Saturday, November 28, 2015


We found a terrific deal on a Rhine River excursion with Viking Cruises over Thanksgiving break. So we pulled the kids out of school a day early and flew to Amsterdam with a change of planes in London to begin an untraditional holiday vacation.

We left Dallas three hours later than planned due to mechanical issues.  So our actual time in Amsterdam was pretty limited.  After dinner on the ship, Zak and I headed out in a freezing rain just to spend some time in the city.

We had an interesting glimpse of old meeting new with neon-lit restaurants sitting in front of the Basilica of St. Nicholas.

We wandered through the narrow streets, stopping again to shoot a 17th-century Protestant church known simply as the Zuiderkerk, or "southern church."

Christmas lights strung over the Nieuwe Hoogstraat.

Stained glass windows and a bas-relief frieze adorn the Beurs van Berlage, former home of the city's stock exchange and currently a conference center.

Despite the weather and later hour, there was still plenty of vehicle and pedestrian traffic on the Damrak.

We only lasted a little more than an hour on our brief walking tour, which included a fascinating conversation with a drunken Dutch pirate and a comfort stop at a shawarma restaurant.  But at least I feel like I can legitimately say I've visited Amsterdam!

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