Saturday, June 2, 2018


Sunday     May 20th, 2018     Pentecost Sunday    Weather sunny and warm…summer is back  
News this morning from twin sister Mary, a photo of her and her daughter flashed on their local TV    Local celebrities!  So much fun.  Yes, she was using her walker to get around.  Good to know.
news station last night at their Royal Wedding Party!

We were awake early and by 9:15 am out the door to walk to the Tram #4 station that is nearby and will take us directly to the Central Station for Mass at St. Nicolas’ Basilica to celebrate Pentecost Sunday.   Surprise, the trams are fewer and further between on a Sunday so we had a ten minute wait.  I wore my warm gray jacket and Jim had on his lightweight white jacket.   I was comfortable all morning but most people had their summer shorts and sandals today; the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful warm day.

We’d arrived a few minutes early so spent some time checking out the Train Station for our trip to the airport on Wednesday.   Then we crossed the street and entered to a packed St. Nicolas!   We had expected a Solemn High Mass complete with a magnificent choir; but not a Confirmation Ceremony complete with the Bishop!    It was a beautiful service and lasted nearly two hours.  But the music kept us enthralled so that we didn’t feel of knees.  

After Mass we started walking over to Damrak Street to follow the Walking Tour of Amsterdam in our Rick Steve’s pocket guidebook.   We’ve already seen most of the sites but have missed a few of them.  The first stop was at De Papegaat, the parrot,  a 16th Century hidden Catholic Church that is still active.   It was considered hidden as it is crammed in-between commercial buildings on a busy street.  Very narrow and built like the attic churches with a balcony for extra seating.   There is a wire strung across the back of the church with a fake parrot perched on the wire and note the common name references the parrot.   Originally the church was tucked behind a shop that was owned by a gentleman who was a bird trader.  Thus, the common name as the church is actually named for Peter and Paul.   Today, when we entered, there was a mass in process being said in both Dutch and English.  Much like the magician on the cruise ship.  It’s a real talent to switch between languages so easily.

From there we continued walking to the Amsterdam Museum.  It has a very unusual entrance and it sits slanted as though the ground has dropped on one side.  Probably so.   We checked everything out but decided not to go in as it’s basically a history museum and not much art except for a few Rembrandts.  

Then to the Flower Market in glass shops along the Singel Canal.  There are two blocks of them and they are full of bulbs to plant and flowers to buy along with an ample supply of souvenirs to purchase.   I splurged on an inexpensive five fingered Delft vase and a tiny windmill to take home.  We also noticed as we crossed bridge after bridge that the warmer weather and the weekend have brought out the tourists in droves.  The boats loaded with people are bumper to bumper in nearly every canal.  It’s so different walking today in the crowds as opposed to weekdays. 

We arrived home just after two o’clock after stopping at the ATM for more Euros for my summer trip and have enjoyed our afternoon with the windows open.     

We enjoyed our first evening out for dinner tonight since we left the cruise ship!   We walked down the block to enjoy an early dinner.  We selected a board of small plates for two selected by the chef.  It was unique and delicious:  raw salmon on a salad bed, blood sausages, fried chicken, BBQ’d ribs, onion rings, potatoes, bread and sauces.  Delicious!   Beer instead of wine and a slow walk through the crowded park on the long way home.  

Todays steps:  11,211  --  4.93 miles

Monday, May 21st, 2018   Whit Monday  (the day after Pentecost) 
                                                                                       summer weather    (rain expected)

I’d read my Kindle book late into the night and also had a phone call from the USA about 11 pm.  A neighbor that didn’t know we were still in Europe called for the code for a lock box on the Electrical Panel outside.   Fortunately I knew the code and was able to help him.  He was surprised when I said we were still in Amsterdam!    Today is a holiday in much of Europe.  Whit Monday is a religious holiday in conjunction with Pentecost Sunday.  But, most things continue to be open as usual.  

About noon we left the apartment… without jackets for the first time…. And walked about two miles to visit a private home, coach house and gardens that is known as the Museum Van Loon.  Beautiful furnishings and very original interiors.  The home was built in 1672 and purchased by William van Loon who co-founded the Dutch East India Company as a wedding gift for his son. 



During our walk we stopped to watch two men hoist a refrigerator up to the fourth floor using the pulley at the top of the house.  Scary!

The canals were bumper to bumper again with boat due to the holiday and the beginning of summer!  A beautiful day full of sunshine and summer clothes!   Jim walked to purchase our dinner and bring it home to enjoy as I washed my hair early.  We enjoyed pita lamb sandwiches with a glass of wine.  Our landlords, Sven and Claire, brought us a bowl of fresh strawberries that we enjoyed for dessert.

My steps were short today, only 5,764   (2.61 miles) but Jim took two extra walks so had four miles.
The weatherman says we’re going to have thunder storms tonight!  ??

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