Tuesday 22 February 2011

Prachtiche Amsterdam

A weekend break can be just the ticket for lifting late-winter spirits ... 

We flew from London on Friday - finally - after a Regrettable Incident involving forgotten passports (no, don't ask: it was mea culpa, so I don't even have the satisfaction of tutting and sighing at idiots who leave the house for the airport having remembered to pack a slew of unnecessary items but sans passports) 

... and were just in time to catch the last light of the day ...

Amsterdam was freezing, a bitterly cold wind coming off the North Sea, but the canals in winter have their own kind of beauty

and the interiors seem the more cosy and inviting ...

I love the human scale of this part of the old city, the Grachtengordel - the narrow, gabled homes, the absence of traffic (though an onslaught of cyclists can make you fear for your life) ...

(hey, there's a green pedestrian light showing!)

... the abundance of funky little shops ...

Happy Socks, above, and other quirky little shops below, in the Negen Straatjes

the perfect outfit for one's flower and food-shopping excursions by bicycle, non?

... and an amazing profusion of great little restaurants and coffee shops...

Busy chefs in the open plan kitchen at Bussia, below, where we had delicious food and a warm welcome. Thank you Tara for this recommendation!

 It's tot ziens for now, as I have some work to catch up with, but another post to follow ...


  1. 1) I vote for a world without passports
    2) I want a bicycle covered in flowers.
    3) Have bliss and wonder.

  2. These photos of yours struck right into my memories of my only trip to Amsterdam in spring of 1982. I cannot thank you enough for getting that memory stack up and running.

    I am looking forward to seeing more of your photos. xo

  3. Your great pics brought back memories of a holiday I had in Amsterdam some years ago. Of all the things to be puzzled about I was puzzled by how people managed to get their furniture into some of the wonderful apartments given their extremely narrow doorways/closes. Apparently it is common that large pieces are hoisted up from ground level outside and in through their huge windows. Did you notice the large hooks outside the windows for this exact purpose?

  4. Tracy, I'm all for that passport-free, flower-covered bicycle world!

    Frances, Amsterdam in spring must have been gorgeous - I definitely want to plan a trip back there at that time of year.

    Bella - yes, my daughter pointed out those huge hooks at the tops of buildings, and we were told that some houses were built to lean forward at an angle, to facilitate the process of hoisting up big pieces of furniture from the street. Could you imagine being the owner of a grand piano, say, and watching it dangle four stories up?

  5. You are such a talented photographer Karen, just loved my quick trip to Amsterdam via your blog from my desk in Melbourne Australia.
    I spent my farewell weekend in Amsterdam many years ago prior to emigrating to Australia from Scotland. Images of the flower market, so many bicycles, cheese, canals, clogs and stencilled picture of the dog on the pavement with ''in der groot'' written beside. Still the only Dutch I know!


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