Tuesday, February 14, 2012


We've made it to Amsterdam, as you can see above. That's the view from our hotel room, which has been recently renovated and smells of new carpet and latex paint. I suppose that's a good thing, since it lessens the likelihood of bedbugs!

Actually, we're happy with the visit so far. We had some drama getting here yesterday when a bomb scare at the Amsterdam airport delayed our flight departure from London. We were concerned because we had tickets for a performance of the New York Philharmonic in Amsterdam last night. But as it turned out the plane took off just an hour or so late, and we got here with plenty of time to spare.

The concert, by the way, was amazing. It was held in the Concertgebouw, apparently a fairly legendary hall for classical performances, with unbelievable acoustics. It was definitely one of the best performances I've ever seen live. They did Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D with a guest violinist, Frank Peter Zimmermann, followed by Stravinsky's Symphony in Three Parts and Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe.

We had dinner at a cute neighborhood restaurant where the proprietor, unbidden, brought us a candle for "more romance." And we finished off the night at a downstairs bar with a pint of local lager, Jupiler, which had me immediately ready for sleep.


  1. Europeans give high priority to concert space for classical music. I have fond memories of a similar evening at the concert hall in Rotterdam, where everyone was drinking champagne at intermission.

    Amsterdam is a wonderful city for gay guys. I love the candle to enhance your romance. Perfect!

    Don't forget to eat some herring!

    And if you like a little romantic music in a more informal setting, try one of the many piano bars.

  2. I spent one night in Amsterdam as part of a whirlwind tour twenty something years ago. I mostly remember the fabulous bed (no sheets! a duvet!). But I was easy to please having just spent 18 months in Zambia on what amounted to little more than a cot :)

  3. Barbara: Herring and piano bars! Excellent tips! We had champagne at our intermission too. It was very civilized. :)

    Bug: I spent a similar night in Amsterdam on the way back from my two years in Morocco. I flew through on my way home and stayed in a hotel near the airport for one night. I remember reveling in the cleanliness and hot water!

  4. Your night sounds wonderful. I am envious of the concert. :)

    Ms. M

  5. Lovely! I do hope you will be taking advantage of a hashish cafe...and then go to a steam room. HEAVEN! Cheers, glad to see you didn't get blown up!