August 17th & 18th Amsterdam

August 17th, 2015

First off a great big Happy Birthday to my nephew Coltyn!   Love ya to bits and hope one year I get to celebrate it with you!  A few throw back pic’s:

Coltyn 2007
Our first meeting! December 2007.
Coltyn 2009
September 2009
Coltyn 2015
February 2015 in Mexico!

Iva and I got up and headed for the Van Gogh museum, we had tickets already so were hoping the Que would be easy for us, but we still waited over an hour in the rain.  The museum was amazing with many excerpts from letters he wrote his brother that really told the story of his life, thoughts, beliefs, hard times, and yes bouts of mental illness.  It was a fascinating display!

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Van Gogh and a poster of a self portrait he painted
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My friend Iva from Croatia that I met at the hostel.
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I amsterdam sign, too may people to get a good pic of the whole thing though.
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another of Van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings. I saw another in London as well, apparently there are 5 different ones he painted.

We explored the city for a bit and had nice afternoon, then I had a tinder date set up with a fellow named Jos (yos) who was born and raised in Netherlands.  We went for a beer and toured the city a bit.  Really great guy who reminds me a lot of a good friend at home (JS or snuffy as some of my friends call him), we had such a great time, he has dubbed me ‘Columbus’ and we decided to meet again the next night as well.  Sorry Jos, I  had to steal a photo from Tinder for the post!

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August 18th, 2015

Okay, I know all those who know me well are thinking: what the heck is Jen doing in Amsterdam…famous for red light district and legalized things I wouldn’t even be near even if they were legal in Canada LOL.  I came for the canals!   Jos would say I came to meet him, and he’s good for my ego, but I came for the Canals and to experience a city with more bikes then cars.   Iva and I took a canal cruise this morning, it was neat to see the city from a different perspective! Oh and small world, couple next to us, where from Beaumont Alberta which is about 10 min from my town! Small world!   There are many house boats on the Canals that people use as full time homes, Jos tells me they must have permits and pay taxes based on size.

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Iva on Canal cruise.
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Going through one of the bridges, as you can see the rain has followed me everywhere on this trip, but the little moments of sun are all I need!
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Canal Cruise!
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House boat!
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More house boats!
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Narrowest house in Amsterdam
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One of the bike parking lots! one of MANY!
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I hope you can see the amount of bikes in this bike only parking garage!

This evening Iva and I went for a traditional Dutch dinner which for me was Sausages with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.  Jos met me there after and drove us to Muiden,  to a lake and harbour where the Queen Mom of Netherlands keeps her boat, and there is castle built by a Knight from the money earned when he built locks and charged a fee for boats passing through.  We went to a nice pub there and I learned a lot more about ‘Holland’ which is actually 2 provinces in Netherlands but completely interchangeable with Netherlands as the country name.  Jos is 48, and a self employed Graphic designer, quite funny and easy to be around.  Hope our paths cross again Jos, truly had a fantastic time with you!

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didn’t get any better pic’s! Jos and I
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Muiden, Castle in the distance behind the locks.

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