IMG 2136

Beautiful Amsterdam

IMG 2137

Canal side shops and cafes are actually under the road

IMG 2138

Small windmills used for irrigation in the tulip fields

IMG 2139

Utrecht looking at the art gallery from across one of the many canals.

IMG 2140

So many magnificent old buildings

IMG 2141

Sailing barges are everywhere

IMG 2142

Traditional clog making. Perfect for all those cobblestoned streets

IMG 2143

The streetcars are all painted in different designs by art students.

IMG 2144

Relaxing in a small cafe

My dear surrealist artist friend  Henry Possiet came from Utrecht in Holland and his work hung in the museum there.
I’d always wanted to go and see his work hanging in the Museum so I corralled my girlfriend Sue and off we went for a few days vacation in Amsterdam.
When I go to the city for the first time I like to explore by public transit or I’ll get the step and step off Bus.
In Amsterdam, there was no step on step off but there’s a lot of local trams so we decided in our wisdom to get on the tram and go to the very end of the line just to see where it went m.
we did that but it turned out at the end of the line was the end of the train ride and the train was not going anywhere until the next day!
so there we are stuck in the middle of nowhere way outside the city of Amsterdam not knowing what the heck to do! fortunately were young and pretty and quite quickly were able to con somebody to drive us back to our hotel in Amsterdam which was about 30 miles away We explored, we went into brown cafes where there were menus of drugs for sale alongside Italian pizza and  British fish and chips.
We went into museums and galleries, the Delph pottery factory, and diamond trading floors on Saturday we went to the tulip fields and, across the Zeider Zee we saw a big flotilla of sailing barges heading Into Amsterdam. an invasion?  No turned out they were just supporters going to a very competitive soccer match.
I took a train to Utrecht. saw Henrys’  Paintings and heard the amazing story of how during the war when the Germans would steal anything that was worth stealing Henry painted over his beautiful artwork and painted ugly pictures that nobody wanted so they were never stolen! which is quite amazing.
He did tell me the story once about trading with the butcher and we also heard that story at the art gallery so obviously, it was a pretty active time and I remember and Henry telling me that during the war they gradually had to burn all the furniture and the very last thing they had burned was the piano because his wife Lidie, (who was quite a well-known actor in Toronto by the way) loved her piano, they burnt it to keep warm  I guess.
They eventually came to Canada I don’t know the rest of the story except we were great friends and popular members in Acadia artist co-op where i lived for over 20 years