Tuesday 12 March 2013

Tulips from Amsterdam

Whenever I am in a new place I find myself taking mental snapshots of all the things that interest, excite, charm, surprise me. My eyes become a cine-camera...processing and panning...I often trip over! This recent trip to Amsterdam was as full of the wonderful and the new as I had hoped. I can't help looking for the pattern and rhythm of a place, for me Amsterdam was blue, Delft blue? Van Gogh blue?! I am sure that much of that was to do with the temperature, brrrrrr!
Let's deal with some of the cliches ~ yes there are bikes everywhere, it's very cool. At times it was as though we had been transported back to the early 20th Century. There is no limit to what one can load upon ones bicycle...a large painting wrapped in brown paper, a wedding dress, a dog/dogs and many, many children! Bakfiets are the order of the day, see them here. Most bikes we saw had a beer crate or apple crate attached, brilliant!
The canals are amazing, on and on they go, charming streets chocka-block with amazing buildings, tall and narrow and decorative, I just stared and stared...wide mouth frog style! On and on, like dominoes squeezed  side by side, each impossibly narrow and tilting, as though being held up by the proximity of its neighbours. And each with unique details.
 I was especially delighted to see that shops, bars, houses, flats appartments, cafes, everyone had flowers. Every window seemed staged by a Dutch Old Master...still life groups, it was wonderful.

Speaking of wonderful...that doesn't even come close to the Van Gogh exhibition, currently in the Hermitage. So beautifully staged, I am not ashamed to say that I was reduced to tears...twice. I have always wanted to see the almond blossom paintings and they did not disappoint. Not to be missed...

Another treat was lunch in the greenhouse at De Kas, another long held ambition, more about that another time...

Obviously there was retail therapy...here

and here...by the square where the Noodermarkt is held...De Weldaad

...and yes we tried the famous Apple Pie from Winkel

Oh and in the Nine Streets, loved the Nine Streets, brilliant clusters of canals intersected by little streets full of creativity and good food! I loved walking along these canals at dusk as the strings of lights began to reflect in the water...

...and finally...Yes! 
There were tulips from Amsterdam...brought home on the plane and lovingly put into pewter jugs here  
thank you Mr.Lane



  1. What a lovely blog, I'm just going to read it all again! Janex

  2. What a wonderful post about my city...Being born and bred in Amsterdam it's always lovely to hear and see what people like about it...
    Thanks , great photos...
    Hugs from a still very cold Amsterdam
    Erna x

  3. Wow what a wonderful insight into Amsterdam, it looks amazing even on a very cold day. Those tulips are gorgeous and a lovely memory to bring home with you. jx

  4. Your photos make Amsterdam look like a very romantic city.I would dearly love to go one day.
    All those buildings look amazing and I am in love with the buttons on the door!
    Lisa x

  5. I have been wanting to go to Amsterdam for a while and stay on a houseboat on the canal, so it was wonderful to see your visit there! The nursery looks good too, I will look forward to seeing more about it!
    Sarah x

  6. Amsterdam is a very special city. Your photos are beautiful. And what a beautiful colour those tulips are - my favourite flower!

    Nikki x

  7. What wonderful photos, reminds me of when I was there years ago now.

  8. That tulip wrapping paper makes me smile!

  9. Oh how I love those giant buttons!

  10. What a stunning blog. Gorgeous images and lovely writing. Amsterdam has been a must-visit for so long now, but I feel inspired to actually make it happen after reading (and seeing)all this.

  11. A lovely post about a lovely city I am still yet to visit, I always love popping over to your beautiful blog for a little escapism - thank you x

  12. a hello from the netherlands looks you have a lovely great time in or headcity the bakfietsen or bakebikes are a trend right now in holland you see them everywhere at the moment mostly with a lot of childeren in it the 9 streets are great to shop so lovely how was hermitage the netherlands do you like it rijksmeuseum is also very nice with the nightwatch love or old dutch apple pie with lots of raisins ginger apples cinnamon and vannille and whipped cream yummy or mmm lekker! in dutch hope you had a great time in amsterdam and you bring a tiny little bit small little holland back home in tullip form have a nice very cold day greetings or groetjes in dutch

  13. Hmm, that's the problem with blogs, you end up longing to go on other people's holidays!

    Gorgeous pictures of a beautiful city, thank you for sharing :)

    Oh, and I am now trying to work out how to make big button door knobs!

  14. Great photos, those button door knobs are fabulous!

  15. Somewhere I've always wanted to go!

  16. lovely photos, brought back some nice memories, ali

  17. How wonderful! An adventure!!!! If I went to Holland, I would want to see a Madelief! ;)

    Ah, dear, all other thoughts just flew out the window - more coffee is needed. =/

    Is there more to read, I wonder? Onward! =]

    ALWAYS such a joy to visit you. It kind of feels like reconnecting with an old piece of my childhood heart that I keep tucked away. hmmm.



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