Amsterdam Lights Up for the Holidays

We’ve visited this historic gem, one of our favorite cities, often, but never during the Christmas holidays – and what a sparkling beauty it is!
An  enormous tree greets us in front of the central train station, 01011401-welcome-to-holidaysand an intriguing Christmas Market lines the street from the station to Dam. 01011402-christmas-marketWhat a delight it is – with each booth different 01011403-choc-tools(not cookie-cutter, like those lined up Cours Mirabeau in Aix-en-Provence or the Champs Elysees in Paris)01011402-christmas-unique-booths-unlike-aix-paris and with wonderful local items to sell  – hearty Dutch rounds of cheese, of course,01011403-cheese-of-course
hot- off- the -griddle StroopWafles, slathered with warm caramel, 01011402-split-and-filla booth selling tools made of chocolate, a fortune teller cozy in her cute little wagon. 01011403-gypsy-wagonAnd above it all, colorful presents dangling from the trees.01011402-presents-in-the-sky
Magna Plaza center’s decorated ( with a tree hanging from the ceiling!), 01021401-inside-massive-treesand as we walk, nearly every shop offers drinks and snacks and the streets feel like a party 01041404-nine-streets-lights– complete with shop-til- you- drop inducing music.
Of course the canals have to show off too!  We take an evening boat tour called Water Color Lights, leaving from near the train station, with a dramatic Buckminster Fuller Dome afloat.01031401-dome-water-color
We quietly glide by crouching lions and tigers,01031401-water-color
and a proud schooner of yore,01031401-cruise-water-colorand then wander an hour along the smaller canals on foot, 01041404-sparkle-all-year-longenjoying the personal holiday touches, such as these Christmas trees on all four floors of a typical tall skinny Amsterdam home, 01041403-trees-on-all-4and a sparkly boat or two under glittering trees.01041402-boat-lights
Back to the Dam, with yet another enormous Christmas tree –  01021401-massive-treesAmsterdam truly provides a delightful holiday visit!

************************************************************************************KirkandAnneQuitoThe best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and the south of France.
While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.

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