Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dam Square Amsterdam

Sorry I have been so tardy in posting about our trip to Holland, but I have been feeling unwell since returning. I have been fighting, what I thought was a cold for over a week, and yesterday
Mr C persuaded me to see the doctor as I could not get rid of my cough and I had absolutely no energy at all. The doctor's diagnosis, acute bronchitis. No wonder I have not been able to doctor myself with over the counter medicine as I usually do.
Anyhow, here are some photos taken of Dam Square.

Our last day in Holland we spent walking around taking in some of the sights. I stood somewhere near the center of the square slowly turning around, snapping pictures and looking at all the interesting people. The were many, many tourists like us, some just standing looking around, some listening to a tour guide, some sitting at one of the cafes, and some looking as though they didn't know where to go next.

As I looked across the square it struck me, just how much contrast there is from the very old to the modern. For instance, there is the Oude Kerk, a 15 th century church, where the Kings and Queens of The Netherlands are crowned, and where numerous famous Dutchmen are buried, towering over a hot dog stand. Mimes (some rather bizarre looking) standing withing the square, performing this ancient form of theatre for a few Euros from the tourists, horse drawn carriages, a couple of cafes which serve the best tasting strong coffee, and people from all around the world.

I stood there and tried to imagine how the town square would have looked in the 15 th century as people went about their daily lives. I could almost picture the women as they bought their wares at the market, see the officials of the town hall coming and going, and other folks going about their business.

This mime didn't seem to have a theme in mind.
The original Madame Tussauds (note no apostrophe) Wax Museum is located in London, England. Fortunately for travelers in Amsterdam, this bustling city is home to one of the four branches. Although the museum is smaller than the wax museum in London, it still contains plenty of entertainment. This museum offers a different way of finding out more about the history of Holland. Here, you can see how people lived during the 17th century, aka the Golden Century, meet Rembrandt himself, or some other famous artists.

There is also much restoration of some of the ancient buildings going on. One such place is the Royal Palace, formerly the town hall. click HERE for more information.

I would have loved to take a ride in one of the horse drawn carriages but they were rather expensive.
From Dam Square everyday it is possible to take a horse drawn carriage tour of Amsterdam between 11.00 and 18.00.
The prices are per ride and for a maximum of 4 people - 20 minutes is 35 Euros, 40 minutes is 60 euros and 1 hour costs 85 euros. The tours amble thorough the city streets at a leisurely pace and take in most major sites.

I did not notice the interesting way of securing the horse manure from falling on the streets, until I downloaded the pictures. An excellent way of capturing the droppings.

This scene for me, was an absolute delight. As I watched from a distance, the youngsters were tugging at their parents clothing, looking up at them with much animated talking, and pointing to where the mime was doing his thing. The dad finally reached into his pocket, withdrew a few coins which he handed to the children who immediately walked over to the mime.

The mime squatted down so he was at eye level with the youngsters, and commenced to talk. Of course being a mime, there were no words exchanged, but I did hear whistles squeaks and so forth in the way of communication, and I could see the children were absolutely entranced by the whole episode.

It appears a High five is a universal language.

1 comment:

lom said...

take care Keewee