Well I worked out whilst on the flight back from Amsterdam , that the last time the hubby and I took a weekend out to go to a city destination, without kids, was five and a half years ago!!
So when the offer of a grown-up weekend away came up, I opted for Amsterdam as I previously loved the city and it has been nine years since my last visit.
We were keen to ‘walk’ the city. Find hidden treasures off the beaten path. Explore more of the dutch way of life than we had done on our previous visit. For a life time has happened since then our tastes and interests have developed and matured (I hope).
On our previous visit we had read through the guide books and visited The Anne Frank Museum which is an amazing experience and I was blown away by the exhibition, even more so than the Jewish Museum in Berlin. The Rijksmuseum was also top of the check list when visiting Amsterdam. However this time, we opted to spend time wandering through the city and admiring and adoring the architecture, the shopping and the food.
I find Amsterdam a very romantic city and I think this is down to the culture. Stepping aside from the Coffeeshops and the Red Light District, which indeed have there own form of beauty. The canal walks, the bridges, the art, the houses (new and old), the food and the friendly nature of the city, makes for a less hectic city break.
Even their modes of transport, the tram and the bike, are far more eco-friendly, even if I thought I was going to be mowed down by one of them.
I adore the architecture of Amsterdam and whilst on our walks I found myself, doing what I do best, which is looking in the windows of the houses and apartments. I noticed that a lot of the houses, with their large ground floor windows have double height spaces, and therefore the interiors are awash with natural light. In some instances the spaces have been divided into a mezzanine level, maximising the use of the high ceilings. Walls were covered in floor to ceiling of books and there was always evidence of some design classics and large pieces of art. I couldn’t help but wonder if ‘looking through windows’ is something that all designers can’t help but do. In a way it’s like research. I am also a bit of a daydreamer and like to imagine the lives that are led inside these house plus I always like to imagine what it must be like to live in a building on a canal.
Where land is at a premium, these houses and apartments don’t come cheap, therefore, I’m guessing that the residents spend time designing their homes and their lives. Just observing the dutch way of life, it seems far more relaxed than that of my own. Leaving me feeling envious. But the grass is always greener and it’s only my assumptions based on a view through a window!