The Low Countries

Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands.

As Linda and I leave the Customs Booth and head towards the transportation hub upon arriving at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, I hear resounding sounds emanating from a full orchestra supporting a passionate male voice singing “Cry Me a River.”  The sounds are clearly not recorded let alone those of SIRI – who is starting to dominate the US airport landscape.  This sound is live and full of life – it is also magnificent.  The people in the large transportation hub/mall are jammed together surrounding the singer and orchestra and look mesmerized.  Soon I am in the exact same state.  The arrangement is faithful to (and as good) as Michael Buble’s stellar performance on the Crazy Love album.

After a third song Linda reminds me that we have a trip through the low countries to take.  “Really? Can’t I just stay here and buy some Duty Free goods before we head back?” As a child of Rock and Roll who enjoys everything from Hip Hop to today’s Country there is nothing that knocks me off my socks more than someone singing something from the standard song book backed by a full band/orchestra.  Wow!

Below the a pictorial of our trip to Amsterdam – The Netherlands, Delft – The Netherlands, and Bruge – Belgium.

Amsterdam

 

Built from 22 Row houses starting in the 1960’s – The Hotel Pulitzer is a work of art itself. A wonderful place to call home for a few days.

Amsterdam is filled with cafe’s with sidewalk seating – elegant, tacky and quirky.

Amsterdam’s version of the family station-wagon. Unless you see it first hand, there is really no way to comprehend how pervasive bicycles and their use in daily life is in Amsterdam.

Bike convention on the canal.

This is not a waiting line, but a gathering place. The Dutch like their beer and summer nights are for gathering and talking with a libation in hand.

Conversations on the front doorstep are common.

Observing what is going on below is also common.

Patrons taking in the Nightwatch at the Rijksmuseum.

Conversations while sitting on the edge of the canal are part of everyday life.

The Anne Frank museum left me speechless. A view into the environment in which a young girl communicates her every thought through through written word is more compelling and honest than any propaganda piece generated by a government office – ever.

Amsterdam is the center of flower commerce. However the flower boxes in town are pretty good viewing as well.

The city is alive at night as well.

The seven bridges canal.

Delft, The Netherlands

Looking for Vermeer, steps from his home and the Artist Guild.

Ours is the house with the Red Tile Roof!

The Old Church (built before 1,000 AD) from the top of the New Church (built in 1,200 AD).

Should we meet at the mall or Town Square? I’ll take the town square.

My very best girl in Delft.

Bruge, Belgium.

 

Simply put, Bruge is a open air museum. Our hotel room is the top floor of the twin roofed building center right.

A hotel room with all the cleanliness and creature comforts demanded by the 21st century traveler, but feel of another lifetime.