Amsterdam (part 3)

On our last morning in Amsterdam…

More to see . We did not want to leave without walking  in the Red Light District. I had read in a book that  is  was better not to take photos. But there was a few places  I felt is was OK. It was early in the morning and almost nobody were on the streets.

According to my travel guide,  nearly  a thousand prostitutes work in the Red Light District, sharing  about 200 windows and a very long history. Prostitution was officially legalized in 2000 and is now considered just another profession with rules, regulations and taxes.

Here is the statue  dedicated to the Unknown Prostitute. She’s nicknamed Belle.

Little Venice. “The Venice of the North”.  Little Venice is a term used  Europe-wide  for any charming  neighborhood with canal side houses. Like Venice , the city was built in a  marshy  delta area, on millions of  pilings  and like Venice it grewed rich on sea trade.

In the Red Light District, the oldest neighborhood of Amsterdam,  I visited an hidden church.  Amstelkring Museum. From the outside, the building look like any other houses but inside, it holds a secret, a small , lavishly decorated place of worship hidden in the attic. Back in  the 16th century there was one group they kept in the closet. The Catholics. For two centuries ( 1578-1795), Catholicism in Amsterdam was illegal but tolerated. In 1663, a wealthy merchant built Our lord in the Attic.

You can often see the year  when  the houses were built. Like this one  . 1686.

Our B & B- Hotel Brouwer, was also in an older building ( had been renovated a bit) . 1652.

We enjoyed our  days in Amsterdam. Such a friendly city.  I was hoping we would have time to go to Haarlem by train but finally there was so much to see in Amsterdam and not enough time to venture in this city. Maybe it would be just nice to visit another time.

This is the end of my posts on Amsterdam. We are going to fly to France and have other adventures.

Thanks for reading. See you in France !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amsterdam ( part 2)

The visit in Amsterdam continues. On that day we had our tickets to visit The Anne Frank House. It is a very popular place and  purchasing our ticket on line  2 months ahead was a good idea to avoid the line-up.

We all know the story of Anne Frank. Maybe you have read the book also. I did . It is such a sad story. We visiting the Secret Annex . It made it more real for sure.

We walked some more. In Southeast Amsterdam, we visited many museums : The Dutch Resistance Museum ( history of the Dutch struggle against the Nazis). The Portuguese Synagogue ( built in 1670’s- has no electric lightning, only candles and windows), the Jewish Historical Museum, The Hermitage Amsterdam ( has loans from the Hermitage Museum in St.Petersburg). So it was a full afternoon.

But while we walked we also admired the architecture.

Visiting Amsterdam meant a lot of walking ( which we like to do). We went back to the Jordaan district the next day , to see  the Westerkerk (church).  We also took a boat cruise. While we were on the canals it was raining a lot which made it quite difficult to take any photos. We still enjoyed seeing the city that way.

We still had time to do more city walk  the next day. I will share some more on my next post, next Friday. Thanks for reading. Have a good week-end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amsterdam (part 1)

Amsterdam. A modern city. Bikes, canals, bridges, houseboats, museums, tulips, cheese, Red Light District, coffee shops selling cannabis (we did not try). Great architecture.

Visiting Amsterdam in September would mean less tourists and we hoped for good weather.  We did not get too lucky on the weather. We had clouds and rain  on and off everyday but it did not stopped us to see all  the places we wanted. And you know there is always a museum around the corner.

We arrived early on a Monday morning.  We took the train to get to the city center and  walked to find our  hotel.  We had chosen a small B & B, very well located. We had a good view on Singel Canal.  I stared at that view ,  never got tired of it.

From our B & B we could walk everywhere we wanted. We  did not waste any time to start our visits. First the Amsterdam  Museum giving us an idea of the city’s growth from fishing village to global trade center, some paintings and  much more  information we could absorb  with the jet lag.

We decided to wander in the city and get some fresh air. Going inside the Cheese museum was a good idea to taste some cheese and learn a bit of history.

Clogs are traditional wooden shoes from this country.

We went out  for dinner in the Jordaan district. We were surprised how the restaurant  we had picked from our guide was busy for a Monday night. Got back to our  B & B for a good rest as the next day , we were going to visit  The Van Gogh Museum and also the  Rijksmuseum. It was at least  30 minutes walk but a good chance to see the city.

Van Gogh was a creative genius, he produced brightly colored landscapes in impressionist style and many self-portraits.  He had a tumultuous life. The museum  with more than 200 paintings was fantastic and help me to  know more about the artist. We spent at least 1:30 hours  in the museum.

The Rijsksmuseum is located very close to the Van Gogh Museum. It was also very interesting to discover the paintings of many Dutch Masters like Vermeer, Steen, Hals and Rembrandt .

We walked some more…

We had time to visit the Royal Palace,  a lavish city hall, that take us back to the Golden Age of  the 17th century.

We really enjoyed Amsterdam. Walking by the canals…

Bikes are  everywhere…

A lovely city. More to see on my next post. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong ( part 5)

We still had visits to do in Hong Kong. The Tian Tan Buddha  is located on Lantau Island. We got there by metro. We got up to the mountain via the Ngong Ping 360 sky rail. It was a very windy and  foggy day. The ride to get to the top takes about 30 minutes. Nice view around until we reached the fog.

The Big Buddha is the world’s largest Buddha, seated, outdoors, made of bronze.  The statue is 34 metres (112 ft) tall, weighs over 250 metric tons , and was constructed from 202 bronze pieces. In addition to the exterior components, there is a strong steel framework inside to support the heavy load.

Before going up the 260 steps to “nirvana” (close to the Big Buddha), we looked at the Po Lin monastery. Beautiful architecture and lots of incense burning.

 

I was very happy we made it to see the Big Buddha and  the village on top of that mountain. Ngong Ping, Chinese style, has many shops for the tourists!!!

I hope you enjoyed visiting Hong Kong with me as much as I liked to share it  with you. Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments. Other stories on my travels are posted every Friday.  Have a good week-end.