Thursday, May 28, 2009

First day in Amsterdam ~ part one

After an almost ten hour flight in a cramped Airbus A-330, we arrived at Schiphol airport, where we collected our luggage and made for the train station, where we bought our tickets for the 20 minute ride into Amsterdam. The ride was smooth and quite comfortable which pleased us, as we were both very tired and were anxious to reach our hotel to get some rest.
As we rode along, I could not help but notice the graffiti on the walls of buildings, fences and anything else which could be used for what I thought was more like an art form than mere graffiti. Via the Internet, I discovered that the graffiti is indeed an art form. Read more here.

Our first glimpse of one of Hollands many, many canals.

A view of the train station in Amsterdam.
The number of bicycles in Amsterdam is staggering, and seems to be the best way to navigate the often very narrow streets.

Our hotel for the first night in Amsterdam.

The room we had in the Golden Tulip, although small was very comfortable and nicely decorated.

These two pictures are actually of the room we stayed in on the two nights before we left to return home. The room we stayed in upon arrival in Amsterdam, was the same layout, but was decorated in a pretty shade of blue. You can see how long and narrow the room is, and instead of a queen size bed, there were two, longer than usual twin beds pushed together.

From our room window we could look down and across at the interesting old houses across the narrow street.

If you click on the picture you will see on the front of the brick facade of the building on the right, a hoisting beam with a hook on the underside. This was, and still is, the way furniture or any large objects were winched up from the street below, in through the door below the beam, and on into the house. They had to use this method as most times the doors into the houses were very narrow, due to in the past, houses were taxed on the size of the doors they had, and also the stairs in these old homes are very narrow and steep.

From one of the hotel's hallway windows we had a great view of the old houses and buildings.

Notice how there is no room at all between one house and the next. Every little bit of extra space was used. We could look down on some nice little rooftop patios people had created.

I could not get enough of looking out the window at all the old houses, and thinking, if only the walls of those old buildings could talk, what fascinating stories I would hear.
This is the end of part one, come back for part two, our trip on a boat through the canals of Amsterdam and pictures of the fabulous buildings and streets of this old city.
Mr C. has a post up, so if you want a different point of view click HERE


Ginco said...

Lovely pictures Keewee! That's exactly what I couldn't stop doing when I first arrived in Europe - - keep on staring out the window!! I know what you mean if you wonder about the stories these old buildings could tell, if only that was possible, LOL!!

cassie-b said...

What great pictures. I have just added Amsterdam to my list of places to visit.

It looks so interesting.


Anonymous said...

Hi Keewee,

It's always good to be home, even after a wonderful trip. It looks like you had a wonderful time. Way to go on shooting in the competition.

The view from the hotel looks great, love the little cafe in the front. Aren't the old building fascinating to look at, the way they sag and they are all cockeyed.

I'm so sorry that your seeds got confiscated, at least you weren't in any trouble because of an unscrupulous seller.