Saturday, October 20, 2018

Amsterdam! Part II!

When my family and I traveled to New York and London, we started each trip with a "hop-on, hop-off" bus tour. That allowed us to get a broad picture of the places we were visiting. Amsterdam offered "hop-on, hop-off" canal cruises, so my son and I took one! It was such a fun and unique way to start sightseeing in the Netherlands!

That afternoon, we went to the Anne Frank House and were able to go through the hinged bookcase and move around in the space where the Franks and the others stayed for more than two years during World War II. It's awful to think about having to hide in there for so long--with everything at stake--and then being captured. Anne died in a concentration camp two months before Holland was liberated. It's incredibly tragic.

With so many visitors walking through those rooms each day and reflecting on the terribleness of it all, I hope people learn from it. We left there with heavy hearts.

The next day, we were off on lighter adventures.

We toured a wooden shoe factory.

In the Netherlands, even the cows wear wooden shoes.

Okay, I was just messing with you. Did you believe me? Even for a second??

We went to Marken, a quaint and beautiful seaside village,

and hopped on a ferry that took us to a fishing village, Voldendam.

There we toured a cheese factory

before eating in a pub that had super-delicious fish and chips.

Our next stop was Zaanse Schans, a place with real, working windmills!

The windmill we toured made peanut oil.

I loved the way the natural light seeped through the windows.

Another highlight of the trip was a meal at Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis where I had THE BEST PANCAKES EVER. Seriously, bloggy friends: amazing!

I took this pic looking down the steep stairs that led up to the restaurant.

My pancake! Oh. Em. Gee.

Photos of the Dutch royal family hung on the walls,

and teapots hung from the ceiling.

Click here for a video I found online that captures the charm of the place! There are only four tables and the restaurant is extremely popular, so make a reservation if you plan to go. Call one week in advance, if you can. It's a sweet place and definitely worth scheduling into your itinerary.

Johannes Vermeer was from Delft, so I was eager to visit that area. While there, we toured the Royal Delft factory.

This artist was painting a Royal Delft tulip vase.

I enjoyed looking at the ornate details inside the factory. Some of the walls were gorgeous.

This is a picture of Rembrandt's The Night Watch that artists recreated in Royal Delft tiles!

I bought this souvenir!

A car painted like Royal Delft pottery was parked outside!

Click here for some fun facts about Delftware.

More highlights from our trip:

Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring is inside this museum!

Mauritsuis, The Hague

Eeeeee! It was such a moving experience, seeing it! I bought a refrigerator magnet in the museum gift shop to remind myself that I have really been inches from the actual painting! (Not like I'd forget, right?!) 


statue of Willem of Orange - The Hague

Imagine Peace Wish Tree - Peace Palace, The Hague

The Hague

looking up in Amsterdam

Our trip was at the end of August, and it already feels far away! Thank goodness for small souvenirs and, best of all, big memories with my son! 

On our last night in the Netherlands,

I bought these wooden tulips.

I keep them in a jelly-jar vase a family friend gave me. She'd found it on a beach and liked it because it had dead barnacles stuck to it. 

Maybe someday I'll find a tulip vase from Delft that I can buy. Or maybe not. Maybe keeping a little bit of Holland inside something found on the edge of the Salish Sea--my son's and my home--is perfect.


Jemi Fraser said...

WOW!!!! What a beautiful and fascinating place!!
The pics bring it to life and make me want to book a trip - an on/off canal ride sounds absolutely perfect!

Dawn Simon said...

It truly is a fascinating place! And so beautiful! Tell me if you end up going! I hope you do! :)

Cherie Reich said...

It looks so beautiful there. I want to go, and if I ever to travel there, I must stop at the Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis. Mmm... pancakes!

Margaret Nevinski said...

Dawn, thanks for the virtual tour! I've been to Amsterdam, but now I want to go back for one of those pancakes - I won't even try to spell the Dutch word. Can you imagine setting a novel in that awesome city? It would be a great excuse to return, not that you need one.

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Cherie! Yes, you must! Oh, how I'd love to eat one of their pancakes RIGHT NOW! Mmm... I hope you get to go!

Hi, Margaret! I thought of that, too! Wouldn't it be amazing to live there for, say, six months or a year while working on that novel? I'll answer for you: yes, it would! I'm looking forward to tomorrow's critique meeting!