Amsterdam - a city of bicyclists
In our trip around Europe, we made use of the lodging site, Airbnb. The apartment we stayed in in Amsterdam was located one street behind the iconic Albert Cuypmarkt. Buildings in Amsterdam tend to be quite tall and narrow. My Dutch guide on the free walking tour said this was because the Dutch homes were taxed for the amount of square footage on the ground. Because the Dutch were quite thrifty, they built up instead of out. Our lovely apartment was three flights up and the stairs are literally almost as steep as a ladder!
Not quite this narrow, but you get the idea.
My daughter, Heather, climbing stairs.
There’s no better place to learn about Amsterdam than at the Albert Cuypmarkt. This is the biggest and most popular outdoor market in the Netherlands, with 260 stands set up down one very long street. The Albert Cuypmarkt has been open since 1905, and attracts all sorts of people, from locals to home cooks and tourists. Its diverse stands sell everything from shoes to sex toys to fresh foods such as the typical Dutch raw herring or freshly pressed stroopwafels. Source: http://www.eatingamsterdamtours.com/blog/5-best-amsterdam-food-markets/
This market opens Monday through Saturday from 9-5 with a dizzying array of items.
(Something I loved about the fish market. At the end of the day, as the market was packing up, herons would start to show up. They would stand on the sidewalks and watch from the buildings. I can only assume they were waiting for scraps!)
Fruits and Vegetables
(I'm pretty sure that many of the fruits and vegetables are imported and probably not organic, but it was a beautiful display!)
Olives and a kind of sandwich from freshly baked pitas.
More fruits and vegetables
Cheeses and eggs
Vinegars, breads, meats, really yummy looking sandwiches
Fur items can be found at this slightly disturbing shop.
Eggs and cheese
(and *gasp* the eggs aren't refrigerated! - sorry, my sarcasm is showing. In America eggs must be refrigerated below 40-degrees. In Europe, you'll find fresh eggs on supermarket shelves.)
The variety and number of booths goes on and on. Many of the booths are extensions of the stores behind them and you can find clothing and even pharmacy items on sale!
A second market I visited was the Amsterdam Bloemenmarkt. Founded in 1862, the Bloemenmarkt is the world's only floating flower market.
Beautiful, but sadly, I found it to be quite touristy with all of the shops selling pretty much the same things.
While sitting in a cafe and enjoying a latte, imagine my surprise and delight to look out and find these sidewalk maintenance workers wearing wooden shoes!
(Don't you just love cobblestone sidewalks?)
And, finally, a trip to Amsterdam would not be complete without a photo of Gouda cheese!
(Good bye! = Dutch)