Snapshots from Amsterdam

This post is quite overdue, but I finally got the pictures and I’m really excited to share them!  On the way to and from Uganda, we had two long layovers in Amsterdam.  The first layover we stayed overnight, and the second, we had eight hours between flights during the day to soak up the city.  The photos are not in chronological order, so don’t get too confused.  But here are some of the highlights!

This is the Rijksmuseum around 7am on our way back to the States.  The sun was rising quite late in the day, the air was crisp and fresh and its hard to pass up photos of the beautiful buildings in Amsterdam.20140305-181710.jpg

Half of the team that came back with me to the States – Kyle, Sarah and Caroline.  After much too long of searching for a perfect lunch spot, we stopped at Cafe Hans et Grietje (Hansel and Gretle?) for a perfectly delicious lunch.  I got some classic Dutch pea soup that was a perfect match for the  cold day.20140305-181732.jpg

I matched my pea soup with this tasty Strongbow Gold cider.  As a hard cider always is, it was refreshing and light.20140305-181810.jpg

This is just outside what can be called a “Dutch Starbucks.”  According to Caroline, this little coffee shop is similar to Starbucks in the States.  However, this quaint little shop was much cuter and so Euro.   😉  I’ll take succulents on my coffee table any day. 20140305-181851.jpg

Good morning team and welcome to Amsterdam for the second time!  Caroline’s favorite pose.20140305-182028.jpg

It’s hard to beat a petite patisserie, no matter what country you’re in.  I admire the French and their culinary excellence.  When I see signs like this, I just pretend I’m back in France and buying un pain chocolat at each corner bakery on my way home. #howtogainweightineurope20140305-181943.jpg

A distant view of the Rijksmuseum on one of the canals.  Amsterdam is made up a web of canals and can be referred to as a Venice of the north.20140305-182047.jpg

“Like all great travelers I have seen more than I remember and remember more than I have seen.”
-Benjamin Disraeli
This quote captures the heart of traveling.20140305-183558.jpg

I absolutely love Dutch architecture.  The colors here are warm reds and navys.  This is just as the sun was rising over Museumplein (where all the museums are).  I think the Opera House is just behind me in this photo.  The building (and hill) to the right I think are a modern museum… We only visited Van Gogh, which is just nearby.20140305-183613.jpg

Dusk on the canals.  First layover.20140305-200626.jpg

A delightful little ice rink right next to the Van Gogh museum and the IAmsterdam sign.20140305-200707.jpg

Walking through the neighborhood to get to our bus stop in Amstelveen, a small town just outside of Amsterdam where we slept.20140305-200729.jpg

Riding stationary bikes under the Rijksmuseum with Grace.  You are not allowed (at least when it’s busy) to walk through the middle of this underpass because there are so many people on bikes.  It’d be like walking through the middle of a bike highway. 20140305-200746.jpg

The central station is the tall building on the right that looks (to me) just like the Rijksmuseum.  The white building is a tourism center.20140305-200802.jpg

Amstel Hotel on the canal.  We took a canal cruise and got to see all the beautiful lights throughout the city.20140305-200838.jpg

Making note of cute chocolate packaging.  We stopped in a lovely little chocolate store and tried some delicious (and cheap) truffles.20140305-200859.jpg

Earl grey chocolate truffle.  Amazing and spot on taste.  I savored this one.20140305-202931.jpg

We enjoyed this little “Antiek” store.  I ended up with several silver demitasse spoons that have an engraving of different European places like the Sacre Coeur and the Keukenhof Museum.20140305-202943.jpg


Being tourists and loving the city despite the freezing rain.20140305-203012.jpg

Passing by the place we ate at our second time around.20140305-203027.jpg


Caroline and the wind got in a bit of a tiff.  The wind won and splashed whipped cream all over her nose…and her fancy camera.20140305-203120.jpg

Amsterdam has more bikes in the city than cars.  Things to learn from the Dutch…20140305-203136.jpg

The crew just outside of our hostel in Amstelveen.  Here’s to adventure!20140306-104037.jpg

Same sunrise on museumplein.20140306-104048.jpg

Can’t miss the architecture. I want to live here.20140306-104102.jpg

Choosing chocolates.20140306-104113.jpg

View from our canal cruise & lights behind us.20140306-104134.jpg

On our way to the canal cruise & we passed through Dam Square. 20140306-104145.jpg

Canal cruise.20140306-104216.jpg

Couldn’t get enough of the Rijksmuseum.20140306-114855.jpg


We love bakeries.  European bakeries.  7am and it was the only one open we could find.  Europeans know how to value sleep.  #belegdebroodjes20140306-114845.jpg


This is the bicycle highway I was talking about.20140306-114920.jpg



Inside Hans et Grietje.20140306-114935.jpg


Missing the feel of European life, though my taste in Amsterdam only lasted a few hours.   Until next time 🙂

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