Amsterdam Calling

By - August 7, 2006 (Updated: November 28, 2014)

I don’t think I need to mention how much I love and miss Amsterdam (since I’m sure I’ve said it ad nauseum) but it had been a while since we had the time to go back and visit. The past two weeks however I’ve spent almost as much time as here.

First there was a trip up a few weeks ago to show the Kiwi around. It ended up being the hottest day of the summer so far. The sightseeing tour ended up as us staggering sweatily from one shaded café to the next, trying to lift our cameras here and there without too much sweat dripping into our eyes.

Despite the heat, it was a fun trip. I always enjoy showing Amsterdam virgins around and hopefully sharing the sights that people should see, rather than what most tourists actually do see… (Damrak and the red light district).

So last Monday Andrew had to go to Den Haag, followed by Tuesday in Amsterdam. He decided it would be easier to stay overnight rather than driving back and forth two days in a row. I tagged along as I hadn’t spent much time in Den Haag. We arrived first thing in the morning and I had a great, peaceful wander about in some fantastic morning light and I was able to make some great (I hope) photos before too many people were out and about.

I did a bit of shopping in the afternoon and when Andrew was finished work we headed to Amsterdam. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza out by the airport (just for comparison, that night’s stay was booked at the last minute, luckily Andrew’s work was paying. We stayed at the same place on the weekend, which I had booked two weeks in advance, and it was cheaper for two days including breakfast and parking than that one night with nothing included… moral of the story book in advance!) We went in to the city for Indian in the Jordaan and then headed back to the hotel for bed.

Andrew was working out near the airport on Tuesday. It was raining so I made use of the hot tub before catching the train into the city. I hit my favorite shops until closing time and then headed down to Los Pilones to wait for the boy. Then it was back to Brussels for bed.

Friday night we were back in the car and headed back to the Crowne. We had a supper stop in Breda at the Sate Hut (rounding out just about all of the places we always eat in Holland). We crashed once we got the hotel, so we could get an early start on the morning. (I had some shopping to do before the actual purpose of the trip started.)

Shopping completed (more or less successfully) we headed to Robert and Marie-Anne’s condo on the water. We were invited to watch the start of the Pride Parade from in front of their building. They had some friends visiting from Curacao as well, so we all trouped down to the water front to watch the festivities.

It was crazy as usual and I’m sure I have some interesting photos. It seemed a bit smaller this year but it could have been because we didn’t have to wait for them to lower the floats to get under the bridges. After the parade, Andrew and I headed back to the hotel to drop off our purchases and get cleaned up.

We all met up again back in the city for a very nice supper at Onassis. I think after some lengthy discussions, Andrew is considering a move to Curacao. Mmmmm… tropical…

Sunday morning we slept late and then took the long way (only partially accidentally) to Den Helder to visit with Paul and Inge at their camping place. Once we found them (yes we had been there before so should have known better) we spent a lovely relaxed afternoon enjoying the sun (sun that we were totally unprepared for). Then we took a trip to the nearby beach (God how I miss the ocean) and had a snack and drink while people watching and enjoying the sound of the surf. Then we went into the city and had another lovely meal overlooking the water.

By 11:30 it was time to make the drive home. Thankfully the driver had no problem staying awake… while I on the other hand was less than conscious for the entire trip.

Now I’m home while Andrew is in Hamburg and I’m definitely missing the Netherlands again.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
It's after Halloween so I can officially share Christmas Markets now right...? 🎄🎅 - 1 week ago


  1. Comment by Alison

    Alison August 8, 2006 at 17:12

    Hmmm, does sound vaugely familiar doesn’t it hon? I was thinking about you all that day and how great it would be if you could come back 🙂

  2. Comment by Jenn

    Jenn August 8, 2006 at 17:07

    Los Pilones, Pride Parade, and Den Helder….*sigh*
    Makes me want to do it all again too 🙂

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