Friday Sept 7th

Hello all!

A bright and beautiful day here in the Netherlands. Today was a busy day. I took a scenic canal tour first thing in the morning and found out that all those houseboats (approx 2,500 of them) don't have sewer lines (eww) but the city flushes the canals each night with over 600,000 litres of fresh seawater… So goodbye offending items and that's why the canals don't smell and look clean. Not that I am about to go to jump in a canal for a swim!

Bridge after bridge – 7 in a straight row
After a lovely cruise, I set out to explore the older city and try to find a map. A little shopping, turn right or turn left, it doesn't really matter. Suddenly I realized that the lamps on the street had red light bulbs…wow.. So I whip out my camera and jumped when I heard a loud rapping to my left, so I turned and was facing a window where, much to my surprise, was a lady of the red light district, in all her 'uh' glory, wagging a finger at me and mouthing 'no pictures' very emphatically! I smiled apologetically and pointed to the light..she smiled back and gave her permission! Now I really see the windows with curtains and thie red light off or on to indicate open for business or not…how did I miss it before? Blame it on the architecture 🙂

But here is picture I could take. This statue is front of Oude Kerk (Old Church) which is in the Red Light District? Handy!

Walked thru the Albert Cuypmarkt, which is a daily flea market and farmers market! Lots to see, tempting shoes (Must. Be. Strong), beautiful flowers, fruits, sweets. Caught a random tram and wound up at the Museum district, so I visited the Van Gogh museum – Lots and lots of his paintings and others. Time to stop for a refreshment and rest the leg….they make these tiny stuffed with caramel waffles that are incredible and go well with a strong espresso. A particularly bold pigeon hopped on the table and proceeded to beg, had to shoo him out from under my hands while I was trying to nosh on this delectable sweet.

Lots more walking around the old part of town. I am guessing that Amsterdam's futbol team was playing as there were a lot of men, in various stages of drunk, in groups of great camaraderie, singing what sounded like either drinking songs or soccer songs and dresses and/or painted orange…but I am just guessing 🙂

A lovely day…two beers today. I may be developing a taste for this stuff!




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