Gardens in Europe: Amsterdam

AmsterdamAfter spending a few days in Brussels, we took a 2-hour train ride up to Amsterdam. When we arrived, it was cold and raining hard — not exactly the weather we were hoping for but we made the best of it because, after all, we were on vacation!

The reason we went to Amsterdam was because that’s where we started an 8-day Viking cruise down the Rhine River. (it was FABULOUS, by the way!)

AmsterdamWe had a few hours to wander around the city before we needed to get on the ship so, with umbrellas in hand, we headed for the Van Gogh Museum — he’s been my favorite artist for ages and the exhibits of his work were wonderful.

After the museum, we casually walked back through the shopping area and came across the Amsterdam Flower Market. Boy, was that cool. There were cut flowers, a gazillion flower bulbs, seeds, garden ornaments, etc., etc. The bulb prices seemed pretty reasonable (as I tried to convert the cost in euros to U.S. dollars in my head) but I knew it might be iffy to get them through Customs.

AmsterdamI saw a sign that indicated some were OK to take home but decided not to try it and risk having them be confiscated. I’m glad I did because I later talked to someone on the ship who told me she had several packages of them taken from her by a Customs agent on a previous trip. So I guess you can’t always believe the signs. It was almost worth a try, though!

Also, Bill made an amusing discovery: packages of marijuana “starter kits” which I think consisted of seeds and some peat pots or something. Smoking and growing pot is legal in Amsterdam. So that was funny. (and no, we didn’t bring any with us!)

So that’s my brief report on Amsterdam. Hope you will enjoy the photos. The next few posts will be garden-related things we saw during our cruise. Stay tuned…