Darlene Foster's Blog

Spring, a Good Time to Visit Amsterdam

Posted on: April 30, 2016

Our trip to Holland included two days in Amsterdam, arriving at noon and leaving mid-afternoon the next day. It was not nearly enough time to see everything this charming city has to offer but I loved every minute. The first thing we did was get on a hop-on hop-off canal tour. This was the very best way to see the city. And since the ticket was good for twenty-four hours, we travelled on the boat both days. This was my first visit to Holland, other than stops at the airport.

Amsterdam tulips

Tulips are my favourite flower and I was delighted to see them everywhere.



The houses along the canal were striking. We passed museums, the home of Heineken Beer, diamond factories, markets, canal-side restaurants, historic churches, cute boat houses and so much more.


The Rijksmuseum

pancake house

houses along canal

on canal boat

Enjoying the canal boat ride

Since grade three, when my teacher told us about Anne Frank and her diary, I have wanted to visit the house the Frank family hid in. My dream of visiting this place came true as the boat stopped right in front of it. We had to wait in line for ninety minutes to get inside, but it was worth it. An incredibly moving experience that makes history real. We were not allowed to take pictures inside. The rooms of the secret annex are empty by request of Otto Frank. They symbolize the void left behind by the millions of people who were deported and never returned. The moveable bookcase is still there as are some original objects, the actual dairy and pages of Anne´s writing. “When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived!” Anne Frank, 5 April 1944

Anne Frank Haus

Anne Frank

Our hotel was across from Rembrandt Square where a statue of the artist stands surrounded by bronze figures from The Night Watch. Amazing! I also visited the church where Rembrandt was buried.

night watch

You can’t visit Holland without stopping at a cheese shop. I purchased some wonderful cheese to bring home at one such shop. The friendly young saleswoman, wearing a traditional Dutch hat, was only too happy to pose for a picture.

cheese shop


girl at cheeseshop

The young people in Amsterdam are incredibly friendly and service was exceptional everywhere we went. We enjoyed all our meals and found the city to be very clean. The only thing to watch for are the bikes. They are everywhere!

kids by canal

Young people enjoying the sun by the canal

I went for a walk in the evening and felt completely safe. It is a vibrant city at night and even a heron joined the fun as he sat on top of a car basking in the full moonlight!

heron at night

Amsterdam was everything I thought it would be and more. Even though it was a short stay, I did everything on my list. I hope to return one day and spend time in some of those museums we passed by.

More about Holland in the next post.


53 Responses to "Spring, a Good Time to Visit Amsterdam"

It sounds like a very exciting visit, Darlene. We plan to visit Holland in our travels in the motorhome. We have met lots of Dutch people in our journeys and they are very friendly and funny and they all speak perfect English.
I read the Diary of Ann Frank when I was a young teenager and couldn’t possibly imagine the horror of what it really must have been like: a very moving real story that will touch the heart of generations to come.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences. 💝

It would be a perfect place to camp in a motor home like yours. The countryside is so lovely too. I was pleased to see many school children being taken through Anne Frank´s House. The younger generation need to know so it doesn´t happen again.

That’s the fearful thing: there is sadly a lot of xenophobia floating arond in Europe at the moment. It saddens me deeply.

You had the visit of a lifetime in Holland, Darlene. Especially, to feel the experience at the “Anne Frank House.” Thanks for sharing.
blessings ~ maxi

It has been on my list for a long time and I was not disappointed.

This post brought back many pleasant memories, Darlene. I recall the Dutch as being very friendly and able to speak English well. We stayed in Haarlem in a bed & breakfast suggested my Rick Steves’ travel books.

The Dutch learn English in school and are very fluent. They speak 4 or 5 languages well which is why they are such good travellers. I’m glad this post brought back good memories.

We would love to visit Amsterdam and your photos make it that much more desirable. Love the extra of over the top friendly people to an already wonderful destination.

You would love Amsterdam Sue! And you could ride around it on a bicycle and fit right in!!

I love Amsterdam and have visited it few times. The first time I visited Anne Frank’s house was very emotional since I read her diary when I was a teenager and it meant a lot to me to see it in person. I will be visiting Amsterdam again in October, this time with my sisters. I can’t wait.

I found it very emotional as well. I would suggest bringing tissues along when visiting. Enjoy your visit in October and it will be even more fun with your sisters.

I have always wanted to visit Amsterdam. So quaint. Always wanted to see Anne Frank’s home. Such lovely photos of your journey.

I believe the first time I read Anne Frank’s Diary I was very young and I believe it was a child’s version. I should check to see if there is a picture book available as it would be good to buy for my great granddaughter. I hope you make it to Amsterdam one day as it is very tourist friendly. (Note my husband couldn’t mange the steep stairs in the Anne Frank House due to a bad back, but he still appreciated the experience of being there.)

I visited Amsterdam many years ago. What a great city! Don’t you just love those high narrow homes along the canals? We actually witnessed someone moving by lowering their furniture out of the window! And all the bike riders–even business men in suits–and, of course, the moving testimony to Anne Frank. How wonderful that you got to visit!

That would have been cool so witness someone moving from those tall narrow houses. We are trying to see as much of Europe as we can. This was a great stop!

How wonderful! What a beautiful place to visit.

It was more beautiful than I imagined!

