The final days of our trip were spent in Amsterdam. I have to say, I've been to Amsterdam a handful of times but never spent any time actually 'visiting' the city. All I can say is that we were glad we took the day trip to de Haan, Belgium but another day in Amsterdam would have been fabulous! It's beautiful, peaceful, happy and everyone is so pleasant. We completely enjoyed our stay and I know I am looking forward to going back.
We stayed at a great hotel in the museum district. It was old and pretty and perfect for the four of us. We checked in and then went off to explore a little of the area and eat!
The next day we went to the early morning market and watched the set up of the flower, cheese and breads. YUMMO! We got our breakfast there and did some great people watching too.
Amsterdam is considered the bicycle capital of the world and it's pretty obvious why. There are bikes everywhere. There are bikes with seated carts for children, babyseats between the handlebars with wind/bug shields, business women in heels and SHORT skirts - yes, SHORT - and we even glimpsed the occassional texting and biking! It was all pretty fun to watch. This photo is a 3 level bike garage. A local told me that at night the garage is empty. Everyone really does ride their bike to work. Pretty amazing!
We took a canal ride, which made us all sleepy...it wasn't the best idea of the day. The best thing we did was wait in line for the Anne Frank House. THAT was wonderful in a bittersweet sort of way. It made you so sad for the struggle and loss so many jews experienced but joyful at the good that Otto Frank has done with his family's memories. It is a definite stop in Amsterdam!
The rest of the day I was banned from taking photos. Yes...BANNED. We walked the Red Light District, the Coffee Shop District and meandered our way back to the hotel to ready ourselves for our trip home.