Cycles, canals, cheese, art and more! When one hears about a certain famous Dutch city, many things might come to mind. For our curious group—having never visited Amsterdam before—we were excited to explore a bit.
The planned main attraction for our day was the fantastic Van Gogh Museum, but our out-and-about discoveries were wonderful in their own right. Eager to see the famed artist’s work first however, we started there…
The museum. Four of us, in search of our favorite paintings, headed eagerly toward the open-air stairway, winding our way up to the official first floor of the main building. Once there, we fell into the slow line of museum attendees, moving clockwise around the inner walls of the room.
Stopping long enough in front of each showcased canvas to admire and wonder, we encountered our first unexpected discovery: The Potato Eaters.
This darkly toned portrayal of a poor family sitting down to a meal of potatoes pulled from our group a collective reaction of a little sadness, mixed with a bit of sympathy, followed by our surprise reaction: hunger! Suddenly we were hungry for potatoes, and maybe some wine as well, to wash them all down…
As we made our way around floors 1, 2 and 3, I was impressed at being able to see his masterpieces—like his self portrait (the one featured on the museum’s pamphlet)—up close.
Our other Van Gogh group favorites leaned toward the flower category: Almond Blossoms, Sunflowers and Irises.
After completing our circle of the third floor, it was time to find our own travel sized replicas to take home. We headed to the gift shop on the main floor, and found several portable souvenirs.
The museum held one more fun surprise for us: a cafeteria—one of the best I’ve seen—displaying bags of potato chips, next to (of all things) a wine-by-the-glass dispenser! We gladly selected our treats and found a table. With our potato/wine craving satisfied—what are the odds?!—we made our way outside…
The canals. Bordering streets, homes, businesses and parks, Amsterdam’s waterways are as much a traffic medium as its roadways for moving people around the town. Pre booked, we boarded our vessel for a mini canal cruise.
Time for a pop quiz! Over how many kilometers of canals are in Amsterdam?
Answer? Over 100 kilometers of canals—and more than 1500 bridges.
What a fantastic way to see the sights! Navigating the narrow canals, we enjoyed observing the building facades, and other waterside attractions, up close.
The most bicycle-friendly capital city in the world, Amsterdam’s urban population of 1 million plus means that bicycles are everywhere. Pedestrians beware! While walking around, we kept a vigilant eye on the noted bike paths.
In the mood for a different kind of wheel, we stepped into the Amsterdam Cheese Deli. Samples, sandwiches and several savory flavors of my absolute favorite dairy product were everywhere! Unable to resist, I picked a wedge of Gouda. Good. Stuff… 🧀
Known for lots of activities and consumables that aren’t exactly legal most places elsewhere, Amsterdam has it all. In broad daylight. In shops that stand alongside other more
mainstream businesses. Not our thing, but a curiously entertaining observation for us nonetheless as we strolled up and down the canal bridges and sidewalks.
All in all, we loved our day of Amsterdam moments—every art-filled, oddball, scenic and tasty bit of it. J 🥔🍷