Day one!

Pretty pretty pretty excited. Cannot believe we are finally ON our adventure instead of planning it.

All of our flights went super smoothly despite having to circle Atlanta for a while until there was a break in the thunderstorms.  No worries for us with our 2 hour lay over.  I just love walking down the concourse, rolling my little carry-on bag and being ready to board. 

We were picked up at the Amsterdam airport by which I had pre booked.  Riding in style in a Nissan Leaf.  Ken is impressed that there are so many Tesla taxis and other electric cars here.  They even have public charging stations:


Coffee Store

The coffee store, not to be confused with a “coffee shop”

We were met at the apartment by the friend of the agent.  We stood outside for a while waiting for someone to show up and finally just rang the buzzer.  She was already upstairs waiting for us.  The place is very nice, kind of New Yorkesq. It’s a bit larger than I expected with nice hard wood floors , rugs and very comfortable, colorful furniture.  The kitchen seems like it will be easy to cook in; it’s totally been updated.  We are on a busy street which is very convenient for the trams but may prove too noisy for us.  At any rate, it affords us great people watching below from the living room windows.  The back windows open onto a bunch of trees and the views of other buildings’ back windows.  After figuring out the wifi and assessing the provisions we went about 2 blocks to grab a much needed espresso at this place, Coffee Store:

And we did a minimal grocery shopping, at Albert Hiejn, supermarket .  We both feel a bit disoriented but that’s to be expected.

Our tickets for Anne Frank house were for 2:45 so we walked there—only took about 15 minutes and we were able to walk right in.  It’s hard to write about the experience.  I was sniffling my way through the exhibits.  The worst for me was seeing the book with the names of the over 100,000 jews deported from Amsterdam in the war.  Only 5,ooo, including Oscar Frank, father of Anne, survived.  It’s a thick book and they have it open to the page of the Franks.  Heart breaking.  The line for admission, we saw as we left. was about 2 blocks long.

Part of the line at Anne Frank House

Part of the line at Anne Frank House

We sat for a while in a square behind not knowing at all what the significance of the monument inside it was.  Hope we find our before we leave.

We took our time walking back to the apartment, strolling and taking a few “random canal shots.” 


img_1845 After we got back we had a bit of a rest and went to dinner very early because we were so tired and, except for the awful breakfast on the plane,  hadn’t

eaten all day.  I chose a place called Bar Spek and we loved it.  About a 10 minute walk from here, it has a bunch of outside tables right on the canal.  Got my first Gin and Tonic (and the best one I’ve ever had) made with Tannery 10 and a big grapefruit garnish.  We ordered the Bitterballen, (a typical Amsterdam snack, like meat gravy fried in a ball), a mixed meat plate and a great spinach salad.  We spoke with the owner.  Nice guy!  We loved watching the people on their bicycles waiting as the bridge went up and down.

The locals are all thrilled with the weather.  It hit 90°.  We were not so happy about the heat but everything else has us smiling a lot!

Walking to dinner I saw these passion flowers and stopped for a quick picture.

img_1855  A woman stopped and asked me if I know what they were and we had a really sweet exchange.  She was so proud that I had stopped to admire her (?) flowers. I loved out little exchange.


Day one! — 13 Comments

  1. Ah, you love your canals, whether Venice or Amsterdam. Happy to hear you are off to a fun start. It looks like lovely and clear skies.

  2. One of my most favorite times of the year ….when you travel and blog. Looking forward to your amazing adventure.

  3. First post is off to a wonderful start. Thanks for taking us along. And those flowers are enchanting.

  4. Lovely descriptions Jan. The photos and your words paint a perfect picture. Brought back fond memories or times in that city. I hope you try some Indonesian restaurants. The delightful. Many and varied rijsstaffel.

  5. So glad you are enjoying my country! Don’t forget I can answer questions you may have. All the best!

  6. Loved hearing about your first day. You’re off to a great start. Brings back fond memories for Bill and me.

  7. So happy to be travelling with you again. I think the apartment sounds great. If the street noise bothers you a sound soother might help. Do the electric cars mean fewer bicycles? I have visited the Anne Frank house many times, and always get the same prickles and goosebumps when I pass through that bookcase knowing I will be leaving son, but the Frank’s did not have that option. Looking foward to Day 2.

  8. Geez, this sounds idyllic! So glad you are away on your Odyssey! The passion flowers are wild. Love seeing you there in my mind’s eye.