Tuesday, March 04, 2008


J and I try to go to Amsterdam for a long weekend every year, around my birthday time, although last year we didn't because we were saving our holiday time and money for the wedding and honeymoon. Our last visit was in February 2006, when we got engaged in shabby Mexican cantina in the Red Light District. This year we had several things to celebrate - nine years of being together, my birthday, J's promotion, and having been married for almost a year. So we stayed at the five-star Krasnapolsky in Dam Square (which has cheap deals on if you know where to look and which is famous for a sensational breakfast of everything from sausages, ham, cheese, fish, pastries, juice, champagne in the Winter Garden under a soaring glass and wrought-iron roof.)

We drifted round the city arm in arm, wandering miles every day, stopping for periodic refreshment in the brown bars and coffee shops, criss-crossing bridges and gazing at gables, watching people through windows, looking out, looking in. Amsterdam is a city of frank appraising glances, pragmatically cheery transactions, whirring bicycles and rattling trams, the tawdry and the picturesque side by side linked by canals of dark water and narrow cobbled streets, smells of drifting smoke, frying spices and potatoes, tastes of strong golden beer, milky coffee; a city just starting the signs of spring; perfect tulips of every colour forced out and on sale at the Flower Market, along with blossom and bulbs hazing the parks and trees.

Met up for a few beers with blogging Dam resident Dave H, who has read this blog for some years now, but failed to go out clubbing. Too tired. We slept a lot; all the fresh air and tramping about for hours each day left us pleasantly heavy-limbed and hungry by evening. So much has happened since our last holiday nearly a year ago, the worst being my Mum's sudden illness and death six months ago. I was out of the country for Mothering Sunday: that was a relief. I miss her so much. She loved Amsterdam too.



Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...


March 05, 2008 9:38 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks Zinnia x

March 05, 2008 12:25 pm  

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