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two row houses of brown brick, with lots of windows and step gables.

Museum of the Canals Amsterdam: a review

This entry is part 4 of 21 in the series Amsterdam Museums

I already posted about the first of the three little museums I visited recently in Amsterdam with a friend: Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder. After a bite for lunch—Burgermeester has surprisingly good burgers!—we moved on to the Museum of the Canals Amsterdam (In Dutch it’s called Het Grachtenhuis and is often translated as the Canal House…

Ons Lieve Heer op Solder: a surprising little museum

This entry is part 3 of 21 in the series Amsterdam Museums

Tourists in Amsterdam, if they visit museums at all, generally hit the big ones: the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh, for example. But there are dozens of smaller museums in Amsterdam that are just as interesting and worth seeing. Ons Lieve Heer op Solder is one of them. Ons Lieve Heer op Solder history This…

The Milkmaid, by Vermeer

Yes, you CAN visit the Rijksmuseum in 2 hours!

This entry is part 18 of 21 in the series Amsterdam Museums

I’m not a museum person. That’s not to say I’m not interested in art, or natural history, or science, or whatever the museum is about. It’s just that I don’t have the patience to concentrate on one thing for very long. At the same time, I’m not physically up to it; for some reason standing…

children at the door with their lanterns

St. Maartens Day: A sweet local tradition

Today is St Maartens Day here in Groningen, a children’s tradition that is relatively unique to this area. On the 11th of November, once the sun goes down, children go door-to-door begging for sweets. Instead of threatening “trick or treat” like on Halloween, the deal here is that they sing a song, and in return,…

10 Things the Dutch Think about Americans

You’re not like most Americans.” A student of mine, a trainee English teacher, said this to me.  I laughed, and the conversation moved on to other topics, but I’ve been thinking about what he meant by this. What the Dutch think about Americans – and I dare say this applies to other Europeans too – is…

Bicycle baptism

All we were trying to do was to get out of the car while it was stopped in traffic. The plan was to walk to the restaurant two blocks away while my husband went to park the car. It made sense. I stepped out on the right side, but not before saying to the kids…