Saturday, June 25, 2011


 On our way to Uganda we flew into Amsterdam, stayed 3 nights, took a train to Brussels, Belgium, stayed overnight, and then took Brussels Airlines, first landing in Rwanda then proceeding to Entebbe, Uganda.

The best way to fly to Africa via United Airline is to fly to Europe then take one of the United Alliance airlines to fly south. In order to break up the trip and go somewhere we wanted to visit we chose Amsterdam.
I must say I loved Amsterdam, home of the Anne Frank museum, Dutch masters’ art museums, many canals, wooden shoes, windmills, bicycles, trams, beautiful men and women, and legal marihuana. We taxied to the renowned Pulitzer Hotel very close to the Anne Frank museum and on one of the main canals. Late afternoon we took a canal trip on beautiful hotel boat that once carried Winston Churchill through the canals and out into the ocean harbor.

The next morning, we walked two blocks to line up at the entrance to the Anne Frank museum.  It was early morning and many people were already lined up but after 20 minutes we arrived at the payment window.  Afterwards, we ate along the sidewalk as it was a beautiful day.  Lots of bicycles, quiet trams, small cars, were in evidence.  The sun was warm and tourists and non-working locals also found a sidewalk cafés that lined the streets and canals. 
Many kinds of boats were in constant motion along the canals and we learned people have boat homes on the water that are permanently moored.  They have all the utility hook-ups that a RV camper has at a camp site.
Those who know me well would assume that I would check out the “brown coffee houses”, and they would be right.  A “brown coffee house” is where you can LEGALLY buy marijuana.  This was quite an experience.  Doing a little on-line research, I learned where the best shops were and found one near the hotel.  The one I went to was not seedy at all.  It did have remnants of 70’s art on the walls but the music was modern soft rock.  Cushioned benches and chairs were provided with a very small cube to set your bong down upon.  The smallest amount I could purchase was a gram and there were several varieties to choose from.  Being cautious, I asked what was recommended and after establishing I didn’t want to get wasted and only want to get high, I bought a gram that lasted the 3 days in Amsterdam.  I lit up about 4:20 PM and came back each day as it was illegal to smoke in the streets or hotels.
We took a fine dining boat trip during our stay which included a trip out to a part of the North Sea.

 After the diner cruise, we walked through the famous red light district where young, beautiful women in skimpy lingerie were on display through small store front windows. What eye candy!

Wooden shoes and windmills are a must to see so we signed onto a small bus tour and visited a tourist place where we saw how wooden shoes are made today. Machines help out a lot but there still is some hand work to be done. The shoes are still very popular amongst the farmers. Wood lasts much better than leather where walking on dampness is common.

We did venture up into the inter-workings of the wind mills and saw that they were very substantial structures made from wood.

Our last day, we walked from our hotel about one mile and went to the Rijksmuseum which was going through extensive renovation. But we saw a fabulous Dutch master’s art collection and some insight into the technique the artists used.

Oh, yes, we have tulips.

We learned that pancakes are very popular in the Netherlands but they are not eaten at breakfast, in fact the very popular restaurant, The Pancake Bakery” is closed until 11 AM. We did have pancakes for lunch.

I was totally impressed with the liberal way of life in Amsterdam. The Dutch seem to be happy people who allow others to accept responsibility for the lives. I mean, prostitutes openly (and tastefully, I might add) displayed and cool places to enjoy a doobie means their minds are in a completely different place than most Americans. I wish we were more like them.

We took a train down to Brussels and stayed and took a taxi to the 5-star Amigo Hotel, one block from The Grand Place public square, a World Heritage Site, and 3 blocks from the famous statue, “The Little Pisser”.
Maison Du Roi (The King’s House)
The Guild Buildings.
The Brussels City Hall
The Grand Place at night.

The Little Pisser.

On our hotel room wall, two copies of Belgium artist Rene Magritte’s art.

We left for our long flight to Entebbe the next day.

1 comment:

GETkristiLOVE said...

You didn't go to the Van Gogh museum? I was there on a six hour layover once. Just long enough to go into town and get something to eat but it was 8am on a Sunday morning so nothing else was open. I must go back - looks great!