Sunday, April 8, 2012

Amsterdam is NOT Camarillo

Easter Sunday found me out of bed early again to take the combined bus, train and bus rides to Berne's Belp Flughafen for my Sky Work Air flight to free thinking city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The first thing that greeted me at the airport was a Berne Bear . . .

Doing a Head Stand???

As if this was not puzzling enough, I then caught sight of the plane that would whisk me off to Europe's answer to Las Vegas . . .

What is the weight limit for passengers?

Fortunately, there were only 11 passengers aboard this bulwark of the skies that could hold about 40 travelers total. It was a smooth and well run flight.

This is a Swiss airline after all.

Madeleine Stucki
2012 Sky Works Employee-of-the-Year

Madeleine was the first person I met at the Berne Airport and she was simply delightful. If only every company had someone like her to be the first person you met in dealing with a company for the first time. She was the very soul of customer relations!

The vote for Employee-of-the-Year is still months away I know, but really, who else could you possibly vote for?

It is official, I made it to Holland!

After taking the train from Amstedam's Schphol Airport to the Centraal Station, I opted to walk down the more than interesting Damrak, a boulevard that quickly led me to surmise that I was no longer in Thun.

The Hotel Gerstekorrel was somewhere
on this street at Damstraat 22-24


That is my room, the bulging, curved window just over the New York Pizza shop. It is, shall we say, quaint. The big upside here is its location just two blocks from the Dam Square in one direction and two blocks from the Red Light District in the other direction.

The Red Light District???

Indeed, prostitution has been legal in Amsterdam since the year 1200.

Instead, I worked in the opposite direction and thought about Laurie as I passed . . .

A Diamond Store and . . .

A combination Goldsmith and Diamond Cutter

Stay the course . . .

If you ever need to move your piano . . .

The Dutch National Monument
on the Dam Square

Today is Easter Sunday afterall.

The Greeter at Vondelpark

Not nearly as good as Madeleine Stucki.

And I don't do drugs

A contact high perhaps.

Is that a Native American?

Griffin Alert!!!

Amsterdam welcomes everybody

Artist at Work

Musician at Work

Couple about to get to work

Why does the pastor of St. Francis Xavier
Church need a spiked chain entryway?

Spring Flowers in Bloom

Holland is noted for tulips but these are nice too

Old man marveling at . . .

. . . this apparent chess prodigy

Amsterdam has many . . .

. . . many . . .

. . . Canals

Since both drugs and prostitutes were off my agenda, I needed to find some more wholesome pursuits to fill my overcast Easter afternoon.

I know, how about a museum? Good idea, but which one?

No, I'm not crazy about horses

No, I'm not crazy about eyeglasses

No, I'm not crazy about wax figures

No, I'm not crazy about medieval tortures



Instead I opted for . . .

One of the Dutch Masters

Just an excellent museum with so many wonderful Van Gogh works.

It was very, very incredible.

Piaggio advertising food

After the Van Gogh Museum, I realized that I was hungry, time to graze.

The white powder is SUGAR!!!

And so good for me too!

This was a nice snack to tide me over, but I needed more, much more.

No, I'm not big on sushi

No, too glitzy


This chain is part of the Amsterdam "coffe house" scene. Except they don't specialize in coffee.

No, I'm not in America

A Dutch IHOP???

Apple Pancake with powdered SUGAR!!!

Amsterdam's Centraal Train Station

A Theater

A cool canal-front business

VERY big for a canal-front building

Wall Braces

I always thought that these were used to help old European walls that showing signs of decay. I hope I'm wrong.

My favorite Canal Building so far

A Department Store

New store, old building

The Royal Palace

It is one of four of Queen Beatrix's official residences and is located on the Dam Square only three blocks from my hotel and five blocks from the Red Light District.

The Red Light District???

Bikes are a big part of Amsterdam's transportation

Argentine Restaurants are EVERYWHERE!!!

I mean a lot of them, there are four of them alone on the two block walk to the Red Light District.

The Red Light District???

I guess that unbeknownst to me, for every Nazi that fled to Argentina for asylum after WWII, one Argentine had to immigrate to the Netherlands.

Time for a real meal not another nosh.

Suggested by the Hotel
Gerstekorrel's receptionist

Their tomato soup was the best I've ever had! The black angus steak on a bed of goat cheese with a strawberry sauce was pretty dead on perfect too.

What the . . .

I saw about four groups of 20+ year old British men walking about in groups of 4-6 guys. They seemed to all be having a good time but they kept loudly slurring their words like they were all stoned or something.

Oh, that's right, this is Ansterdam, never mind!!!


The Red Light District???


David said...

I am greatly relieved to see you have been addressing the powdered sugar deficit in your diet.

David said...

Oh, and I wouldn't have dismissed the Hard Rock so quickly. Remember, you get free refills there on beverages that actually have ice in them.

Ryan Bolland said...

I love both of David's comments. I have no original thoughts on the matter.

George said...

As always, David IS "The Voice of Reason"