The European Lingerie Tour Amsterdam, hosted by Mrs. Weaver and Triple M Tours had us travel by train to the wonderful city of Amsterdam, where canals and bicycles are the norm. The city is famous for many things and we did our best to see as many of the highlights as we could. I love the houses here, but they all looked to me to lean a little. Was it my eyes, after 12 days of seeing architecture in London and paris? No, it turns out that Amsterdam’s underlying foundation is quite sandy so the houses shift and lean a little. Mike Holmes would be appalled! No one seems to mind and some of the houses are over 500 years old!
This is the Eye of Amsterdam. It doesn’t lean, it was built that way! It’s a great place to overlook the canals of Amsterdam, and also a great place for our first night banquet! There’s our group in the centre, huddled together for warmth!
There is yarn bombing everywhere! Who does this, anyway?
Bicycles everywhere too! They even have their own bicycle lanes on the side of every car road…and woe to those pedestrians who try to cross without looking! This was just one small bike parking lot near the Eye. Can you guess what the number on crime is in Amsterdam? That’s right…bicycle theft! Everyone has their bikes locked up securely.
These appeared on the hotel windowsill after Jodi made a trip to the flower market. 50 tulips for 6 Euros (about $9). What a cheery site to come home to!
One of the things I loved about the European Lingerie Tour is the group of women. It didn’t matter who wanted to go to a particular site, there was always someone else willing to go with you. And we all got along so well! (hard to do with any large group!) A small group of us went to the Van Gogh Museum. You might remember him as the artist who cut off his ear and presented it to a woman. Who knows why? In the museum, I saw a book entitled “Van Gogh’s ear – the true story” Most intriguing! I had to buy it!
Julie and I went to the Reijks Museum where we wandered amongst the Rembrandts, and Vermeers, but also where we saw this incredible silver doll house kitchen. Yes, real silver….for a Child. To. Play. With!
This fabulous and awe inspiring stained glass window. I couldn’t even get it all in the photo, it was so tall!
Cheryl and I went to the Anne Frank House. The Diary of Anne Frank was one of the books I treasured in school, and I have wanted to see the house for many years. The house was the warehouse of Otto frank’s company. The lineups to see the house were incredible. We waited in line almost two hours – this line was only the tip of the iceberg, as the house was another 500 feet around the corner! I thought my feet and hands would go numb. Only some hot chocolate was able to save me!
You can see by this drawing that the annex where the families lived for over two years. While it was larger than I believed, it was still in total under 500 square feet in all. Not a lot of space for 8 people, and not one of them able to go outside for that whole time. You can see the back ‘annex” is like a separate house, not visible from the outside. The families lived in the areas showing green floors. The annex was only accessible through this third floor stairway, hidden behind a bookshelf that swung open like a door. The doorway was shortened to disguise its true purpose and a map hung over the top half of the opening. The bookshelf was filled with office manuals, and inventory manuals to give the illusion of being “just” a bookshelf.
Our next day was our class day, where we travelled by train to another part of the city to take a class in making latex garments! This day was enough for a blog post all on its own, so I am preparing one for next week for you to enjoy. Stay tuned for that post!
Here’s a sign that you are in creative spaces. The artistic toilet seats in the studio where our latex class was held.
We were on quite a high as we left our latex class and not just because of the fumes, either. We made some incredible garments! But that night, it was off to the Red Light District at night where our brave and intrepid group was taken on a tour of the area by a former prostitute. I knew we were close to the area when I saw this piece of art embedded in the cobblestones.
Anotehr clue was this store…the Condomerie. Who knew?
Prostitution is legal but also government controlled in Holland. Leave it to the government to want a piece of that action too! Each worker has a shift in the windows so they are independent businesswomen. Each window is about 3 feet wide and most of the workers in the windows that I saw, were reading magazines, or texting on their cellphones. Apparently there is a lot of waiting around for customers in that job. Some of the workers have regular jobs in the city during the day. I find that odd. After working all day, I can barely find time for sewing….
Some of us were more interested in chocolate than we were in sex! There is a fabulous chocolate shop in the district, which was enough reason for me to be there! I brought a lovely box of chocolates home to my staff (and maybe a wee bit for me too!)
Any tour that ends in chocolate is a great tour! I want to thank Karin and Triple M Tours for inviting me along on this wonderful tour of Europe! I hear rumours that there will be a European Lingerie Tour next year. Why not plan to go? This year’s tour was amazing, so you can’t go wrong wherever the tour takes you! So this is for now… farewell my friends…or as they say in Dutch “Vaarwel mijn vrienden”
Your Fairy Bra Mother, Beverly