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Amsterdam and Poland 2017 

 Day 1, Amsterdam

Sunday,  June 4

 

  Our flight to Amsterdam took a little over an hour. We took a taxi from the airport and arrived at our hotel at 3 pm Amsterdam's time – six hours ahead which would make it 9 am our time. We did a lot of walking in both airports.

 

 Our hotel, the Boutique hotel Estherea, is lovely. It is housed in a row of 17th century buildings on the Singel, Amsterdam's oldest major canal. Many of the major attractions are within easy walking distance

 

The rich, colorful interior includes woolen carpets, crystal chandeliers, mahogany paneling, luxurious fabrics, extravagant wallpapers, flowers, plants and fish.   We had made reservation in what is known as the Orange Suite named after King William III (Prince of Orange) who was born near Amsterdam (The Hague).  Our room was huge, with a beautiful chandelier that covered most of the room. There was beautiful mahogany paneling and cabinets all around the room.  The decor is “over the top”, so we had booked it just for fun

 We were unaware when we booked the room that there were six steps down to the room with the bathroom and toilet room at the top of the steps – along with the light switches. This made our nightly trips to the bathroom somewhat precarious. Also the toilet was in a separate room there was no more than 3 feet square, our knees almost touched the wall when we sat on the toilet. On the wall directly in front of the toilet was a raised plastic sign which told of all the horrible things that would happen to you if you were caught smoking in there.  The little sign could easily have scratched or cut your face as you stood up. Outside of that it was one of the loveliest rooms we’ve ever booked. 

 Amsterdam is the capital and the largest municipality of the kingdom of the Netherlands although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 851,373 within the city proper with 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area Amsterdam's name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin around a dam in the river Amstel. Originally, a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age (17th century), a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading center for finance and diamonds. In the 19th and 20th centuries the city expanded, and many new neighborhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The 17th-century Canals of Amsterdam and the 19 – 20th century Defense Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The canals are lovely with beautiful, colorful buildings on either side of the canals. All of the older buildings are of Dutch style with the bell-shaped gables and other interesting designs.

After getting settled in our room, we decided to go out and explore the neighborhood a little. We found that we were not far from the palace and other interesting historical places which we will visit in the next several days.

Since we had eaten at strange times since leaving home, we decided that we were hungry but didn’t want too much to eat so we went went back to the hotel, which has a lovely bar and served light dinners so we went into the bar and each had a bowl of soup and split an order of fried shrimp. That seemed to do the trick so we went back to our room and went to bed at 8: 00 and slept until 8:00 a.m. both very tired.  

Next Day

Day 1- Amsterdam

Day 2 - Amsterdam

Day 3 - Amsterdam

Day 4 - Amsterdam

Day 5 - Warsaw

Day 6- Warsaw

Day 7 -Warsaw

Day 8 - Czestochowa and Kracow

Day 9 - Krakow

Day 10 - Auschwitz and Wroclaw

Day 11 - Wroclaw

Day 12 coming soon