I had signed us up for a free, 10:30am English, tour through Sandeman’s about a month ago.  We met the group of about 20 at Dam Square at the National Monument.  Axel, our tour guide and a native of this city was entertaining and informative.  In 3 hours, we got a great orientation to Amsterdam–a bit of history, culture and geography.  We visited the Dutch East Indian Trading Company which Axel told us basically invented the stock market and I loved the exterior of the building.


He showed us “the narrowest house” which is the red one in the center, only inches wider than its door.  And the statue of the author Mulatuli.  That is Axel, clowning on it.


img_1877We walked through a modern mall and took a break there for some lousy coffee and a time to get to know some of the other participants.  They were from England, Brazil, Australia, Poland, Germany and Switzerland.  The tour ended, fittingly, in the square near the Anne Frank House where Ken and I sat yesterday.  So, of course, we discovered its significance.  It called the Gay Monument–a symbol of tolerance comprised of 3 triangles.

After the tour we walked back to our “Ould West” neighborhood.  We stopped at a small sandwich place for lunch and the waiter offered to take our picture.

img_1883We stopped at the upscale market nearby, called Marqt, and got some stuff for dinner.  In the evening we took a bit of a walk and ended at a bar our taxi driver had recommended.   Got my G&T for the day as we sat outside near a very pretty canal full of houseboats.

img_1885Ken remarked that this city seems so young.  Where are all the older people?  Everywhere we’ve been we have been by far the oldest.

We came back home and made a nice salad and ate the cheeses, ham, salami and bread we had gotten earlier, for dinner.  It really is too warm to cook anyway!


Getting to Know Amsterdam — 3 Comments

  1. The photos are wonderful and bring back so many memories. I think I may have mentioned that I remembered a monument to the Gays who were killed located near the Anne Frank house. I agree a tour is a great way to get oriented, but we usually did a bus tour – lazy me. We never rented in Amsterdam so I never had a chance to shop and cook. Good reason to go back. I remember seeing lots of older people, but they all seemed very vigorous and active. Looking forward to tomorrow’s activities and photos.