Romantic Rhine!

Yes, the love of my life took me there. Years ago, after seeing the ads on Downton Abbey, I mentioned to Steve (husband) that I would like to do a Viking River Cruise. So what happens? We take a Viking River Cruise. Is he the best or what?

On June 29 we settled into the most amazing “Business Class” seats on a flight to Amsterdam. If you have the means (meaning frequent flyer miles) to travel this way, I highly recommend it. It is so choice.

Steve first class

We spent our first two days in Amsterdam, and what an amazing city! Let me leave you with three primary observations:

  • The bicycles are everywhere, and they are ruthless. They will mow you down from behind without warning, and curse at you if you get in their way like taxis in New York, except the bicycles are also on the sidewalks. Once you get past that, however, it’s very cool. There are multi-storied parking garages just for bikes, and the car traffic is noticeably less congested. IMG_4761
  • The Rijkmuseum is stunning beyond belief. I had no idea I was a fan of the Dutch Masters, but they have bumped right up to the top of my favorite artists. Our visit began with a string quartet that were street musicians playing for donations.
  • Street musicians     IMG_4776
  • The water looks like it is actually moving.

    The lace is so perfectly rendered it reflects light.

    You’ve got to love a portrait named after the dog.

  • All I could think after the Anne Frank House was, she was just a little girl. Walking where she walked, seeing what she saw…it was one of many things we saw this trip that moved me to tears. No pictures allowed.

Like Venice, Amsterdam is a city on canals and one of the best ways to see it is by boat.

IMG_4796

Our canal ride was amazing.

If you want to know about the Red Light District, yes, we walked around there one night. It is flashy, it is loud, and it is crowded. Also as you walk by the “coffee shops,” the marijuana hovers in a dizzying haze, and it smells bad.

Did I like Amsterdam? I did. The Rijkmuseum was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. I liked the Van Gogh Museum too, but by then Steve was over “art,” so we didn’t have the same experience. I find big cities kind of stressful, so I have to say that if you love the urban atmosphere, you will love it. If you find peace in a small village or rural setting then my next few posts will “float your boat” (Do you like the cruise pun?).

Next up: The Boat Floats

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