Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Arrivaderci, Amsterdam!

One of the most wonderful things about living in Amsterdam is the relative ease and speed with which one can be someplace else. Amsterdam's central location makes London, Germany or Brussels reachable by a train ride of reasonable length. Extend your travel mode to include flying and all of Europe is less than three hours away.

We recently flew from Amsterdam to Rome for a four-day break. The round trip airfare was even less than what I had paid last month to fly roundtrip from Philadelphia to Norfolk, Virginia: about three hundred dollars. Our KLM/Allitalia flight to Rome lasted less than two hours.

I am starting to think that these escapes to sun-filled Spain or Italy are necessary if one it to make it through the Dutch winter with one's smile intact.

Ahh! Sunny Rome. We stayed in the low key Trastevere neighborhood, ate dish after dish of exquisite homeade pasta, saw ruins and famous art and religious artifacts until we dropped. The sun shone, the scooters roared, and it seemed that everyone was in a mild argument. After four nights in a city so dense and immense with history, culture, business, tourism and life, I was reminded yet again of how much I love coming home to gentle, small Amsterdam.

Oost West Thuis Best -
Dutch proverb meaning, East, West, at home is best.


  1. I love overhearing a mild argument.

  2. You know Romans are notorious in Italy for being crazy. That's pretty crazy!

    My mom is from Venice. Unfortunately, she raised us "American" so I don't know more than tourist Italian. One time when she was talking with a ticket guy at the ferry, I thought they were arguing. When she told us what they were saying, it turned out they were making friends with each other.

    Italians aren't smiley or complacent looking, and I must have picked that up from my mom, even if she didn't pass on the language. People sometimes think I'm angry when I'm just at rest. And I really hate it when someone says I should "smile more."
    - Bill's friend Jean (we've met a few times, Suzanne)

  3. Of course Jean thanks for stopping by I find your perspective very informative. Great to hear from you. Congratulations on being the first person to reconnect with me via my blog! I remember well Christmas festivities at your lovely home many moons ago. Peace to you and Bruce.

  4. One of these days I hope we'll drop by. Bruce and I visited Amsterdam in 1984. It is such a cool city! I'm glad you're at home there.


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