Despite having spent the entire day in Amsterdam on Queen’s Day, I still felt as though I saw the city without seeing the city; I gained a feel for the people, the culture and the love of a good party without seeing any of the sights due to the large quantities of orange accessories, confetti bombs, vendors and trash commandeering my attention.
With our two days sightseeing in Amsterdam sandwiching a day in the bulb fields, I had a short break from the city to process all that we had seen on Queen's day. So it was with a feeling that I was seeing it for the first time that I returned to hit the main sights we had left unseen two days previous. Roberts lived in the city for a short while, so he had favorite places, preferred routes to get there and beloved views of certain canals he wanted to show me, but he had also seen a majority of the must-see sights. Therefore it was with only Mikus as company that I braved the line for the
Just a little ways north we emerged from the main shopping artery (Kalverstraat) back into the Dam, which seemed utterly empty without the sea of orange and storeys-high carnival rides. I was amazed that the city had succeeded in picking up the majority of the trash; the
and the Nieuwe Kerk were once again the focal points in this main square. The Royal Palace is where Queen Beatrix and all the country’s sovereigns are crowned (Queen Beatrix’s coronation was April 30th, 1980). The town hall (1650s) became the Protestant New Church Royal Palace in 1808 during the reign of Louis Bonaparte, and behind it is the beautiful building, which was a post office but now houses a shopping center. Magna Plaza
We passed the Anne Frank House on our way west, reminding us of a darker history than that which is visible on the surface in this city. It is good to remember, but nice to have such beautiful canals to soften the tragedy for me on such a whirlwind trip. I had steeled myself for the sadness before our time in
We met the friend that had opened up her flat to us on Queen’s Day for a much needed break that crazy day, and headed to a local favorite for dinner. According to Jill the Café de Oranjerie is “about as Dutch as it gets.” We had bitterballen, something Roberts fondly remembered from his time in
which turned out to be breaded and fried meatballs, and kip sate met frites, chicken with peanut sauce and fries. Amsterdam
A short walk to the tram stop was the last of the walking that day, and it was good because we were all beat! Our final evening in Amsterdam before departing south to Den Haag and Rotterdam couldn’t have been any better, and I’ve added Amsterdam to the list of cities that I hope to return to some day as we left the famous Rijksmuseum unseen and dozens of canals unexplored. Maybe next time a different view, from perhaps a canal tour by boat?