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.
We 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.
We 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.
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!