Amsterdam has a lot of museums. I'm not sure if this is an actual fact, but I was told that Amsterdam has more museums per square feet than any other major city. I walk by multiplemuseums dedicated to cheese. As if there can be too many cheese museums, right?
I left the hotel around eight-thirty on Friday morning, and made my way to the Jordaan district for a food tasting tour. Here are pictures that I took on my walk. Again, I noticed the absence of people on the streets. Besides construction workers, I was often alone. T
My favorite Amsterdam graffiti.
My original plan was to visit the Anne Frank House before the Jordaan Food tour, but the line was around the block. I soon learned a valuable Amsterdam lesson, the Anne Frank House is the single most popular attraction in Amsterdam. It's always busy and there is always a wait. I didn't have time before my tour, so I went across the street and discovered the Amsterdam Tulip Museum.
It was inexpensive ( 5 euros), absolutely empty, and it only took thirty minutes to visit.
The first part of the museum is comprised of a single room with a continuously looping museum introduction video. The walls are filled with colorful photos showing a wide variety of tulips. I had no idea that there were so many different types. I wouldn't have even realized that some are varieties are tulips: they look so different than what I know a tulip to be. The Amsterdam Tulip Museum is educational!
Downstairs, I learned about "Tulip Mania". During 1634-1637, people went nuts over tulips. Seriously bonkers. The value of tulips was inflated and people were sinking fortunes, mortgaging real-estate, to get their hands on rare bulbs. Tulips were a status symbol. Here is a cartoon to explain it in modern terms.
Here are some other snaps from the lower level of the museum. Besides "Tulip Mania" the lower level explored how tulips came to the Netherlands from the Ottoman Empire, and the general fascination with the flower.
I bought a tulip magnet and headed off to find a snack before my food tour. I know this sounds crazy, but I had not eaten breakfast and I had no idea that I would be served several pounds of Dutch delicacies on the tour.
Along with the quiet streets, not many businesses were open. This was about ten am and the only place with an open door was the Cafe de Zon. I don't speak Dutch and nearly everyone that I encountered in Amsterdam, spoke excellent English. Cafe de Zon was my first encounter with a language barrier. Luckily the man working at the cafe ( possibly the owner) was very patient and friendly: a kind smile and hand gestures go a long way!
At Cafe de Zon, I enjoyed a latte and read my book, while sitting in an empty neighborhood sports bar.
Cafe de Zon was wonderful, unfortunately, I would soon regret the valuable stomach space that the latte occupied. Coming up, Eating Amsterdam's Jordaan Food Tour!