i have about 9 and a half billion things to say about amsterdam. hmmm...where shall i begin? oh i know! how about with the apple pie? this was my breakfast the other day.
my friend melinda arrives tomorrow from nyc area and the first thing i'm gonna say to her is, "whadda ya wanna try first? apple pancake or apple pie?" then before she can even think about unpacking i'm whisking her out the door to tramp around amsterdam. if she starts getting drowsy i will poke her then ply her with gallons of coffee.
well. i MIGHT show her the ceiling of her bedroom first. maybe. it's the very best part of her room. the rest is a bit more shabby than chic, but i am almost positive she will not care.
my bedroom is next to hers and it's in the very back. at night i can see stars up through the old neglected back garden staircase.
and occasionally men with velvet capes and white frilly neck rolls straight out of rembrandt's the night watch glide up and down the stairs. carrying lanterns!
but enough about ghosts and toilets! let's go for a stroll in the jordaan.
for the first time since i've been here i didn't wake up to blue skies and sunshine. i actually had to leave the house with my raincoat. usually i just have on a long sleeved shirt and a thin scarf, but today it rained. i was awoken before dawn by lightening and thunder. i leaped out of bed and ran to the tall windows to watch the storm. so thrilling! by noon it was sunny again.
my favorite part of my day is around 11:30 at night. i leave the house and go for a long stroll along the canals. the streetlights shine out across the black canals. there are people out, but it is quieter. i stop and sit on a different bench each night. most of the canals have a bench or 2 in each block facing out toward the water. i make deposits into my memory banks for withdrawal later.
then i come home and sketch parts of the house or things i took photos of earlier in the day. when i get back to LA i'll share my travel journal/ sketchbook. but of course i'll be back with more installments before then.
amsterdam is an easy city to navigate. the central historic canal belt has a small neighborhoody feel to it. solo travelers will feel right at home. all the dutch i've encountered readily speak english once they realize you aren't dutch. people are friendly and helpful. if you've been thinking of taking a maiden voyage to europe by yourself (or with a partner) i think amsterdam would be a perfect place for you. the convenience level is high and exhaustion level is low. which...you know...is v. good for perimenopausal women prone to sudden mood swings. not that i know any of those. nope. not me!