With Love from Europe: Netherlands

rainbow tree painting
rainbow tree painting by nancyvdboom

The reason why I chose the Netherlands as our destination for this month is that I am going there in a few days to participate in a craft fair and to meet a lot of European crafters. I visited its capital, Amsterdam two years ago, and I am still longing for that free spirit I met there.

Let me start with one of my favourite songs – actually sang by a Belgian singer, named Jacques Brel – which is about Amsterdam and its sailors, though I did not see any drunk sailors in Amsterdam, but I love the passion that comes from Brel.

gold stud earrings by huismus
gold stud earrings by huismus

Before anyone asks: yes, I saw and did the “must-haves”. I have been to Amsterdam with a friend of mine and we visited a few coffee shops and many sex shops (my friend was looking for something). I even had a sort of date with a guy I knew from Hungary in the red light district – how romantic!

But Amsterdam has so much more to offer. As I look back to that one week I spent in Amsterdam two years ago, I try to sum up why I loved that city. I think it is because I felt freedom and open minds in the air. Of course, I was on vacation with a friend of mine, but still: I met free and helpful minds with a lot of colors and creativity.


Gangs of Amsterdam by vadjutka

For example I lost my way in the first hour I spent in Amsterdam. I might have looked quite helpless, but I knew I was in the perfect city, when a nice couple came towards me and said: “You look quite helpless; can we help you?” From that point I knew I will love this place.

Before my trip my friends told me, that people don’t use curtains in Holland. “How weird” – I thought. And when I was there and saw it with my own eyes, it looked so natural. It seemed that these people are open, not weird, and they do not hide away.


Without curtains by vadjutka

I experienced this openness in the Central Library of Amsterdam. Not only it is a modern and cool buliding, but anyone can go in and use one of the computers, without limitations. (This way I could update my etsy shop while having fun in Amsterdam.) I was totally impressed by the library’s architecture and services itself (especially the almost transparent bathroom), but on the top of it all there is a piano close to the entrance. Again: anyone can come in and play something. What an incredible idea! This way we were so lucky to hear a lot of good piano players and great music.

felt moosehead by planetfur
felt moose head by planetfur

And at last, but not at least: Amsterdam is home to absolutely gorgeous handmade shops and small galleries. It was there, when I decided: one day I will have a studio and shop in one space, that I have seen so many in Amsterdam. But untill then I just have to be content with visiting these studio-shops: I just found this useful guide to them  the other day on Bloesem blog.

Unfortunately we did not have time to go outside of Amsterdam, though I wanted to see what Van Gogh saw: fields of sunflowers, tulips, windmills, cute Dutch houses – so I wanted to feel the Dutch country. So concerning the Dutch world outside of Amsterdam I can offer for you a few useful tips from Virtual Tourist. Besides, I can promise to go back and see everything for myself, come back and let you know if I managed to climb up on a windmill.

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P.S: There is nothing Dutch in it, but I would like to share my giveaway with you. I am giving away my very last piece of fused glass necklace on my blog. So if you are interested, feel free to participate!

15 thoughts on “With Love from Europe: Netherlands

  1. What an amazing post!! :)
    This year I’m moving to Amsterdam and this makes me feel so inspired! Can’t wait to get there and visit all those places.
    (And I didn’t know the curtain thingy! lol :O)

  2. Judit! What a surprise! That tree left me staring at the top of this page, ha! What a gorgeous painting and so is the rest of your finds. I’m honored to be included, I’m glad you like Amsterdam and I can’t wait to meet you :-)

    *Smiles*

    xo Simone

  3. Wow, what a lovely article! And you are totally right, there’s a wonderful free spirit in the city of Amsterdam, I love to visit it once in a while. And it’s true about the curtains, don’t know why we do that actually, it might have something to do with letting in all the light we can get, it can be very dark here :-) Thank you so much for featuring my little deer head, she’s very proud to be here! All the best, Marlous

  4. Ahh, Netherlands and Amsterdam. When I was 18, I walked through the whole city barefoot one summer, because my shoes fell apart. Yes, it was that clean, and yes I was a young art bum. :) It is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. I still remember the Harlem cathedral, and the sound of it’s organ. It is so beautiful it will make you have the most profound revelation.

    I am so envious you are going there, and I wish you the best time ever. Enjoy! :)

  5. Thanks for sharing your love for Amsterdam. I am from Holland but not from Amsterdam. I share the love for the city with you, allthough i would not be able to live there. It’s so crowded! But i can tell you that Holland is so beautiful! Go see all the counties: North Holland and South Holland, and come see Limburg! It’s pretty and the city of Maastricht is worth a visit! If you ever need a guide: feel free to contact me!

  6. I love riding bicycles, a passion I’ve always had as a little girl. Several years ago I got back into the habit because my husband gave me a Dutch City Bike as a gift. He knew how much I dreamed of visiting Amsterdam one day and how much I admired their bicycle culture. I have been getting around by bike ever since, finding creative ways to be able to do so in the efforts of minimizing my carbon footprint. Thank you for sharing your blog.

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