(h)Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Baby it’s cold outside…
Well, you can imagine her disappointment when there were no hamsters or rats to be found.
“Where are those damn hamsters?” she’s asked, but she’s discovered other charms that the city holds. The canals, the tall slim houses that tilt at exciting angles,
the varied cusines, and the huge number of people bicycling make this one of the most livable, accessible, fun and (dare we say) charming of all the cities we’ve visited.
It’s the first place where we can imagine ourselves living, but only if we have a house on a canal and a bicycle decorated with plastic flowers!
It’s freezing cold here, and we’re thinking of writing a book entitled Around the World in a Foul Mood, only because it seems that we are having the bad luck of hitting extreme weather wherever we go.
“Is Paris always this miserable in March?” I asked our hosts after 20 out of 23 days of freezing rain. “Does it always snow three inches in April?” I asked the nice barista in Zurich.
The snow in Bern, Switzerland
“Is it always freezing cold in Amsterdam?” we ask our host, a Filipino who had a previous career as a Diana Ross impersonator. No, never they say. It’s an unusual year they add, staring up at the sky. The calendar says mid-April but the temperature says “Oh the weather outside is frightful…” Sure the weather might not mean much when you’re headed to the office every day, but when your “job” is to walk around, getting a feel for the heartbeat of the city, it can put a damper on the best laid plans. Our only hope is that we are not still wearing our scarves and gloves in late May when we enter Norway and the Czech Republic. Hope springs eternal, with the key word being “spring” over here on the Continent.