【CITY SERIES】Amsterdam |Netherlands

The Netherlands, one of my favourite countries. Love their graphic designs, like street posters, museum brochures and even their City Card has great branding identity. Love their history, their adventures ( from a book called < New Silk Road > I learned that it was once the only country dared to challenge the neighbour empire. ) and trading geniuses ( not the cruel part though ) and flowers and plants they brought back from different places then cultivate them locally. Love their International food, all kinds of cuisines available. Love their rich history of lots of great artists, Van Gogh especially. Love their super flat lands with cute sheep ( when they stand still and stare) and cows. What’s more…Well…Lots of activities and things to do. ohh and their farming too ( smart farming to use less land to produce more food, a brilliant idea), where we get some supermarket supplies from. And the canals plus bike riding along the canals. It’s hard to believe the city is below the sea level. It is so unique and has strong great characters.

In this post I will share some photos from 3 visits as in Nov 2014 ( a quick passing by), Nov 2016 ( another passing by) and Feb 2019 ( a true visit).

We bought Amsterdam card. But so hard to get all the activities done. It needed some planning skill to match the location and opening time. Van Gogh museum ticket was included in the card. We used it to the most we could, including the public trams, cruise, tulip museum, and Amsterdam botanic garden. We had planned to visit the wind mills but we missed the time and it was too far. Instead we visited places in close location clusters.

Note: We used this card in Feb 2019, it may have updates and for newest info please check Amsterdam City Card Website: iamsterdam.com
Tulip  pattern tiles
They have websites for ordering bulbs online: USA: http://www.colorblends.com, Europe: http://www.amsterdambulb.com

Amsterdam tulip museum website: http://www.amsterdamtulipmuseum.com

Narcissus from our Airbnb, at the outskirts of Amsterdam.
Brochure I collected from the botanical garden.
This was a piece of wood we found during our walk in Haarlem. It looked like a piece of yummy cake.
Geometric design, looks cool.
We were offered two bikes by our Airbnb hostess. We did some riding around the neighbourhood. These bikes had a very diffident design, especially with its brake system. They rode suuuuper fast and the Netherlands has the great bike lanes. This is something you have to try when you are there. But be safe.
A fashion store near Van Gogh museum. We waited a little before our reserved time. Safer to reserve from Van Gogh museum official website to avoid long queues.
This museum is dedicated for tulips. It’s tiny but super good. You can buy living tulip bulbs here, along with other fancy souvenirs. Fun facts to see include: history of tulips in the Netherlands and there were crazy times that a tulip bulb can exchange for a building and also crazy times when during famines, people eat tulip bulbs as food but didn’t turn out well. So don’t eat it, grow it.
First time seeing how construction tools was brought to the site, by water of course.
Inside the Van Gogh Museum. It’s souvenir shop, with all kinds of products. Lovely. Inside the gate, we were not allowed to take photos, so very sorry no photos. Although I saw people taking photos but…it didn’t feel right. One of interesting I saw inside was Van Gogh’s yawn pallets. His study of Japanese art was amazing. His changes in styles, until his matured and famous paintings, totally wowed me and realised that genius needs lot of devotion in training. We went in quite late in the afternoon and very unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish all the exhibition rooms. Van Gogh painted vaaaaast amount of his stuffs, indeed a very industrial guy.

museum website: http://www.vangoghmuseum.com

We happened to find a Greek restaurant opened by real Greek.
And we found a nice Chinese restaurant by real Chinese. Good price, good quality and we were given lots of veggies. Cabbage was nice, a must try.

Still, there are more to visit. We will wait till the normality is back and people can move freely and safely again. It will always worthy of a new visit, because for me, Amsterdam is always new, always updating and they are “iAmsterdam”!

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