Amsterdam: Just Ducky… Things that Entertained Us

A plethora of rubber duckies.

We are never bored when we wander. There are always things that capture our attention. It may be something we find beautiful, or educational, or interesting, or simply amusing, like the whacky-quacky characters above. The store caught us by surprise with its large duck and all of its ducklings that represent a multitude of professions and occupations from kings to rabbits. We had a traditional rubber ducky for awhile. It lived beside our bathtub and was occasionally known to go for a dip. I suspect we still have it, packed away for the time being. Do you have a rubber ducky? Are you willing to confess to it? Note the bike reflected in the window. As I said in my last post, it’s hard to take a photo in Amsterdam that doesn’t include one.

I found drinking this large beer amusing. And it became more so as I worked my way through it. Peggy stuck with the smaller one. I’m used to drinking pints. There are a multitude of brew pubs found in the US and it’s always fun to sample their wares. The locals in Amsterdam seemed to love their beer even more. I noted many of them were sipping out of mugs that we would call pitchers. My elder bladder would have little sense of humor about that! I’d be up peeing all night.
A walk down any of the streets is heaven for cheese lovers like Peggy and me. Alas, we had no way to pack it up and carry it home. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Just one of these large blocks would have fed us for months. You’d certainly want to sample it first. Imagine getting it home and discovering you didn’t like it!
This woman, carrying her large blow-up doll certainly caught our attention. We could only wonder about the large pink appendage. 🙂
We had never found a take out place that featured only French fries. Peggy loves them. She almost divorced me once before we were married because I stole one of hers. This store featured the fries cooked in a multitude of ways.
Peggy went in and ordered their smallest container. The fries were soaked in garlic, and, at Peggy’s request, smothered in ranch dressing. It became dinner for both of us. Heartburn!
I like fries. I certainly ate my half of Peggy’s score. But this tasty grilled lamb rib is more to my taste. Finger food, right? My hair was looking wild because we had dodged into the restaurant during a downpour. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
We had failed to notice the name when we dashed in. El Pimpi: The Pimp.
Maybe it was the reason I found the poster of this cool cat in the men’s room.
This cat was the major attraction of another restaurant we ate at.
Just across from the restaurant, someone had found a unique way to keep his window propped open.
At first I thought this dog in the window was part of the show at the Orphaned Art Gallery. Then it wagged its tail. The description of the gallery on its website noted: “We are definitely not a typical gallery. OODE brings the work of young Dutch designers together with orphaned art – art from closed museums and art institutions. For this we work together with the Foundation of Disinherited Goods (Onterfd Goed).

Not all coffee shops are alike. Our Uber driver was taking us into our B&B when Peggy noted a nearby Coffeeshop. “Oh good,” she exclaimed, “We can go there for lattes in the morning.” “Uh, Peggy,” I noted, “they might serve lattes but the primary purpose of most Amsterdam coffee shops is serving marijuana. Your morning pastry would probably be laced with cannibis.” “Oh,” she smiled, not the least bit daunted.
Unique art is something else that always catches our attention. Birds had added their decorative touches.
It’s impossible to walk up and down the canals of Amsterdam without admiring the unique look of buildings. And the unique method of getting furniture in and out of the apartments… (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Let me note in advance, how narrow the stairways are. And steep. This led up to our room. Imagine trying to maneuver a couch up this stairway. Or refrigerator!
The buildings compensate by having a pulley system using the upper arm that can haul furniture up to rooms and then in through windows. Note the decorative sculpture.
The imagination that has gone into the narrow homes of Amsterdam seems almost endless.
Another example. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Larger buildings also had both beauty and personality. This is the main train station. Numerous restaurants and shops are inside.
This was once the Post Office.
Now it has been repurposed as an attractive indoor mall.
The Droogbak office building is another repurposed building of beauty. It was originally designed in 1884 as headquarters for the Dutch Iron Railway Company. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Several large churches dominate the Amsterdam skyline. I took several photos of this one.
A view from across the canal. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
And from the street.
We caught this impressive spire from a canal boat we were riding in.
A close up.
And finally, a Catholic Church reaching toward the sky.

Our next major series will be on our Rhine River trip where we will take you along the river, introduce several castles, visit cities like Heidleburg, and make a journey into the Black Forest. But first, I thought it would be fun to take a quick break and catch you up to date on our present journey where Peggy and I will take you into Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Get ready for seeing rock spires instead of church spires and communing with prairie dogs, big horn sheep and buffalo, up close and personal from the safety of our truck.

Such as……This big guy was right beside the road 10 feet away. Peggy took the photo out her window. One does not want to get in an argument with something that can weigh up to a ton and run 35 miles per hour.

