I am completely enamored with this city. I’m so glad that I decided to come here a couple of days early to explore on my own. It really is impossible to capture the wonder of this place in photos, especially since I’ve limited myself to my iPhone camera for now, but the highlights from the day are in the photo gallery below.
[Sister: As I type this, in the room next to mine, is an Old Man & The Sea. Seriously. I can’t.]
Today I had a lovely breakfast at the hotel with several other groups of tourists from the U.S., including a couple from Edmonds, which is about 20 miles north of Seattle. Small world. Othello, the hotel cat, joined us, and figured out in pretty short order that he could charm me for little bits of thinly sliced ham and gouda cheese. I was too busy adoring him to get any photos, but he sits on the seat at the table like a person and patiently waits for his nibbles, with an occasional raised paw toward your arm, but only in the most polite way. I yai him.
[Adding a few photos from Thursday morning breakfast with Othello]
I let my day unfold with whatever struck me as interesting and decided to visit the Amsterdam Museum, which was well worth the time. The building and grounds were once the city’s orphanage, and much of the art and displays in tribute to that history really moved me. I had lunch at the museum cafe, which looks out on the courtyard where the children used to play, and it was beautiful to be in such a special place.
I then walked the streets a bit, so taken in by the wonderful shops, cafés, and businesses. Amsterdam just has style. The design aesthetic is gorgeous and cool without trying to be. I decided to go to the Museum of the Canals, which is in one of the incredible canal houses. It was so interesting to learn about how this city was built, and expanded over time. It makes all the canal houses that much more impressive.
Tomorrow I meet up with my tour group for the next three weeks. We’ll have a couple days in the Amsterdam and Haarlem area before heading south, so I’m looking forward to a couple more days in The Netherlands!