(Join Tales Told From The Road as it continues a month-long virtual European journey.)
Yesterday as we walked around Amsterdam we saw how bicycles and boats shape life in the city.
Today we’ll visit two markedly different markets, one well-known to tourists, the other frequented mainly by “locals.”
At the Bloemenmarkt on the Singel canal we’ll find freshly cut flowers which we could have used to liven up an apartment if we would have rented one for our stay rather than bunking in a hotel.
But we’ll also discover two familiar plants for sale, both of which would easily fit into our suitcases.
But to enjoy “Mary Jane,” we’ll have to hang out with “her” at one of Amsterdam’s “coffee shops” where smoking marihuana is legal. If “she” we to fly home with us she’d be refused entry to the U.S. by Customs & Immigration.
Fortunately, just across the way from the flower market we can buy a souvenir suitable as a Christmas gift.
We’ll encounter Amsterdammers on bikes as we make our way to a place they are likely to shop: The Albert Cuyp Markt.
While stores line this pedestrian-only zone, it’s the vendors who temporarily set up shop in the street that catch our eye.
As was the case at the flower market, a food feast for the eyes will make us wish that we had a pied-a-terre in Amsterdam.
But the Albert Cuyp Markt isn’t just about food. You can walk away with a new ensemble including a stylish watch and “shades,” shoes, and even a new fake hairdo.
American tourists will find that in Amsterdam they won’t be tongue-tied, stumbling over words and phrases of a non-native language. Here, as at the first and final stop on our trip to Europe, London, virtually everyone speaks English.
Tomorrow: Back to the beginning.