It looks like you were blessed with lovely weather for your short but interesting trip. It has been years since I’ve been in Amsterdam…more than I care to remember. 🙂

We were very lucky with the weather. It was cool but sunny.

That is perfect. 🙂

Lucky, lucky you. Thanks for all the wonderful pictures, Darlene. What a wonderful city. I drool at the architecture along the water and the colorful paints used. Wow. Just WOW! 🙂

I was totally amazed at the architecture. Wow is the perfect word!

These put a full out smile on MY face and I wasn’t even there. Lucky girl, you.

Ooops. Should I have said woman? o_O

Last time I looked, I was still a girl!!! LOL

Amsterdam in spring looks awesome. I read Anne Frank’s story many years ago, but I still recall many of the details. It’s amazing how some stories stick to your brain.

Thanks for sharing, Darlene.

It was the perfect time to visit, although a tad cool. Yes, some book stick with you forever. I am rereading the book now with a fresh perspective.

It sounds as if you made the most of your short trip there, and seeing the city by canal was a wonderful way to do it. From your photos it looks as if you had ideal weather, too. I’ve only been to Amsterdam once but I really liked it. The Netherlands are a bit of a hidden gem, I think.

The weather was fabulous! Cooler than Spain of course but sunny and perfect for seeing the sights. I agree, The Netherlands are a hidden gem. More flowers to come.

I have enjoyed the trip to Amsterdam with you Darlene . The tulips are a delight , the canal ride invigorating , the cheese mmm tasty , the beer refreshing and the museum of Anne Frank heartbreaking, especially the quote because I can so relate to it , only in the way that writing has a silmlar effect on me …therapy for the soul
Where are we going next time ❓❓❓😀

So pleased you enjoyed the trip to Amsterdam with me. There will be more about Holland as we spent some time in the countryside as well. Hint – more flowers!!

What beautiful photos, Darlene. It looks as though you had a fabulous time. How fortunate you were to visit the house where the Frank family hid.

I was very fortunate. Everything fell into place nicely on this trip. If I only saw one thing in Amsterdam, it had to be the Anne Frank House.

Love your photos of Amsterdam and brings back memories of when we were there over 30years ago. I remember the “red light” district near the canal. A couple of our group took photos of the girls in the windows until one opened the door and the guys ran…. haha. Enjoy your trip!

Your story is funny. I took an evening walking tour of the red light district. We were told we could not take pictures of the girls in the windows though. it was interesting and I guess things have changed a lot over the years. I think it is now more for the benefit of tourists and is highly regulated. It was good to see the city at night as well.

Wonderful to see this city again, this time in your eyes. When my guy and I were there, we arrived to the Ann Frank house FIRST thing in the morning and still stood in line for 30 minutes…in the rain. Then I got a huge claustrophobic attack halfway up the stairs – you can imagine how that went. :-0 We spent hours in the Rijksmuseum and it became my favorite museum of all the art museums I’ve visited (and I love art museums!). THANK you for returning me to this city – this time in the sunshine.

It was a tight squeeze in the Anne Frank House but I managed (even though I am prone to claustrophobic attacks so I know what you mean) I hope to visit the Rijksmuseum next visit.

I told my guy all about your post and he said, and I quote, “We’ve got to go back there.” Yay! 🙂

Yay! My job here is done.

That sounds pretty cool – it’s a beautiful city! 🙂

You would love it. I think Amanda will love it too!

Does that mean another book is on the way? 😉

A couple more are on the way and I´ve got ideas for another. Amanda is continuing to travel.

Rembrandt Square !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, quite amazing!!

Holland sounds wonderful! I thought that looked like a heron on that car! LOL

I thought of you when I took the picture!

What amazing photographs. So descriptive of the city. Love the idea of the boat ride. And the special moment for me was your visiting Anne Frank’s House. The Statue of Anne is a marker of history. I am a fan of Anne Frank’s writing. What stories she could have told if not for the bloody F’en Nazis.

On a lighter note, did you happen to visit any cafes where the aroma in the air is not the usual air found in public places in the States, Getting there in some places. Medical Cannabis is one of my favorite medicines. It does help. And it does make one feel happy, No DEA truth to it’s taking one down the wrong road.

What a delightful trip and I must repeat that the professionalism of the images you caught are truly artistic. 🌿 ❇ 😃

I am so glad you enjoyed the photographs. Oh yes, the scent of cannabis was everywhere. I took a tour of the red light district, which was very informative. We were shown the first “coffee shop” in Amsterdam and given the history. It is such a relaxed and happy city and that may well be the reason! Visiting the Anne Frank House was the highlight for me. She had so much promise as did many of the young people who never got to see adulthood at that terrible time.

The time and the place hold such depth of history. All those who were lost under such cruelty. I live vicariously off of those who take photographs, write books, and make films. I love the idea of floating down the canals. Is that the term they use, like in Venice? Also, to experience the freedom to enjoy the scent of cannabis. I vape it so I do not get the smoke wafting. I do get the sweet smell on my fingers when I am filling up my Pax 2 for the day. I always grind it just a touch more before using. It vapes better. Continue posting your stories and images. You have a great eye for both.

Thank you for being such a loyal follower. I think it was Niamh Clune who connected us at first. Love your posts as well. ❤

I should added: I appreciate all of the attention you give to me, also. We did meet through writing & poetry & sharing artistic endeavors.It is serendipitous what draw people to the recognition of each other. I love how it works. 🌿🍃🌈

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