Photos of the Week – Sights of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is such a unique city.  It is like Venice meets… meets… I am not sure what!  It is a charm typical of old cities, of cities by the water, of cities with architecture seen nowhere else, and of cities with a one-of-a-kind type of energy (and I don’t mean that in terms of the red light district!).

I first went to Amsterdam in 1999 when I had business there (most of my time in The Netherlands, though, was actually in The Hague, or Den Haag).  I had not returned to Amsterdam since then (except connecting through its wonderful airport) until earlier this year when I overnighted there on my way back home after skiing in Austria.

I took advantage of the limited time to walk out and about at night, and then do a quick morning walk before heading to the airport.  Though a short visit, it took me back to 1999 and it made me re-discover why I like the city so much.  I wish I had had time to visit the museums I have never gotten to explore (back in 1999, I wasn’t touristing – had no time for that!), and be a little more aimless in the walking around.  But, hopefully, I will have another chance!  In the meantime, here are some photos from my short visit!

 Night photos of Amsterdam

Amsterdam, night, Netherlands, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7 Amsterdam, night, Netherlands, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7 Amsterdam, night, Netherlands, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7

Amsterdam, night, Netherlands, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7

Notice the not-straight door and windows on the right!

Amsterdam, night, Netherlands, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7

Right outside of the train station

Amsterdam, night, Netherlands, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7

Train station

Amsterdam, night, Netherlands, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7

Royal Palace

Day Photos of Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands, architecture, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7 Amsterdam, Netherlands, architecture, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7 Amsterdam, Netherlands, architecture, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7 Amsterdam, Netherlands, architecture, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7Amsterdam, Netherlands, architecture, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7

Amsterdam, Netherlands, architecture, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7, bike, train station

By the train station – a bunch of bikes!

Amsterdam, Netherlands, architecture, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7, red door

Red doorways – cool

Amsterdam, Netherlands, architecture, Holanda, Holland, fotos, photos, travel, viaje, Samsung Galaxy S7, canal, boat

ilivetotravel, photo, champagne, business class, KLM

OK, not a photo of Amsterdam but of me leaving it in style!

More Than Just Where a Treaty Was Signed: Charming Maastricht

The charming town of Maastricht sits in the “tear drop” southeastern corner of The Netherlands by the Meuse River (“Maas” in Dutch, hence the town name). a stone’s throw from Belgium and a hard ball kick from Germany, as it were.  The town is known these days more because of the European union project since Maastricht is were the sane-named treaty launching the European Union was signed here in 1992.

I went to visit a college friend who was residing there as an ex-pat because I happened to be working in Frankfurt at the time.   The town is an old town, settled by the Romans who built a bridge across the Meuse River in the 1st century AD.    Maastricht also sat an an important point in Charlemagne’s empire around the 9th century AD which later evolved to the Holy Roman Empire.   The city has been ruled by French, Spanish, German, dukes, princes, bishops, and, of course the Dutch.  The city almost ended up in Belgium when Belgium separated from the United Kingdom of The Netherlands in the 1830s.  Finally, it was the first Dutch city to be liberated by the Allies in WWII.  All this to say that, though you may not know much about Maastricht as me before I went, it is an old and quite historical place.

I found the locals to be quite friendly.  I recall how the old owner of a pub my friend frequented told me when we went there to hang out and have a beer that he loved Americans because they liberated his town from the Nazis.  This was over 50 yrs after the fact and he must have been a kid when it happened but the feeling was fresh and strong.

The town is quaint and beautiful, what other adjectives can I use?  Walk its streets as does everyone there and shop or just look around )like in the high-end Stokstraat street).  Admire the architecture and details (like what they used to joist furniture and other stuff up to higher stories of the buildings).

Going up the 70m tall red bell tower of the Protestant Church of St. John’s (St. Jan) is a must.  St. John (as in St. John the Baptist) was built in Gothic style around the 12th and 13th century and it provides great views of the town below and the neighboring Roman Catholic Basilica of St. Servatius (St. Servaas) with its twin towers, built on the site where the saint was buried in Romanesque style also around the 11th and 12th century.  Walk around their grounds and then end up in Vrijthof Square, visiting a museum or hanging out a café.

I hope that more people venture beyond ever-popular Amsterdam to discover towns like Maastricht to get a more complete view of The Netherlands.  Take a look at the gallery of photos and tell me what you think!  Click on a photo to enlarge it

 

%d bloggers like this: