Saturday, August 22, 2015

Amsterdam & Maastricht - Summer of 2015

Amsterdam - Summer of 2015

Amsterdam has many wonderful parks that are adored (and heavily used) by Amsterdammers. Sarphati Park is one such park and is just a block away from Meredith and Elliot's flat. When the sun is out, people come out of the woodwork to worship the sun rays and enjoy the company of their family and friends.

We took Isla to the local "kinderboerderij", a children's farm.

Isla trying on Dutch wooden clogs.

One of the big annual festivals, the Amsterdam Gay Pride, was held while were there. The streets were packed with people and the canals were full of revelers in boats. It was fun but a little too crowded. 

Crowds lined up on the bridge over the river Amstel await the boat parade.

Two of the....uh....ladies?

A vessel in the boat parade.

Cute, short people also enjoyed the Gay Pride Day.

Isla at Beatrix Park.

Beatrix Park has a kiddy pool that Isla took to very quickly.

Diane and George take Isla on a canal boat cruise.

Isla loves to be read to and is quite participatory.

A pocket park

Besides the big parks, Amsterdam's neighborhoods have lots of pocket parks with playground equipment for the kids. They tend to be very popular.

Going for a ride on the bike is one of Isla's favorite things to do.

On the train to Maastricht.

A view of Maastricht from the river Maas.

One of the city squares in Maastricht during market day.

Maastricht has a long, rich history that dates back to the Roman days. Today, it's one of largest cities in the Netherlands with a significant student population who attend the university.

The Basilica of Saint Servatius.

City park on the Vijf Koppen (five heads). 

Isla corralling ducks at the lake.

We attended a wonderful pipe organ recital at Saint Servatius.

Saint Servatius during daylight hours.

The Vrijthof Square was converted for a petanque tournament. The players didn't seem to mind the rain. We were confused between the difference of petanque and bocce ball. Apparently, bocce is more of a bowling game, whereas a petanque ball is tossed with the palm down from a small circle that the players need to stay in.

One of the colorful, narrow streets in town.

Isla tries on chic head wear.

A kringloopwinkel

A kringloopwinkel is the Dutch word for a second-hand (thrift) store. We always enjoy poking around in them. 

The cathedral that is now a bookstore dates back to the 13th century. But in the last couple of centuries, it's been used as a warehouse, a bicycle parking lot and more. Today, it's an impressive multi-storied bookstore and cafe. 

Isla enjoys a quick snooze while on the pedestrian bridge over the Maas River.

One of the city walls within Maastricht that dates back to the 13th century.

On the train, on our way back to Amsterdam.