28 April 2010

Amsterdam Update w/ pics

(Ruud & An, Ryan's dutch relatives and our local guides)

Lots to see here... sometimes more than you want to see in fact. One of the first places we took a picture was here at the Buiten cafe. Considering Ryan is Dutch and we're in Holland, finding something with part of our last name was of particular interest. In talking with Ruud about it later, we learned that Buiten means outside. So this was the outside cafe. We also learned that our name, Buitenwerf, means outside the warf. It was likely derived from the area that Ryan's family was from... outside the warf. Pretty cool huh?

We've seen some other cool things too. The Anne Frank house was pretty cool. Reminded me a lot of the Holocaust Museum. Only this was the actual place they hid out and still has the pictures she glued to the wall, etc. We didn't get any pics there but it was very humbling for me.

We also saw the Palace (I'm sure this isn't the real name). It was beautiful and the details of their work was impressive.

And we went to this really old church that has been running since 1605. It was beautiful too and had some rich, cool history. One thing that we found interesting is that people were buried in the floor so the concrete slabs you were walking over, were the graves of people.

This morning when I was awake at 5am and chatting on FB with Chrissy, I shared with her a little else of what we've seen. It just dumbfounds me. We were in and out of a couple of open air markets and souvineer shops. The market was cool and I really wanted to buy and eat some fruit. The souvineer shops surprised me. Apparently Amsterdam is known for and takes pride in their prostitutes, marijuana and chocolate covered male anatomy. The souvineers bragged of this stuff... not something I want to take home to my children but thanks anyway. The other option for gifts has been wooden clogs and or soccer jersies. So far we haven't purchased anything besides our food and drinks.

It's common practice here to sit on a terrace (patio) and have a drink and people watch. I wonder if anyone works. We'd walk a while and then stop for a refreshment. A 10-ounce bottle of coke or water runs almost $2.75 in USD. I've debated on buying a soccer jersey but they run 35 euro (almost $50 USD). That's just crazy. This tight budgeted momma would way rather buying things that cost way less in Ethiopia!!!

Speaking of Ethiopia, in just 25 hours, we'll be on a plane heading to Et. So exciting. It has been fun to get to know Shonda and Travis a little more. We didn't see them yesterday after checking into our hotels but we plan to get together with them this morning and spend part or all of the day together. Tomorrow night we'll get to meet up with Jamey and Andrew which is way exciting!


Chrissy said...

Good to talk to you last night! Those pics are great! I love cool buildings like that, so I would have liked that part of your city tour. I think I would have passed on the chocolate body parts as well... and I agree on $50 for a jersey! That sounds like a mall store price here in the states!
Have a safe flight later today!

Ignacio said...

If you are talking about an "original" soccer jersey, that's a bargain. They run between $80 and $100 bucks in the States. If not original, it's way too expensive.
I like the pictures! Really cool. You need to keep us post it.
Take care and enjoy!

Patty said...

Praying for a safe flight and trip to Etheopia later today. Can't wait to read more about your journey.