Agenda-less in Amsterdam

Robin (The Best-est Husband) and I have wanted to go to Paris for so long and finally got our act together. But first there was Amsterdam, a stop-over of an hour that we decided to bump up to two nights. Although it gave us just about a day and a half in Amsterdam, it was one of the best decisions ever! I fell in love with this city.

We didn’t really have an Amsterdam agenda though. And this was made super obvious when some fellow South Africans proudly produced a heavy file of their plans on the train from the airport into the city. And when I say heavy, I mean just looking at it made your back ache.

But not having a plan in Amsterdam is not a bad thing. This city seems to have been made for wandering – and biking. Everybody and their dog (literally) cycle everywhere. To work. To school. To drinks. Everywhere.

These are some of the pictures from our visit:

Amsterdam has some cool shops – from the designer Droog (the cats below) and Moooi to tongue-in-cheek stuff at Kitsch Kitchen (the ‘poppies’) and vintage things like in this book shop near the cool Negen Straatjes.The mouse traps are from a street market and the ceramics and moustaches from two different quirky shops. Or you can be a true tourist and buy clogs or even some tulip bulbs (the photo was taken at the flower market).

These chips with mayonnaise (a ‘must eat’, they say) were from a food trailer near one of the markets. An old man told his friend about the weirdo taking pics of her food in Dutch - and I understood what he said. Ha!

In the touristy areas, there’s lots of Delft stuff for sale – as you’d expect. But the Delft I like the most was in our rustic hotel, the Hotel Brouwer. This old canal house (actually two) dates back to 1652 and the rooms are called after Dutch artists. We were in the Mondriaan room on the top floor which had an awesome view (and the homemade croissants and rolls with berry jam, Boerenkaas and boiled eggs for breakfast were the best.

We managed to fit in two museums and eventually Oosterdok too. I’m not sure what the bicycle seat is about but it’s amusing. The impressive building is the Nemo, a science centre (there’s other cool architecture in the area too).

Robin wanted me to sit on this discarded couch for the photo – huh? It was on the way to the Oosterdok.

I knew about the ‘love locks’ on a bridge in Paris but we also found some in Amsterdam.

This is a wall in the Begijnhof, a quiet surprise amid the hustle and bustle of the city. It dates from the 14th century and includes Amsterdam's oldest surviving wooden house, the Begijnhof chapel and the Engelse Kerk.

Three words: the pink bike. It’s famous, mense – Robin saw it on a postcard in one of the shops ;)

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