07 June 2012

Amsterdam 23-25 February

The first trip with Rotary BRESA this year for me was to Amsterdam!  I had been on the waiting list, but a spot opened up, and I emailed in to ask for it!  The night before, my friend Caroline Godin stayed over so we could get to the train in time to be in Brussels for our morning departure in a tour bus/
Packing light!

Loading in Brussels

Delft, a city near-ish to Amsterdam, famous for its blue and white china

I made some cool friends on this trip, including Sravya!! of India!

This house was a secret church when Catholics were persecuted by the Protestants in the Netherlands

the Netherlands are so called because practically all of the country is flat lowlands below sea level.  There are many canals in most towns near the coast.

A traffic light on the canal

A market in the town square of Delft

Fish monger's are common in Holland

And some of the best cheeses too!

This made me think of my sister Ellie who used to get bubble gum ice cream when we were little

Stroopwafels!  Little flat waffles with a bit of syrup in the middle.
Sometimes a bit caramel-y, or vanilla-ey, but always great!

Delft is the town in which Vermeer lived and worked, so here we  are in the museum.

An organ cart

Catherine Bradshaw of South Africa

The windmill has no wings.  And everything was under construction.

Fearless leader, Bernard DeBoyer

I was sleeping between each of these photos,

and frankly, I don't remember having taken this one, but it's a famous bridge at Amsterdam.

View out the window of our hostel.  5 roommates, bunk beds, and bar downstairs!

Hard Rock, first night in Amsterdam!

I looked it up, and it's a theatre.

I took the tram!

I was in the tram!

Jewish museum in Amsterdam

Count on exchange students to have their flags no matter where they are!

One of the biggest synagogues in Europe.  We were all allowed to go in because during the winter, they use the heated chamber instead of the big one for worship.  We did however, wear kippas.

It is said to have been modeled after Solomon's Temple

One of the many torahs on display in the Jewish museum

And a giant menorah

A cinéma: a gem of the art deco style

The interior. (the ceiling really was that color!)

And the carpet

And the wall paper!

A center of Amsterdam, right next to the flower market!

Floating flower market!

Tulips are the most famous Holland flower

Because of crowding, and sinking, the buildings in Amsterdam are tall, but narrow!

Catherine and I again!  This time, a bit tuckered out.  These trips are infamously exhausting!

The flower market on the right, all the way down the canal

Add caption


House of Anne Frank

A canal-tour boat!  We totally went on one the last day!

One can see how the buildings sort of sink and support each other, but are quite crooked!

A heron on a house-boat

The draw-bridges over the canals!

When we actually went into the house, we weren't allowed to take photos,
but this is where the Anne Frank house is located, and the green bit behind
is the secret annex.

The name of the street on which the Anne Frank house is located.
An interesting thing about the museum is that they have taken everything out of the annex, and left it bare.
Mr. Frank didn't want them to recreate what life was like for them, though it has been recreated for photos sake once before.

A windmill in Amsterdam.  People used to live on the bottom floors and use the wind-power for mill-worthy work.  Like grinding wheat
The Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.  I saw all the big ones!
And Catherine and I cut off our ears in memoriam.

Rotary soirée.  We ended up making friends with the barmaids, so they played music for us.  There were a lot of Latinos on the trip, so we did a good bit of salsa, and samba!  It's quite a good time!

The Rijks Museum (royal (rich) museum).
Here is the remnants of the golden age of Holland!  If you recall
they were one of the world's greatest powers in the time of imperialism!

A 3 metre model of a dutch warship

The royal dollhouse

Some magnificent dutch metalworks!

A wooden cupbord

Tulip vases of grand stature!

That one Rembrandt painting of himself as the apostle Paul.

The 3 x's are the symbol of Amsterdam

While we went to the Vermeer museum in Delft, his most famous works are not on display there. This one, "the Milkmaid" is in the Rijkmuseum, and the "Girl with the Pearl Earring" is in the Mauritshuis in the Hague.  We did not see that one.

"The Night Watch" by Rembrandt is 363 by 437 cm, and was actually trimmed on the sides to fit in the royal frame.  It was called "the Night Watch" because of the dark hues and sombre background, but after the canvas was cleaned in recent years, it was discovered that the painting was just as bright as any other Rembrandt painting, and probably depicted a scene in the morning!  But the name stuck!

The train station

and so we took at canal tour right after the museum, for a much appreciated break from walking.  Unfortunately, some of us (me) fell asleep a bit.  But honestly speaking, I fall asleep everywhere.
The clock tower from near the flower market from the canal boat!

The tulip market from the water.

The Amsterdam flag.

A large church.

Here we see the typical rooflines of Holland, the bell shaped, the peaked, and the flat.  ( I think I just made those names up.) You'll notice each house has a hook and pulley at the top. 

 Because the houses are so narrow, all moving of furniture is hoisted up and installed through the windows!

A residence on the canals.  It's a tad bit cheaper to live on the canals, since it's so crowded on land there!
This one has many cats.

That little two window high building in between the red and white ones is officially the most narrow house in Amsterdam.  I have no idea how that works.
This is the sea port.  Nearby is the bicycle parking garage. 3 levels with literally millions of bikes.  Everyone likes to bicycle in Holland since it's so flat!

A dutch schooner of the golden ages

And the luxurious stern!
It was an exhausting trip, and a bit chilly, but Holland is a great looking place, with interesting people and stuff to see!  We did get to go see the red light district, but we were advised not to take pictures.  It's pretty well controlled there.  And there were no green substances to be had, as that is also well controlled by the Rotary!  But those two aspects of Amsterdam, though all legal by a thread of a loophole, really do exist.  Technically since May first, in an attempt to end "drug tourism," marijuana has been illegal to buy or sell in Holland to non-dutch citizens.  It used to be legal for the surrounding countries.  But especially in the southern provinces of Holland, it's strictly enforced.
I had a really nice time, and made some really cool exchange friends from all over the world!

No comments:

Post a Comment