Thursday, June 4, 2015

A walk through the Jordaan +Reasons to Travel LINK UP!


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REASONS TO DRESS - An Italian Lifestyle Blog About Travel, Fashion and Life in Italy
THE CROWDED PLANET - A Nature and Adventure Travel Blog
UNLOCKING KIKI - A Travel Blog From An American Expat in Iceland
IN SEARCH OF - A Travel Blog From An American Expat in Vilnius, Lithuania
A LOVELY LIFE INDEED - A Lifestyle Blog about Love, Travel & the Good Life
CHASING THE DONKEY - Travel Croatia Like a Local, People, Places, Food and Culture
  REASONS2TRAVEL featured blogger Diary of an Urban Housewife This month's featured blogger is Kate from DIARY OF AN URBAN HOUSEWIFE. A semi-nomadic family who has lived all over the US and Canada and is currently in Amsterdam. Last month Kate linked up a beautiful post about her visit to the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands. Check out her post and visit her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see real live from a fit family in the Netherlands.  
Living in any major city you know there are a lot of neighbourhoods. Amsterdam particularly has a ton of them and they are pretty important as on all the street signs it will have the name of the street and the neighborhood under that in the lower right hand corner usually. While I am giving a bit of street sign reading advice let me tell you this: in Amsterdam, most street signs are located on the sides of buildings, usually you can see them if you are right under them. So, be warned.

But, two weeks ago now my friend Jackie, whom I've mentioned before, decided to go on a photography journey around her neighbourhood-the Jordaan. This is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Amsterdam. There are loads of historical buildings, hofjes, and fun markets.

I started out in Rembrandtplein, as I rode in to work with my hubby...

There was no one out on the patios yet, this is a rare occasion.

Everyone must have just gotten to work, but the bikes were lined up so nicely, hardly a cycle out of place.

In case you want to know where the Anne Frank statue is hiding, if you are facing the Westerkerk Church it is on the east side.

I got to the Westerkerk a bit early so I decided to pop in and see if anything was new and I discovered a few gems including their Friday Concerts. Will try to get to one this week.
They had the altar all set up.

This was a model of the steeple.

This is a really cool candle holder. You light a candle like you do in church in honour of a loved one, when they put the candle out in the evening there is a lid they just push down! It is pretty unique and makes for a very gorgeous display.

When you leave the Westerkerk you'll notice a very long line that is the entrance to the Anne Frank House. One door down from that is what was once the physical entrance the home in which Anne Frank lived with her family and friends for so many years. This entrance is no longer used, but it remains.

After this we decided we wanted to try and capture the "Amsterdam Snow". If you've read The Fault in Our Stars you know what this is....for those that haven't read it, basically it is the Elm Tree's that have fully blossomed their petals are flying in the wind, it is pretty magical.

We walked a bit more and found some rather picturesque canal houses and decided to get them in our photo albums.

I think red shutters are the best thing in the them!

This was a pub, the reason I took a photo is really for the head next to the name. The head with the open mouth like that indicates that this was once a pharmacy. I will learn more about this when we take a trip out to the Zuiderzee Museum, but from what I do know is these open mouths used to mark the pharmacy so you could go in for medicine. A lot of places here were marked with signs and specific sculptures way, way, way back when I guess because so many people couldn't read. 

Next we saw these cool signs on this house. Not sure what the mean or stood for, but they sure were cute! I loved this picture in particular because it was a picture of my friend taking a picture and you could see her photo all lined up in her camera.
Next, we went in to a Hofje. When you see these marked around town, during certain hours (usually 8.00-18.00) the courtyards are open to the public. So we went in to a couple that are on this street.

A Hofje is usually very old. They were often created by the rich or well-to-do as places for people-typically poor widows, abused women, or poor young childless couples to live in. They were typically built around a church, but not always and were only for the poor. Today, I do believe they are still low income housing and are kept up by the decedents of those that originally started the Hofje.  

We met these two sweet kitties when we walked in. They were very friendly and followed us about.

In this particular Hoofje today there are 20 or 30 students (I can't remember exactly) who reside there along with a care taker.

The garden.

Mermaid statue.

Just two doors down from the Hoofje above there is a second Hoofje. I believe this one was created because the man who funded it got stuck in a beer cellar or something and there was no way anyone would find him. So, he prayed and told God if he was found alive he would fun a Hoofje. So, he did! A second fun piece of information, when they cleaned out the cellar of this place a while back, they found several casks of really old beer!
This was the well they would pump water from.
"pump water" I am guessing this was drinking water...

"rain water" I assume this is what they used for cleaning and watering plants and what not. 

These were the bathrooms! Cute, huh?! Now they are storage...

A lot of cute places to sit for a cuppa.

The door to leave...there is a little bell in the upper right hand corner.

After the Hoofje's we walked through the Monday Market a is HUGE! The next Monday it is really nice I want to go out again because I probably only covered a third of the Market. There was everything there from fresh fruit and veggies to people who collected antiques to used clothes, new clothes, and everything in between! A must-see when in Amsterdam, especially if you are looking for cheap souvenirs.

After this we decided to head in the direction of my friend's house for lunch and found some neat things to photograph. 

If you don't know Amsterdam (and this is honestly true of many European cities) many places are either closed on Monday's or don't open up until 1pm or later. So many places were still closed.

I wish this picture had turned out better but if you click it to blow it up we were originally attracted to it because of the sunglasses-then we looked up and discovered the weird naked mannequin busts and heads. Strange can see the reflection of the church behind me in the window. 

I was highly attracted to this building.

A bit more reflection (I really need to practice capturing reflections), but here you can really see those weird mannequin heads...

What is this? Wisteria? If so it is blooming everywhere right now!

We came across this super cute record shop. I loved the pole with the record on the end...outside they had some clearance records being sold along with some jam and fresh veggies.

A larger photo of the front.

These sorts of plaques are everywhere. I am not sure about these ones in particular but many of the ones you see like this actually marked people's homes in the 16th and 17th centuries, much like the gaping mouth that marked the pharmacy.

The plaque below translates literally to "Faith, Hope, and Love". I think I would like that hanging over my house! :)

It was a bit cloudy, windy, and rain was moving in but we had so much fun and saw some really beautiful things! Remember-when in Europe-LOOK UP! It is so important and you could miss some really amazing things!

Do you remember to look up?

What is the coolest thing you've seen on holiday?

Link up your travel related posts below!

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