The mist rolls in and back go our gloves and scarves. Let’s hope it’s just for a day! I will miss all the layers and a good animal print.
…9 days until Spring!
Uniform of this sunny day: black- black … clothes- sunglasses!
You can pretty much do anything on a bike here, even sports it seems! This keen Coxswain motivates her rowers from a bicycle all the way down the Amstel. Talk about a multi-tasker!
Go girls go!
Wieger and Anne Marie love to go out for dinner, visit art galleries, and look for nice boutique hotels or B&B’s for their next city trip. So why not turn their passion into their work? That’s what they did, they started their own B&B in a typical Amsterdam house in the popular neighbourhood De Pijp. It is called Ollies Bed and Breakfast. The breakfast is lovely, they have cool photography in the rooms and they made their own mini-guide of the city so that their guests can enjoy Amsterdam as much as they do.
Food and Art
Wieger and Anne Marie love art. The museum district is only a 5 minute walk from their B&B. Wieger: “The Rijksmuseum is really a must see, both for the art and for the cool designed building. It is amazingly done.” Anne Marie: “But we actually prefer to visit art galleries and especially photography galleries. In weekends we love to walk around de Spiegelkwartier. We always pay a visit to Jaski Art Gallery and the Yellow Korner.” The Spiegelkwartier has been the heart of the art and antiques trade for the past 80 years with over 70 specialised art and antique dealers.
Their other hobby is to go out for dinner. Anne Marie: “We love restaurant Sent just across the street. It is a small and lovely place where they cook with a Green Egg. But we have so many other favourites like Vis aan de Schelde [Close to RAI. “Michelin-star quality food, and a very relaxed atmosphere”], Toscanini in the Jordaan [a very popular Italian place, so make sure to make a reservation], ‘French-bistro-style’ restaurant Rijsel in a side street of the Amstel, fine dining at Fyra just off Vijzelgracht and Bar Americano [along the Amstel, where you can eat Italian food and stay till late at night for drinks at the bar].”
What to do in Amsterdam
Wieger calls himself an Amsterdamophile: “Amsterdam is the best city to live in. The size is perfect, everything is walking distance. And after living here for almost fifteen years, I still enjoy the beauty of the city.” Anne Marie: “There is always something nice to do in Amsterdam; concerts, expositions, new pop-up stores opening and there are many festivals. I am not that much into electronic music festivals but I love food and art festivals like De Rollende Keukens in the Westerpark, the Food Soul Festival and the Affordable Art Fair in Amsterdam-Noord. For shopping I recommend the 9 Straatjes and the Pijp. Just a few minutes’ walk from our B&B you have the Gerard Doustraat. Since a few years a lot of nice stores have opened there. It is becoming very trendy.”
Bikes and Boats
“The best way to see Amsterdam is by bike or boat”, says Wieger. “My favourite cycling spots are the Vondelpark, the old canals and the cycle path under the Rijksmuseum.” Anne Marie: “On sunny days we take a boat, bring some food and drinks, friends and nice music and sail through the canals.” They would both recommend tourists to rent a bike and go through the city like locals do. Wieger: “I think it is recommendable for tourists to plan their cycling trip a bit before they start cycling. Cycling can be quite hectic. But there are nice routes and neighbourhoods like the Jordaan are great to discover by bike.”
Ollie’s Bed and Breakfast
Ollie’s Bed and Breakfast has got three rooms. Anne Marie and Wieger live on the first and second floor and the rooms are on the third and fourth floor of a typical ‘de Pijp’ building with steep stairs in a cosy street. “Working together is going really well. We have a good division of tasks but we also work a lot together,” says Anne Marie. Wieger: “We have the same taste of style and paid a lot of attention to detail when furbishing the room. We would love to have guests over who share our taste for interior design and our love for photography.”
It brought a smile to my face when I sidled up to this pretty colourful pair at the cash machine. Perfectly matched Mother and Daughter duo are ready to go shopping together!
..Punky Brewster eat your heart out!
Stand out from the crowd with bright, wild, neon colours! Make your bike a masterpiece.
These two super chic biker couple take a cruise through Dam Square. Biker jackets, ripped jeans, black tandem..let’s roll!
This past weekend was the much anticipated start of the Tulip season. 200,000 colourful Tulips were ‘planted’ in front of The Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Dam Square as part of an annual pop-up celebration held to celebrate our national symbol. The best part of it all was that the general public were invited to pick their own bouquet of fresh tulips! (if you were patient enough to cue up for hours!)
Bikes of course were out in full force, with their crates swinging with gorgeous towering tulips. The red colour represented Red Cross who was a sponsor of the event. They want this to be “a reason to share and give flowers to your neighbour, to show you care”. Let’s hope there was some sharing done here as it’s easy to take home beauties like these just for yourself.
Couldn’t get any more Dutch than this!
Happy Tulip Day!
When I first moved here 2.5 years ago I always carried an umbrella. People forewarned me of the climate here and briefed me to be prepared. But after the years I just got used to the basics ( I couldn’t bring myself to put on waterproof pants anymore and listen to the swooshing noise it made as I walked!). This entire Winter has definitely been cleansed from the heavens regularly – I have lived in my worn my knee-high trusty rain boots and olive green raincoat pretty much every day…the staple uniform! :) I decided to turn a negative thing into a positive fashion choice.
For others, practicality kicks in and a soggy seat is solved with a shopping bag as a cover. I have even seem bags worn as rainhats! (and very eager to catch it on camera).
With grey misty skies, a low sun and the leaves all fallen from the trees, the canals seem almost monochrome. It’s part of our daily lives here in Amsterdam and the city wouldn’t be the same without it x