It seems as if these posts have gone on longer than I expected...
I know some of my followers may be bored with my travels, but there is so much of the world that interests me. I find the places that we travel so interesting. I want to share that with all of you, and hope that this comes across in my posts...not just me babbling about another place!
Therefore, this will be my last post on our European trip. Our last stop was Amsterdam.
This is my 3rd time to Amsterdam, and I have always thoroughly enjoyed it.
The people are a diverse mix of cultures. The native Dutch have always been so friendly and helpful, such as the lady that heard us speaking in English while walking through a shopping center. She suggested to us to go to the top floor restaurant, even if we do not care to eat...just for the view...and wow, what a view! The rooftops, canals and architecture are so interesting. (some of these pics are not from the rooftop view from the restaurant, which by the way, we did eat in! It was delicious!)
There is always a beat to the streets of Amsterdam. I feel as if everyone is always on permanent vacation...as they stroll along the cobbled streets and walk, arms linked taking in all the sights. Boy, there certainly are sights (and smells) in Amsterdam...those of which we didn't partake in this trip since our children were with us... Sometimes you just can't help walking past some of the more...hhmmm, shall we say extreme storefronts with hhhmmm...interesting smells wafting out onto the sidewalks! I enjoyed all the bicycles and how eco-friendly the city is...though there are cars parked in every sidewalk inch available. I read that there is actually a worry with how many bikes traverse the roads due to pedestrian and car accidents with them!
My daughter and I visited the Anne Frank House. This is the house where Anne and her family, as well as another family, hid from the Nazis. This is a compelling place that draws me into the whole tragedy so immensely. I cry every time I see the rooms, which Anne's Father, Otto, the only survivor of her family, wanted it. He asked that they be left as the Nazis left them...bare. There are scaled models of the rooms with the furniture as her Father remembered them so that you get a feel of how they lived. But they are bare...which gives me an eerie feeling walking through. You can almost hear the voices that had to be so quiet at certain times of the day...and the black out curtains that made such an impression on my daughter.
It is always good to see our past and try to learn from the horrible mistakes, tough as it is to take. I am proud of our daughter for wanting to learn about Anne and her story. I do not have pictures not only because they ask you not to take them, but also out of respect for the family. I would feel wrong trying to depict it here...it is a place to experience only in person.
We stayed in a lovely bed and breakfast, The Posthoorn, run by a French man. He took over the business a year earlier when his corporate job got to be too much and his wife and 3 children needed more room. The room was large, bright and comfortable. The breakfasts were always fresh and delivered when we asked. The basket pictured below had the freshest baked breads. I think for Amsterdam, a B&B is the best way to go! For us, The Posthoorn fit the bill perfectly!
My favorite day was traveling to The Keukenhof Gardens. This is where the amazing tulip fields are located, outside of Amsterdam. I had a field day (pardon the pun) with the beautiful flowers just starting to bloom. We were there just a few days after the opening so the flowers were not fully out, but spring had definitely sprung! The hothouse was filled with more types of tulips than I even knew existed...it was so colorful and exotic. It was a wonderful day for me and the family enjoyed it too!
Enjoy the pictures, and thank you for joining me on re-living our family's journey through parts of Europe!