25 thoughts on “Amsterdam: Just Ducky… Things that Entertained Us

    • Ours was brief as well, Ray, but we tried to make the most of it. There was no lack of fun things to do. My only disappointment was that we didn’t make it to the city’s great art museums this time. –Curt

      • We did get to the Rijksmuseum on one occasion and were particularly interested to see the Vermeers as well as Rembrandt. But Vermeer’s work is small, the museum was crowded and Alie couldn’t really see them because she was in a wheelchair at the time. So we made it a point to visit his work in the Washington National Gallery of Art and had them all to ourselves. If you have not done so, we highly recommend a tour of the Kueukenhof Gardens in early spring. I suggest a tour, as it was very crowded and a long wait for cars to get into the parking lots and our tour bus sailed by into another entrance.

      • We made it to the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum on an earlier trip, Ray. I’ve spent hours in the National Art Gallery and have every intention of spending more when Peggy and I get back to Virginia in January.
        We haven’t been to the Kueukenhof Gardens, but I just checked them out on Google. They look beautiful. Thanks for the suggestion. –Curt

  1. Looked like a fun vacation! I love the architecture, but that huge artwork leaves a lot to be desired in my book. Well __ maybe the birds can spruce it up, ya think?

  2. I am very much enjoying your adventures… though you made me drool over the cheeses. Seems it’s getting increasingly more difficult to find GOOD imported cheese our here in the nether-lands. (Huh! A pun!!! 🥴)
    Seems we’ve been laid low with some medical issues, interfering with any thoughts of adventuring. At least in the immediate future. Thanks for the vicarious thrills… 🙏
    (Even blogging has been pretty hit or miss lately. 🤨)
    Good news though: September (so far) gave us an entire 0.2″ of rain… luckily only a few whiffs of smoke from surrounding areas.

    • A Guda Gunta pun. 🙂
      Sorry about the medical issues. Peggy and I just keep wandering as long as we can get away with it.
      Wow, a whole .2 inches. And just a whiff of smoke. Now that is good news. Peggy and I do not miss the smoke!

      • Thought of you two during the fires SE and NE of us… Reminding me of my late hubby’s tales of fog, smoke and inversions over in the Rogue Valley. Seems there were times when they never got to see the Xmas lights for all the thick fog/smog. So far, we have lucked out (for the most part) when we get the breezes coming off the Pacific. I’ll admit to yearning for some decent autumn/winter storms.
        Summer has never been my favorite season. Even less so these crazy days.

  3. Aside from the wonderful kaas, I have great memories of the unique architecture. What great shots, Curt (and Peggy). They show off the wide variety of wonderful facades. And I could definitely make a meal of fries. No problem there!

  4. We’re never bored when we wander either! There’s always something to get your attention. Like the ducks 😂 and the “decoration” in the men’s washroom. A great collection Curt, tho you’d never catch me putting ranch dressing on fries 😳

  5. Um, yes, I do have a rubber ducky. Years ago, my mother claimed it was the one I had as a baby, so I’ve hung onto it. It’s old, tired, dirty (I think it may have lived in a sandbox for a couple of years), and stained, but it’s the only thing I’ve got from those days. These days they’d probably call it an antique (even if I’m not 😉 )

    I remember one of the things that struck me about Amsterdam when I visited back in ’77 was the dates on some of the cornerstones – early 1600s. I’d never seen any buildings older than the late 1800’s at that point – I was impressed. Not too mention the guy who walked up to me while I was sitting at the Dam and tried to sell me a joint.

  6. Yes, yes… I’m behind! But I do love those rubber duckies. For decades, Santa came for a personal visit every Christmas eve, and the first gift I remember him handing me was a floating soap dish made like a duck; it carried the soap on its back. And every year there’s a ‘duck race’ for charity here, with at least hundreds of those cute little things competing to make it down the bayou first.

    I think the first time I saw something hoisted into an apartment was in New York, and it was a piano. It looks like it’s standard operating procedure there, and with good reason. The only problem with this post is that now I want French fries, and I really don’t know anywhere around here that makes truly good ones. I’d be more than happy to visit this place!

    • We have a rubber ducky that lived on the edge of our bathtub in California and Oregon, Linda. I’m pretty sure it made it to Virginia as well but it is hiding down in one of the boxes in the basement, probably disgusted that we no longer have a proper bathtub to float around in. It is not a shower kind of duck.

      As for French fries, Peggy loves them, and is even known to eat some not-so-good ones when necessity calls. Woe unto me if I try to steal one and get caught. 🙂

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