Netherlands · 4 Days · 19 Moments · March 2017

Roger and Kathy in Amsterdam and Utrecht

11 March 2017

I had to explain this to Roger - he doesn't know about police and donuts...
Roger us so stijlish in his Mondrian socks!
Great visit to the Banksy exhibit at the MOCO Museum. I think this is the only real exhibit of Banksy, a street artist, in the world. Loved it.
Back I Amsterdam, we are staying in the Museumplein, museum district - great location. Easy walk to the museums, a little more relaxed than the center of the city

10 March 2017

We took the train from Amsterdam to Utrecht and back - 30 minutes with a chance to see the Dutch countryside from the train - canals with barges carrying fuel and coal, dairy farms... the photo is the Utrecht station which is very modern.
Crocuses blooming
Look at that gorgeous blue sky - so we decided to climb the 465 steps to the Top of the Domtoren in Utrecht. We could see Amsterdam from the top - clear day! We were given a demonstration of the bell ringing and Roger was particularly interested in that as he was a bell ringer in England as a youth. The method here is different.... Each Saturday morning there is a woman who comes up and plays the bells, striking the large wooden keys with her fists. She plays classical, pop and every Saturday morning people listen to hear what she will play. After David Bowie's and Prince's deaths last year she played their music. Recently as the creator of Miffy died she played the music associated with this beloved Dutch character. It was hard work climbing the 465 steps but worth it!

9 March 2017

And the view looking outside our apartment door
Looking the other way from our apartment the Domtoren
Looking in one direction we see a sculptor working outside his workshop
Here is our room. The bathroom is behind the frosted glass doors.
We are staying in one of these little hidden apartments below the street along the Nieuwegracht canal in Utrecht. In the 13th century these little vaulted rooms were warehouses along the canals.
Dayna Kurtz and Robert Mache were fantastic. The audience loved them and knew their songs and the evening was warm, intimate, fun. Dayna has the most wonderful voice and spirit and she is an amazing songwriter. Robert is fantastic on the guitar and mandolin. Dayna keeps him on his toes as she decides on the songs as she goes along and only tells him right before they start playing. Robert says that Dayna will preface it sometimes with "I don't know if you've ever played this before". She had us all singing with her. Robert mentioned Roger by name during the concert as they were talking beforehand. Dayna suggested we get to Utrecht early today for the shopping. Vintage stuff. She says the vintage wallpaper is fantastic... ??
Here is the Paradiso where we heard Dayna Kurtz and Robert Mache. Great venue. And we sat in the front row

8 March 2017

Opted for traditional Dutch food - potatoes cooked 3 different ways - mixed with sauerkraut, mixed with kale, and mixed with meat and onions. Delicious actually...
Enjoying the combination of old and new in the architecture - and the relaxed feel of the streets even though this is rush hour - few cars, lots of bicycles
Mimi rules, in fact she is one of the famous Amsterdam cats in this book of Amsterdam pub cats.
As we took the room at the very top (for the bed!) which meant hiking up 6 steep flights of stairs we were given a free drink. Wonderful local beers! Spicy interesting! Plus a free platter of Amsterdam cheeses (good!) which even the people on the lower floors are given.
Arrived in Amsterdam today in rain, thankful that the air traffic controllers strike did not affect our flight. We are here to listen to Dayna Kurtz who will be singing tonight at the Paradiso. Good excuse to visit Amsterdam. Booked La Bohème a small hotel near the Paradiso in the Leidseplain area, very vibrant area. The hotel is basically a shrine to Mimi, this cat, who rules the joint, named after Mimi in La Bohème.