Wednesday, January 18, 2006

End of a Journey

Amsterdam, beautiful, architecturally stunning, with warm and friendly people and amazing food.

On the Amstel, near our houseboat:

On the AmstelAmsterdam, the city of canals

We spent three nights in a quaint, but spacious houseboat on the Amstel. It was quite luxurious but just a bit crowded for six. A.W. and I bunked on the floor, but it was still quite comfortable, just a little noisy due to the bathroom being located in the same space in which I slept.

Memories of Amsterdam:

  • the food is first and foremost, it was amazing, rich and very fattening. Especially in contrast to our diet in Tanzania. I have to admit to a sweet tooth and when I ate a freshly concocted, hot and sticky, bought off a street vendor, Stroop Waffle I knew it was a good thing that we weren't staying longer, as I would find all the weight I lost while in East Africa!
  • The Van Gogh Museum was a treat and a pleasure. I have always loved Van Gogh, but now I have an even deeper appreciation for his work and I have a new favourite, Wheatfields Under Thunder Clouds
  • In my mind Holland, or Amsterdam that is, is equated with grey, showery days. After the intense heat and eternal sunshine of Tanzania and Zanzibar, the contrast was startling.
  • bicycles everywhere, bike lanes in the traffic, beautiful ladies in high boots and dresses, men in suits and trenchcoats. All riding no gear, upright bikes, talking on their cell phones, holding an umbrella... why do we not encourage this in our urban areas? I know why of course, but will not rant here and now...

I would of course like to spend more time in Holland, I only saw a very small corner of it, but I did thorougly enjoy it. I have to say that at the same time I was more than a little sad to have left Africa. I think it will always be with me and I have to go back.

Time to return to reality and find a job in my chosen field. Although I was away for only six weeks, September 21 to November 3, coming home was like I had never gone, and yet like I had never been here before... so strange.

Giving thanks:
Claire, I could not have travelled otherwise
A.W. for allowing me to use her pictures (D.B. too)
Russ and Bob, for lifting our spirits
Simon, Urio and Charles, the best guides in the world


JB said...

“I have to say that at the same time I was more than a little sad to have left Africa. I think it will always be with me and I have to go back.”

Isn’t this the best part about traveling, the fact that a good trip stays with you always?

P.S. At the Musse d’ Orsay in Paris they have a whole room of Van Gough paintings, including “Starry Night.” Van Gough is may favorite impressionist. I would LOVE to go to the Van Gough Museum in Amsterdam. Lucky you!

bayou_boy504 said...

Those houses don't really look real. They seem to be made out of gingerbread or something. Cool shot.