to roam around Amsterdam by myself, I asked a friend of mine to join me, Dallas. She's a very outgoing and extremely nice gal who I've gotten to know over the last few months. Here is her blog on our Amsterdam outing She's much better at updating her entries on time!

Thanks to rush hour traffic it took us 3 hours instead of the normal 2 hours to drive up to Amsterdam. Oh well, we still had plenty of time to explore. Minus the mini down pour at the beginning of our day, we ended up having a pretty decent day. We did a lot of walking and saw mostly places that we haven't been to before. It's always nice just to enjoy the beautiful canals and the cool architecture that Amsterdam boasts as you stroll around the city.

Here are some of the places we visited with more details by the pictures below: Rembrandt's House, Flower Market, Flea market, Begijnhof, coffee shops (only the exterior!), Van Gogh Museum, Vondel Park, Magna Plaza Shopping Center, American food store. We didn't think it was necessary to visit the Red Light District and Sex Shops on this trip, plus we were trying to appreciate Amsterdam for its other great assets!

After a painful process of finding my husband after his meeting, without our mobile phones working properly, we headed back to Brussels. Since we were all starving and there aren't many fast food places off the interstate, we settled for McDonald's, which is sad to admit. We don't make a regular habit of eating there, only when we're in dire need of food!

This sign is close to the Van Gogh and Rijks Museums, which we thought was rather cool. (courtesy of Dallas)
One of the many canals in Amsterdam
The famous Dutch painter, Rembrandt's House (we didn't go inside)
Daily Flea Market (we noticed some cute booths, but also a lot of junk)
I thought these long decorative shirts were kind of cute at the Flea Market, but decided against buying one.
Some of the numerous house boats one can see along the canals
Clock Tower
Typical Amsterdam architecture (notice the tram creeping into my picture...they are everywhere)
Daily Flower Market where you can find cut flowers, plants, bulbs, seeds and garden supplies. Holland is a major exporter of flowers with tulips being the most popular.
Daily Flower Market
Daily Flower Market: you can't go to Holland and not witness some of their gorgeous flowers. Last year we went to Keukenhof, Holland and saw its amazing gardens of flowers in its enormous park.
Numerous flower bulbs at the market
Tiny canal
Magna Plaza Shopping Center which we actually didn't go in, but I've been in once (I believe it was used as a Post Office in its earlier days).
Tiny alley of 'Coffee Shops" (aka 'Smoke Shops' - we did not venture down this alley!)
Begijnhof: similar to an old nunnery where women have practiced their faith for several hundreds of years and still continue so today, but haven't actually take any oaths. It's a quiet courtyard lined with picturesque houses
More architecture I thought was neat!
Several small boats line the canals as well as house boats
It's not common to see Bagel Shops, so I thought I needed a picture of this cafe.
Notice the hooks at the top of the buildings; this is how people get their shipments into their house/apartment, basically via a pulley system.
American food shop where I stopped at to get Crisco, so I can make homemade pie crusts and quiche crusts; initially, I was going to buy it at a Sex Shop since I had seen it in a few of them on previous trips, but this shop came along first! Most of these products are hard to come by in Belgium and if you do run across them, they are extremely expensive!
Dallas, doing some bird watching in Vondel Park, which is a huge and lively city park popular with the Dutch.
Outside the Van Gogh Museum (no photos are permitted inside)
Night scene along one of the canals (courtesy of Dallas)

1 comment:

Dallas said...

Your photos turned out great. I had a lot of fun too - thanks for inviting me.