September 03, 2004


Greetings from Amsterdam! Gary and I are on Day 3 of our honeymoon, and so far we're having a great time. We have found a local internet cafe, so in the short time I've got here are some notes on our trip so far:

Day 1 was spent waking up super early, packing, and trying to sleep on the airplane. We had a direct flight from San Francisco to Amsterdam, but the airline decided it would be better to keep the lights on US time instead of Dutch time, so we had a difficult time getting rest.

Day 2 we arrive in Amsterdam and take the train from the airport to the Centraal Station. We are staying at the Maas B&B, about a 15 minute walk from the station. Because we had tried adjusting our sleep schedule several days before we left, we actually were able to have a full day in the city. We walked around the neighborhood near our B&B, then to the Anne Frank House. This I found interesting, but very depressing. It was much larger than I had imagined, although for 8 people to be stuck in there for nearly 2 years, it must have seemed incredibly cramped.

We had dinner at a local Dutch restaurant, recommended by Vlad (one of the owners of the B&B). I don't know if we had traditional Dutch cuisine, but it was terrific. After dinner we headed to the red light district, which definitely lived up to its name. We just looked, though. :)

Today we went to the Van Gogh museum, which is about a 30 minute walk from where we're staying. We had planned to go to another museum, but our feet were tired, and there's only so much art you can see in a day. So instead we hung out at Vondel Park, along with hundreds of other people. On our way back home we met up with another guest at the B&B, who commented that it seemed to her that Amsterdammers must not work, they seem to spend all their time biking around town and drinking in cafes.

There certainly are a lot of bikes here. I don't feel confident enough to rent one (maybe next time) but it's definitely the way to get around. Driving is out; the roads are too narrow, and there are too many bikes to want to get behind the wheel of a car. Cafes are also all over, as are coffee shops. There aren't Starbucks; coffee shops are places to get marijuana, either in the form of a smoke or "space cake."

The buildings here are incredible, very typically Dutch. The one we're staying in has extremely narrow and steep stairs, and I imagine they're all pretty similar. The ones along the canal are beautiful, and make all the modern buildings look really weird.

Almost out of time...more on another day!

Posted by Jen at September 3, 2004 09:59 AM

Glad you're all having a great time!! Remember Marjien?

Posted by: Mom at September 3, 2004 12:58 PM

The big hooks on the building facades near the roofs were used to move furniture, hauling it up and down between the street and the windows by means of pulleys, since large things couldn't fit into those narrow staircases.

Posted by: Jessica at September 3, 2004 03:13 PM

Nice to talk to you! When we were in Amsterdam we took a tour of Anne Frank"s house, I remember. And the bicyclers will run you over if you walk on the bike path, watch out! the waterways were cool; I believe the water gets filtered regularly. We also toured a working windmill, where they ground colored rocks and minerals for paint. We will have to share pictures--this was in 1995.
Send more notes!

Posted by: Emily at September 3, 2004 04:54 PM

Hi You 'Lovebirds',
So happy to hear that you're having a great time in Amsterdam. It must have been wonderful to see the Van Gough museum. He's a fabulous artist. Hope you continue to enjoy your honeymoom.
Aunt Mari (Liz too)

Posted by: Aunt Mari at September 3, 2004 05:33 PM

Jen & Gary,
Glad to hear you are having a great time in Amsterdam. I was there five or six years ago and
just loved the city. Hope you both continue to have a wonderful Honeymoon in Europe!!
Aunt Dolores

Posted by: Dolores at September 7, 2004 05:31 AM