I’ve Arrived!


Oh, the places I've been and the things I've seen!

Oh, the places I’ve been and the things I’ve seen!

Well here we are in Amsterdam – home of bridges (over 1000), canals, beautiful buildings and, of course, sex. We’ll get to the sex in a minute, but first a look at our apartment. Well, not our apartment exactly. The apartment itself, booked on AirBnB is okay, although the review we will submit won’t give it any more than two stars out of five. We are on the third, which is really the fourth floor, and I think our view is typical of what one sees in Amsterdam.

Nice view

Pleasant view

It is the entrance and exit to our place which is challenging, particularly to two guys who have had heart issues and still have stair issues. There is a vertical drop of a total of 42 stairs over a horizontal space of less than 5 feet.  They are no wider than 8 inches. When we mentioned this to the woman who rented it to us, she just laughed and said there were even narrower and steeper ones in central Amsterdam. I think she wanted to make us feel better but it was irrelevant to us, as I lay splayed out huffing and puffing in the armchair .

Packing the luggage up was no picnic.

Packing the luggage up was no picnic, and going down without it isn’t either.

Terry carefully descends

Terry carefully descends

When we checked the frying pans in the drawer, this is what we found.

Leftover scrambled eggs

Leftover scrambled eggs

Let’s just say that I will post our full, unabridged review of the place when we have left town.

We arrived on Wednesday and Scott and Ria had arranged to meet Ria’s sister and brother-in-law – Ann and Larry –  from Ontario who were in town for a day waiting to go on a river cruise. They had been here a few times before and Larry wanted to give us a tour of the red light district and off we went. Now at 3:30 there aren’t a great many – ok, any, women sitting in the windows to entice one. (We are going back tonight to see the “sights”.) There are however, many shops in the area to provide aid to those in need.

Happy is as Happy does

Happy is as Happy does

Reminds me of the controversy over the Bic Pens.

Reminds me of the controversy over the Bic Pens.

Larry, Ann, Scott and Ria

Larry, Ann, Scott and Ria – hey lady, move out of the photo would ya!

We saw some great looking buildings

Cool front

Cool front


I don’t think this is an Arthur Erickson design, but it is interesting.

The homes in Amsterdam are quite narrow – there’s an understatement and in order to get their furniture into their homes they employ hooks and pulleys.

By hook...

By hook…

or by hook.

or by hook.

Centraal Station (not a spelling mistake) is magnificently huge. This is approximately a quarter to a third of the length. It is the home to the trains which flow in and out of Amsterdam

Centraal Station

Centraal Station – from the front

It is impossible to get a sense from photos of the station. First, check out the bikes in the bottom of the top – I haven’t even mentioned how prevalent bikes are. There are three of these semi-circled covers over the tracks – see the middle photo. You can’t get the entire length in a photo even from a distance on the water.

Centraal Station - from the back

Centraal Station – from the back

I think the captain of our little tour boat was quite impressed with the Silhouette – even she was taking photos of it.

Celebrity Silhouette: Built 2011 Years old 5 Passengers 2886- 3463 Cabins 1443 Space Ratio 35 Tons 122210 Speed 24.0 Length 1047 Beam 121 Crew 1000 Total decks: 15 Decks with cabins: 8

Celebrity Silhouette: Built 2011,   Years old 5,    Passengers 2886- 3463
Cabins 1443,  Tons 122210
Speed 24.0,   Length 1047,  Beam 121,  Crew 1000
Total decks: 15 Decks with cabins: 8

The Sea Palace restaurant is a miniature copy of the Jumbo Restaurant in Hong Kong. The Sea Palace holds 700 for dinner – the Jumbo – 5000. I can’t imagine the noise of 5000 Chinese diners since we often were drowned out in restaurants in China with only a hundred – or Starbucks with no more than 50.

The Sea Palace

The Sea Palace

On the way home from downtown we were on a tram which was packed with standees and it had just discharged about 10 standees at the previous stop when the driver jammed on the brakes – HARD – and we saw this girl lying on the ground. By the time I got my phone out, she had gotten up, clearly shaken. She had cut in front of him and was totally at fault. The driver got out and took a strip off her and wanted her id. It was quite the experience. If those people had not just gotten off, I am sure there would have been injuries on the tram.

She is lucky to be alive

She is lucky to be alive

Now for a little entertainment. We spent about a half hour watching a five man dancing troupe. They had their schtick down really well. Not only was their dancing pretty cool, so was their patter and their money collection. This guy was the finale.

The Shoe Blog

I originally thought of using this shoe as the featured one, but decided against it. You’ll see why in a minute.

And who wouldn't want a shoe as a boat - or a boat as a shoe.

And who wouldn’t want a shoe as a boat – or a boat as a shoe.

But this is today’s shoe. We were walking in Dam Square when I spotted this woman and her boyfriend. She was clearly in some difficulty. They walked to the side and I unobtrusively sidle over just to get a photo while they stood there. I was rewarded, however, with this conversation:

He: “Why are you taking them off?”

She: “Because they hurt.”

He: “But you just bought them three minutes ago”

She: “So what? They hurt.”

She put on the ones on the left.

She put on the ones on the left.



3 thoughts on “I’ve Arrived!

  1. Lois and Gerry

    Great images of the city. You must be TIRED after such a busy trip. Thanks for sharing.

    1. ggwatt

      Lois and Gerry – thanks for your comments. All comments motivate me to keep writing.

  2. Sandra Mason

    Love your reflection in the ” toy store” window.
    Looking forward to continued stories. Love them.


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