In early March I thought about how great it would be to finally see Amsterdam, and, three weeks later, I was there. (Voilà!) Greeted by sun and salty air, I enjoyed the city immensely. Some of its neighborhoods have red and green lights, sure, but I spent my time admiring its Golden Age. There’s a lot to be said for walking along canals, eating appeltaart, and watching sunshine play off 17th-century architecture.
On the cold, overcast days of my visit, I hit the museums and contemplated portraits of merchants, kitchen maids, and civic militia guards in full regalia. (Apparently an ongoing theme in Golden Age portraiture was, “So, let’s be clear about this: I’m incredibly rich.”) Here are some of the Rijksmuseum‘s most famous residents:
Netherlanders do speak English, but the country is not without its mysteries. Case in point: Why does Total Loss fruit gum show a horrific car pileup on its box?
As much as I love history, let’s also be relieved for the sleek and new. More specifically, my comfy accommodations at the Hotel Arena. Its building is a revamped 19th-century orphanage (no ghosts to report) with a modern treatment, sans serif fonts and all.
The shot below is from the suite’s bathroom, which was separated from the sleeping-lounging area by a clear glass wall. Quiet and well-lit, it served as the perfect crashing pad once I was ready to own my jet lag or watch Canal+.
All in all, a golden week. And still more pictures of food and Belgium to come!