Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tuesday in Amsterdam. We Go "Van-Gogh-ing"!

Guess what?? It's still windy, rainy and COLD in Amsterdam!  But we were out and about today, we just changed out plans a bit.

This morning Mom slept in and rested, and Dad and I took the Tram back over to the area of Anne Frank House.  We needed to go to an Art Supply store, and there is one just around the corner from the museum. On our shopping list?  Paper, charcoal and fixative.  We are hoping to make a charcoal rubbing of my Dad's brothers name on the Roll of Honour at the WWII Liberation Museum.  We're keeping our fingers crossed that it's not too wet!

We also needed to stop by a cute shop that I saw yesterday--they had some great wool felt clogs that I was pretty sure need to come home with me. Here they are, aren't they wonderful?? They are toasty warm and will make great slippers.  And they are soooo Dutch!

While we were waiting for the "clog shop" to open, we walked around a few block area.  Found some interesting buildings:

We both liked this section of houses--especially the very narrow black one.  Notice how it is leaning!

I wanted to go in here, just because it said "warme":

We walked back to the clog shop, and it still wasn't open.  We decided we needed a "warm up" so we chose a charming old cafe, and went in to have a cup of HOT chocolate.  Look at the whipped cream!

After our yummy HOT chocolate, we walked back to the clog shop, and they were finally open.  I tried on the clogs, and they fit perfectly.  A perfect and useful souvenir!

We'd now accomplished both of our errands, and it was time to take the Tram back, check on Mom, and decided what to do for the afternoon.  We walked down a few blocks to our tram stop, enjoying the scenery along the way.  Bikes, bikes, bikes everywhere.  And bike riders everywhere!  They have their own traffic lane here, on EVERY street.  Our cab driver yesterday told us their are 16 million people in Holland, and 18 million bikes--I believe him!

Bike lanes even have their own traffic lights:

Occasionally we would see one of these tiny cars in the bike lane:

We were a little perplexed--why is a car, even one that tiny, in a bike lane?  We asked one of our cab drivers, and he explained.  The driver's license test in Holland is very difficult to pass, and many people must take the exam several times before passing.  If they can't pass the regular driver's test they can apply for a license to drive one of these tiny cars, and the exam is much easier.  He said many older drivers drive these tiny cars--sounds kind of scary to me!

We finally found the right Tram stop, and patiently waited (well--in my case, not so patiently!) for the right Tram.  Finally!  The number 5 Tram stops in front of us, we start to get on and we cannot get the doors to open.  The Tram just drives off--without us.   We were not happy campers!  We had another 15 minute wait in the wind and cold.  Oh well--it's all part of the adventure of travel!

We did make it back to the apartment, and good news!  Mom is felling better and thinks she can manage the Van Gogh Museum this afternoon.  We have a quick bite of lunch, and then call a taxi to pick us up.  It was quite a distance from the apartment, and we have decided that it's much easier to take a taxi than walk to the Tram, etc.  Keeps Mom out of the cold, and saves her some walking.

We arrived at the Museum to find a huge line, once again we were very glad to have bought advance tickets on-line.  No waiting in line for us, we walked right in.  The museum was fairly crowded but it's well designed, so we were able to see most of what we wanted to see.  I say most--because his very famous painting "Sunflowers" is not on display.  There has been some very recent discoloration of the yellow oil paint, and they have removed it from display to determine the cause.  Mom was really disappointed!  We did see some of my favorites:  Irises,  The Potato Eaters, and his wonderful self portraits.  No photos to share, as cameras are strictly forbidden in the museum.  Sorry!

After a couple of hours of "Van Gogh-ing" we hailed another taxi, and settled in for a nice warm ride right to our doorstep.

I cooked another spaghetti dinner, with some fresh carrots, rolls and some Dutch butter.  The Dutch have nothing on the French--that French butter is the BEST!  Oui!

It was an early night for Mom and Dad, and for me, too.  Must get a good night's sleep, we have a very important day planned for tomorrow.

Wednesday in Amsterdam:  Not really in Amsterdam, but a small town about 2 hours away.  We are visiting The National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek.  Check back tomorrow!


  1. Great clogs Di. I like the "scarecrow" like
    figure on that brick building.....Can ya bring
    it home with you? Sort of a "cast iron"

  2. I agree, nice clogs Di. So much hot chocolate on cool, windy, cold days. Sounds so good. Enjoyed the pictures of the buildings and wait patiently for the blog on the liberation museum. Glad Mom is feeling better. And I must say it one more time...your Dad sure is a cutie!

  3. I love the Van gogh-ing sentence for the beginning...I chucked out loud!

  4. Traffic signals for the bike riders- I'd like one installed on Elmore & 84th!
    Super cute clogs and I bet they will be warm- bring them up this summer- the floor in Winnie can be chilly mornings!
    Anxious for your next blog- it will be most touching to read about- already I am wondering how you will get there?

  5. hey I forgot something.....what is growing out of Dad's ear?