Trolley Cars, FLOWERS, and Great Food…

Do you prefer your blooms beautiful now? Or in the future? Like things looking gorgeous year-round? Well, might I advise a trip to the Amsterdam flower market (aptly called Bloemenmarkt). Such fun! A whole string of permanently temporary, medal-sided, over-sized sheds lines one side of Singelgracht (for ‘gracht,’ read canal) near one of the city’s main hang-out areas – Spui (pronounced ‘spow’ – who knew??). We first saw this lovely market from our canal boat tour two days ago and determined to make it back there on foot. Actually, we took a number of different trolleys to get around town today. Rode the #13 back to the Dam Square (largest one in city), got on the #5 headed out to the Rijksmuseum, where we spent about two hours in the very truncated viewing area while most of the museum undergoes extensive renovation. Thoroughly enjoyed several Rembrandt masters, several of his students and contemporaries, including a Vermeer I love – the woman reading the letter in the light of a nearby window. Lovely, lovely things of beauty which provide remarkable insight into a people and time long gone. Wish they’d had more of those wonderful, large cushion/benches that allow lingering looks and observations. Lots of people to move through, lots of paintings just a little too closely spaced together to do much reflecting, but still wonderful to see.

Then we got back on the #5 trolley/tram and took it back to Spui for the flower market experience you see pictured here. As I looked at the spread of bulbs below (and there were several stalls specializing in bulbs rather than blooming plants), I couldn’t help thinking….what if some impish person came along and just sort of casually started mixing things up – who would know? And the gardener thinking s/he had purchased the makings of a wonderful pink and lavender bulb bed might be surprised to find orange and green showing up next spring. Hmm….

As has been our pattern for each of the last 3 days, we returned to our dingy, damp apt. and flung ourselves down on bed and couch for a 2-3 hour nap! I must have been sleep-deprived for a very long time, because I am sleeping a ton, especially in the afternoons! Then we followed our feet this time to a highly recommended dining experience from our ‘friend,’ Rick Steves. He did not disappoint. The Cafe Restaurant de Reiger, pictured below in the soft 8:00 p.m. light. Dick had the special salad with smoked salmon. I had the zucchini/chicken soup – we both LOVED our opening selections. Then he had a lamb shank special and I ordered the vegetarian dish, which was described to us as a souffle of several cheeses, but was, in real life not quite that. Whatever it was, I loved it and enjoyed every bite. Then we meandered back to our last night in this strange home of ours and began to pack up for delivery to the Viking Spirit tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. More later…

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  1. Sounds like great fun. Take in all the sounds, smells and tastes!

  2. Will do, Don. Hope you and all around you are well in SB…