13 In europe/ travel

postcards from amsterdam

dear friends,

i love amsterdam. it’s one of only two places i have found in my travels (so far), that i would live (aside from my homeland).

we stayed in a funky hotel just a 10 minute train ride from the airport; also conveniently located next to a tram stop that ran straight into the middle of the city

[a number of] years ago i might have seen the appeal of sitting in one of the many cafe’s the city is famed for all day getting stoned, but not any more. i’ll leave that to someone else now. i’ve got places to go and things to see:

such as this store, full of quirky items including glass eyes from world war two
cross-eyed

and a bronze titmouse. the description of which (on their website) reads

…my favorite Dutch word (of the moment) has got to be ‘hebbedingetjes’. It’s an all-encompassing category that acts as an umbrella under which shelter all the things one wants but might (or most definitely) not use. The thing that I like so much about it is the sense of urgency, that it doesn’t just translate as little things one wants, but really as sweet little things that one thinks might just be necessary for life to continue in the manner in which one desires.

that is so totally how i feel about it! like my life is forever changed because i saw this thing and can’t have it, and my life cannot possibly ever be as rich as it could be if only i had that bird. sigh…

yet life did go on. and it included trips to the van gogh museum and anne frank house and a visit to the world press photo exhibition.
memorial to anne frank

it astonishes me how much hatred and intolerance humans are capable of; both back in anne’s time and still now. how do i balance that out with love, peace and acceptance when i am just one person? by keeping these words close to my heart…

I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.
– anne frank

i am so in love with dutch apple cake (try the one at mokka in The Nine Streets or “De Negen Straatjes,” area if you visit – ours was still warm, straight from the oven) that i fear i would definitely need to buy a bicycle if we did live there, and do a few laps around the block each day in order to satisfy my desire for more cake
dutch apple cake

and cheese
cheeeese!

and frites with mayo.
frites with mayo

amongst the best finds on our trip was an organic restaurant called AS. this is located south of the city (and conveniently within walking distance of our hotel). we did wonder when we went in what we’d got ourselves in for, as there is no menu or wine list at hand. we simply got a choice of a 3, 4 or 5 course meal and a choice of red or white wine. we also had no idea what it was going to cost us. so we just went with the flow and were delighted with the result. delicious organic food, served very simply in a fabulous setting. magic lies in moments such as this one.
as restaurant

it’s virtually impossible to get a photograph in amsterdam without a bicycle in it and i loved this one especially
bicycle built for four

do you think the two companies at the top of this sign moved in together on purpose?
little chicken game company

with love to you wherever you are…
-leonie

p.s. more photographs up on flickr

  • Kay
    26/06/2010 at 14:56

    Sweeet! What a great time you had.

    BTW I have tagged you – go to my blog and see! :)

  • No worries
    25/06/2010 at 11:11

    Ive been living in Amsterdam for 4 years now and I love this city! you captured the city really well in your pictures! wonderful!

  • Nadine
    24/06/2010 at 23:26

    I have photos from Amsterdam. They don’t look anything like that. So pretty! And your Brighton ones! Oh, the wanderlust I now have! Must. Control. Urge. To. Travel.

  • rachel awes
    24/06/2010 at 13:27

    can you imagine
    balancing with some
    of your dear loves
    on that bike?!
    & that lit up table
    in the restaurant
    looks like a place
    to feed your heart!
    & that is the
    prettiest holder of
    yum yum french fries!
    oh my heavens,
    always so heavenly
    are your travels!
    love to you too
    where ever you are
    as you tip toe
    through the
    world’s tulips.
    xox

  • bella
    24/06/2010 at 01:19

    Yummy, yummy … the food looks so good. I hope you both enjoyed your travels to Amsterdam, a city I hope to see myself! xo

  • Di
    23/06/2010 at 22:01

    Beautiful beautiful beautiful photos!

    I do enjoy Amsterdam. I love seeing it through different eyes.

  • Helen in Switzerland
    23/06/2010 at 21:42

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Amsterdam is a great city and I would happily live there too….although truth be told, after 19 years in the country I’m not a city girl anymore. Despite being so flat, Holland is totally charming. Where are you going next? i can’t wait to hear!!!

  • Amy
    23/06/2010 at 20:55

    Wow, I totally empathize with you about hebbedingetjes. I see things that fall into that category all the time, and only occasionally am I able to take one home with me. And I loved reading about your experience at the organic restaurant–unexpected surprises like that are always wonderful. =)

  • Anne-Marie
    23/06/2010 at 03:26

    That apple cake looks divine. I’ll send you some feijoas [our tree is STILL fruiting] if you send me some dutch apple cake. Deal?

    Love that quote from Anne Frank. Her journal is one of my all-time favourite books.

  • Karen Travels
    22/06/2010 at 15:42

    Wow. Thanks for letting me travel to Amsterdam from my apartment here in Charlotte, NC!! Love it!

  • Swirly
    22/06/2010 at 15:40

    I am so happy you made it to The Otherist!!

  • kristen
    22/06/2010 at 14:26

    I love Amsterdam, it’s one of my most favorite cities ever! Glad you had a great time. xo

  • Tara Bradford
    22/06/2010 at 13:17

    Yea! I knew you would love Amsterdam. You’ll have to come back and visit us next year. xo P.S. I see you’re getting over your shyness with that fab camera. Great shots!