Posted by: Gary Guertin | July 28, 2015

3. Viking Cruise – July 25th-27th – Amsterdam

Hi All,

I left you at the end of Post 2, with us not going out Sat. July 25 because it was raining so hard.  Well, thank the Lord, or somebody, because Amsterdam had one of it’s worst wind storms ever.  A tree over 6 feet wide was blown over right in front of the hotel and 6 cars were smashed. Thank goodness no one was hurt.

On Sun. July 26th we started our day at the breakfast patio of the hotel, how’s this:

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Since it started out a nice day we decided to walk to Susy’s #1 priority to see in Amsterdam ‘The Van Gogh Museum”. Here’s Susy way out in front to get to the museum, and in the meantime we can look around at a typical street view of this area:

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This area where the hotel is located is noted to be the richest area in Amsterdam, and for the city you can feel the wealth here.  We finally reached the area which is known as the museum quarter.  In the next photo you will see straight ahead and far away is the famous Rijksmuseum, the largest and most important museum in Amsterdam.  It has the largest collection of Dutch artists and most extensive collection of Dutch artifacts. On your left (the circular building) is the back of the Van Gogh Museum where we are going today, and next to us on the left, out of the picture is the Stedelijk Museum:

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Since no photography is allowed in the Van Gogh Museum I can’t show you any of the masterpieces.  This museum has the largest collection of Van Gogh’s in the world: 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 letters of his and his friends.  I will show you one of his famous “self portraits” and one of the house he lived in:

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OK, they are only street signs, but what do you expect from me, the real thing? 

Let’s move on to Mon., July 27th and certainly our favorite day in Amsterdam, because we were going to see Dirk’s family: Carla (his mom), Nico, (his uncle), and Riek (Nico’s wife).  Susy and I were invited to the famous “Amsterdam Leidscheplein” or the “American Cafe”.  This is were the artists, the rich, and famous of Amsterdam have stopped in to have tea, eat, or drinks for many years. Here’s the “Familia”:

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We had over two hours of “catching up and looking forward”, oh, and a little wine and somebody must of had tea, lol.  I also want to show you a shot of the inside of this cafe which has been around for many, many years (I didn’t get from when) but Nico said it was in it’s original decoration:

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Leaving the family, Susy and I just stepped out the Cafe door and there was a canal touring boat, so since it was early we decided to take a one hour tour of the city.  Since this post is getting very long I’ll just show you a lot of pictures with few words.  OK, let’s go, first a houseboat, since many of Amsterdam’s people live on their boats, paying taxes based on the size of the boat and the time they will be parked there.  Many have been there for years:

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This is a typical street scene from the canal:

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Look at the white little balcony (in the street behind) right above the houseboats two double (white) front doors.  That little white building is the narrowest in all of Amsterdam, and probably Europe.  I think our Captain said 4 1/2 feet wide (I could be wrong, but not by much).  Speaking of the Captain here he is sharing his tour guide comments with his little “digital” friend, the computer with the tour in three languages:

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A lot of new high rises are beginning to appear in Amsterdam, not to the liking of the old city dwellers.  Here’s one where the apartments run into the millions of dollars:

 

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The Captain said I had to show the next photo, the hottest night spot in Amsterdam.  You are nobody unless you show up at this “night playground”:

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Another typical street scene from the boat:

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The National Opera House:

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A look down the canal as we are nearing the end of our cruise:

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And finally Susy in front of our cruise boat as we finished our day’s tour:

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Now, having finished our tour, all you red blooded men (and boys) are going to say where is the photos of the famous “Red Light District” of Amsterdam.  It is precisely for the point that I hope my lovely grandchildren (Love You Two) are now following my posts, so therefore I will try and maintain a higher level of intellectual exchange with yourselves (ha, ha).  Stick around men, I’ll try and get RLD pictures the next time I come.

I’m going to close here.  Tomorrow, Tues, 28 July, Susy and I plan to just rest and get ready for the cruise.  On Wed. 29 July we will board the Prinsendam, and spent that day getting settled aboard the ship, so some day soon after that you should here from me again.  The first port is Eidfjord, Norway on July 31th.

Until next time,

Love You All,

Gary (alias Gagu)


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