Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Walking in Jordann

While planning for this trip, I searched through my Amsterdam guide book for an idea of what to do to help me get on European time. The advice always is to get outdoors in the sun. I decided a short walk through an Amsterdam neighborhood might be just the thing. The Rick Steves' Amsterdam book says a walk through the Jordann area gives one an idea of how real people in Amsterdam live.

I started my day by getting a round trip ticket to and from Amsterdam Central.
Good thing I'm law abiding because today on both the trip into Amsterdam and then on the trip back to Schiphol Airport inspectors came through the car asking to see tickets. This is the first time during my recent trip that this has happened.

I could surely tell it was tourist season. After getting off the train I became part of a huge crush of people attempting to get onto the escalator to go down to the exit area.

I crossed all the tram tracks and the bike lanes and the traffic lanes and got around the construction zone in front of the station, and started down Damrak.

Soon on the left I found the Beurs (Stock Market) building. I continued down to Dam Square, indeed passing "every Dutch cliche in tourist shops" (Steves' words) and turned right. I found a lovely little cafe by the New Church and sat down to enjoy a cappuccino. Something warm sounded very good for the temperature was not even 60 degrees.

The cafe umbrellas may be seen just in front the parked while van. I was intrigued by the figures decorating a facade on the church, just behind my table.

The church itself is being used as a museum housing an exhibit about the recent accession of King Wilhelm.

Souvenirs left from the recent celebration

I walked out into the middle of Dam Square so I could get a better view of Royal Palace.

Then I followed the directions to go to the right of palace and head towards the Magna Plaza Shopping Center.

This building opened in 1899. From the outside one might intuitively recognize it as a shopping center, but inside it looks elegant but familiar.

 And there is one English word that I saw everywhere, including the C&A store I explored while walking down Damrak.

Then I started a walk into the neighborhood.



and shops.

These shoes carry a price of 180 euros ($234)! That is almost the same price as two nights in the hotel where I'm staying.

There are also artist galleries, but this is the first time I've ever seen one totally full of cows!

 Here is a close-up of one.

And of course the canals were full of tour boats.

The walk then took me down a charming residential street.

The various front doors or front steps were a riot of flowers.

While back-tracking my way to Damrak I got a different view across a canal.

The mob of people across the canal are in a line to visit the Ann Frank house.

The forecast for this day was sun, but clouds were gathering and I began to get concerned about a possible rain shower. And believing the forecast I had not brought along either an umbrella or a rain jacket.

By the time I got back to Damrak some sun was reappearing, so I stopped for lunch in a care in the Beur. I chose an old cheese sandwich.

Took the train back to Schiphol and then walked over to my hotel for a nap.

Good day walking in the Jordann neighborhood. The guide book was right; it did give me an idea about how real people live here rather than what one sees if only visiting tourist sights!

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